Who is Shirley Nathan: The Life of A Creative Powerhouse!


Shirley Ann Austin is a well known artist throughout California. Born in 1938 to Mother Ingeborg and Father John Boy. She was born in Hollywood, California but later raised in the Bay Area. Having been married right after high school and having her first of four children; Shirley was soon forced to make a living on her own to support her and her kin, when she was divorced in 1966. Having studied under Artist Roberto Lupetti for three years, Shirley decided to make a living through her art. Shirley’s hardships sparked the flame in her art work and despite the fact that many artists were not self supporting artist, Shirley was able to become a successful artist and make a living for her and her children by selling her work and making a name for herself as a Bay Area Artist.

Known as the Daisy Painter for her floral paintings, she also created still life paintings and portraits. Shirley Ann Austin received most of her publicity through her male nude portraits, because she made pioneering efforts to eliminate the double standard perception that it is acceptable for men to view the female body in an undraped form but not acceptable for females to view the male body in nude form. Being the talk of the town, Shirley’s art became iconic in the bay area community and began receiving invitations to private events and charity benefits. Along her journey as an artist Shirley has had the opportunity to meet and work with people like Roberto Lupetti, Lynn Lupetti, Oscar De La Renta, Irene Manning, Lex Connolly, Margaret Keane, Barbara Wallace, Patricia Davis Selin, and Kathryn Crosby to name a few.

Having become successful as an artist and creating a rapport with her community, Shirley Ann Austin opened her own gallery: Austin Galleries and Austin’s Rainforest (both located in San Mateo). Here she hosted a variety of events that became the stepping stone for many local artists to feature their work. She was featured in the San Mateo Times for her “Champagne Parties” that she would host in Austin Galleries. Not only did Shirley host parties in her own gallery, but she also was very involved in charity work and promoting local events. She spent time helping at the Presbyterian Hospital which she later donated her painting alongside actress Irene Manning. She helped promote the 1st Annual Women’s Football Clinic whose instructor at the time was former 49er player Monty Stickles. She participated in St. Jude Children’s Hospital Benefit where she showcased her artwork and later donated her artwork. Shirley’s artist platform was used throughout her community and she received many awards in appreciation for her work around the Bay area.

Shirley has been awarded the following:

Certificate of Merit and Appreciation of the 38th Annual San Mateo County Fair and Floral Fiesta (1972)

Certificate of Merit and Appreciation of the 39th Annual San Mateo County Fair and Floral Fiesta (1973)

Certificate of Merit and Appreciation of the 40th Annual San Mateo County Fair and Floral Fiesta (1974)

Certificate of Appreciation from Comprehensive Youth Services


Certificate of Appreciation by the American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of San Mateo County (1976)

Shirley’s Artwork was displayed in many art galleries, but the most famous being Cory Galleries, Atwater Galleries, and Margaret Keane Gallery of Hawaii. Shirley’s Artwork has hung alongside those pieces created by artist Patricia Davis Selin, Barbara Wallace, Inge Saastad, John Axton, Dee Andreini, and Sather Burguiere. She was featured at the San Francisco Press Club as a guest speaker and was invited as a guest to attend an event with guest speaker Agnes Moorehead a month earlier. She was a featured guest of the Owen Spann Show that was featured live on Television, November of 1972. Shirley’s social life as a renowned artist landed her in the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Mateo Times in which you will see her alongside many famous actors, singers, artists, and influential public figures.


Presently, Shirley Ann Austin is known today as Shirley Nathan, and is the Founder and Designer of Shirley’s Simple Shelving. As a retired artist Shirley relocated to Sunnyvale, California and is busy using her creative powerhouse to manage, lead, and develop her shelving business. The California Native has always been involved with art and gardening. Her passion for the two inspired the creation of Shirley’s Simple Shelving. Her need for a display sparked the idea of these unique, innovative, and most importantly SIMPLE shelves. Her partnership with Atlas manufacturing Company was all that was needed for her to redefine the word Shelfie. Shirley’s shelves are popular in the gardening community and have been used in a variety of ways. Spice rack, makeup display, wine display, and product display are just a few ways her customers have used her shelfies.  From the canvas to the drawing board, Shirley created a product her customers could interact with and personalize to fit their everyday needs.                                                                                                                                                

Her shelves have been featured on popular youtube channels such as: The Bonsai Zone, FancythatwithCandice, Craft-o-maniac, Plantznthings, and The Rusted Garden.