Coming from a very supportive family, Shirley R. Klein-Kleppe has flourished as an artist. She has fond memories of her mother taking her to the craft store to get supplies, and of her parents teaching her to appreciate art. This inspired Ms. Klein-Kleppe to pursue her passion professionally. She earned a Bachelor of Science in art and biology education from the University of Central Missouri in 1967, and became an art teacher in the Benton County R-1 School District that same year. Her aptitude for the field led her to advance to roles like art teacher in the Turner Unified School District, graphic designer for the Menorah Medical Center, freelance graphic designer and illustrator, and advertising director of Gorges Wholesale Meats, Inc. She furthered her professional standing by completing postgraduate work at Arizona State University in 1988.
Today, Ms. Klein-Kleppe focuses on her own artistic endeavors through her business, Outrageous Red LLC. She likes to paint a number of different subject matters such as flowers and interiors in watercolors. Her latest work has been painting high colors and earth, fire, air, and water in linear forms. Ms. Kleppe-Klein stands out from her peers because her art falls in between representational and abstract styles; it is interpretive, figurative, and flowing. It takes time because it’s as intricate as painting glass. She enjoys doing work that no one else is doing.
In addition, Ms. Klein-Kleppe is the owner of “Lense On!,” a camera platform with a bag attached to stabilize a camera and lens. It can attach to the mount of a monopod or tripod and provides an “unparalleled combination of stability and freedom of movement.” This product is particularly useful whenever there’s a limited working space and/or a need for a fast setup and takedown. She developed it when she and her husband began traveling and wanted to take sharp, interesting photos. Thus far, the pair has been to Europe, Asia, the Middle East, New Zealand, Australia, South America, Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Outside of the art world, Ms. Klein-Kleppe was owner of the Sonic Drive-In Franchise and Arizona Restaurant Systems of America from 1987 to 2016. She also enjoys hobbies such as gardening, raising hybrid irises, cooking, skiing, scuba diving, and racing. She owns her own racecar, a 1999 Boxster, and she is a member of the Sports Car Club of America.