Rebecca Shortle, in her Hunter's Point studio. (Photography by Jen Woo)

Artists With Double Lives: Rebecca Shortle, Bio-Techie & Painter, Blends Science and Art

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7x7 is a proud and longtime supporter of ArtSpan and San Francisco Open Studios, the five-week annual event during which hundreds of local artists open the doors to show their latest work directly to art lovers and new potential clients.

In celebration of this year's festival (October 14th through November 12th), we stopped by the offices and studios of five artists with, gasp, day jobs! In this series, we'll highlight artists with double lives, including a barista artist, a surrealist who sells insurance, and a motorcycle mechanic who more than dabbles in mixed media art.


To kick us off, meet Rebecca Shortle, a biotech worker who channels her quite real creativity into dizzying paintings that evoke the feeling of looking through a microscope.

Name: Rebecca Shortle, rebeccashortle.com

Occupation: Director, Intellectual Property at BioElectron Technology Corp

Medium: Painting. Her art work is a reflection of what one can see under a microscope, when a scientist studies the life of a cell through a lens. Shortle creates paintings on a horizontal plane on which she pours, drips and brushes layers of colors and ink mixtures.

She says: "There is a certain way in which my two jobs are interrelated and in contrast. I have a background in science and chemistry. Science is my passion and the way I pour the colors on a surface, and the way in which it reveals its layers and it opens up, mimic the effect of looking down through a microscope. The scientific process and my art are both experimental. When I start a project, I don't really know what is going to happen or where it is going to lead me. But my daily job at BioElectron Technology (as a patent attorney, I write and prosecute patent applications for chemical and biotechnology inventions) is very analytical and precise; my art work is the opposite."

Meet her: October 14-15th at Hunters Point Shipyard, Building 104, Studio 1210.

// For more information on SF Open Studios, go to artspan.org.

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