Sheena McCurrach - Artist
I seem to have been painting for most of my life, either as a garden creator or as an artist. Nature provides much of the inspiration for my work and I especially love trees, their form and colour, particularly in winter. And then there are the skies.
Most of my adult life has been spent in Scotland, firstly in the Highlands, then to Galloway tucked away in the south west, followed by a spell in an ancient medieval farmhouse located in an enchanting corner of rural mid-Wales. Here I enjoyed a landscape of open, verdant valleys, with slopes of upland pastures interspersed by ancient oak woodland and incised by tumbling streams, that rise onto moorland plateaus and twmps, with
barn owls hunting at dusk.
My latest (and final) chapter is back to Galloway; to an old mill, dating back to at least the 16th century (some say to the Romans), set in an acre of grounds with a traditional long, low, white-washed, cottage, the tumbled ruins of old outbuildings and the mill itself, and the mill lade running through. Bird life is abundant, red kites wheeling overhead (almost within touch), riding the wind on blustery days; tree creepers spiralling the trunks of mature ash trees or hopping up and down on the lichen-covered ancient apple tree. The shores of Grennoch Loch, now re-named Woodhall, stretch below providing a haven for wildlife of the water's edge and a verge for glorious carpets of bluebells in the spring and stands of yellow flag iris in high summer.
The place assumes a mantle of seclusion and peace, yet is also full of the buzz of rural life both natural and working; so full of promise as far as painting goes. I record what I see here on canvas, as I have always done.
My studio is the upper floor of a stone-built storehouse, a with a stove to provide comfort and warmth on chilly days. It is a delightful, pleasant and cosy workspace with natural light pouring in from the roof-lights, where I can spend many happy and productive hours at the easel.
Unexplored challenges and prospects of the healing, emotional ties to landscapes weave into my time. The experiences of place, the wild coast, the estuaries, the lofty peaks and tumbling streams, the softer hills and gentler rivers, of ‘pastures’ old and new - these, and more, I bring to my work.
All make their mark on the canvas and page.