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 and latterly in Galloway tucked away in the far south west of that Celtic cousin. And my latest chapter is in rural mid-Wales; my home an ancient medieval farmhouse along a leafy lane. This landscape is one of open, verdant valleys, with slopes of upland pastures interspersed by ancient oak woodland and incised by tumbling streams, that rise onto glorious moorland plateaus and twmps.
Barn owls live near the house and I have seen them hunting at dusk. There are otters and kingfishers (which I have yet to see). 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 new studio faces north with two windows and a charming Victorian fireplace to provide comfort and warmth on chilly days. It is a delightful, pleasant and well-lit workspace where I can spend many happy and productive hours at the easel.
The greening of the landscape in spring and early summer is always beautiful and inspiring. The birdsong, especially that of the mistle thrush and blackbird is lovely. There are many trees and close-hedged lanes, now erupting with wildflowers, scents, and blossom. Meanwhile the buzzards call and red kites wheel and dive above the fields, riding the wind on blustery days. There is so much to experience here during this time of relative solitude. Literally and metaphorically I feel more and more at home as I work.
A fresh place brings new friends, unexplored challenges and the prospect of healing emotional ties to landscapes and more - but all takes time. All these things I bring to my work. The experiences of place, the wide coast, the estuaries, the softer hills and gentler rivers; of ‘pastures’ old and new - all make their mark on the canvas and page.
Powys, SY19 7AP