Predominantly using oils, Shelagh paints a wide range of subject matter from impressionistic plein air landscapes to more detailed still life studies and larger landscape works in her studio.
Inspiration comes in unexpected ways; when it does, Shelagh tries to paint the subject in the way that feels most appropriate – “Light and shadows, interesting shapes or beautiful combinations of colours can all be the stimulus for starting a painting”. Her aim is always to capture this essential aspect of the subject and try to convey it to others.
“Proust said reality lies not in the appearance of the subject, but in the extent to which it leaves an impression on the artist. I try to record this impression, this received sensation of a place, rather than just recording ‘what’ I see.”
Shelagh has a studio near Henley-on-Thames – the river and local countryside provides a rich source of subject matter for her, as does the chalky landscape of the Sussex downs where she grew up, and and visits as often as I can. Shelagh occasionally undertakes commissions, but mostly prefers to follow those intriguing sparks that ignite her artistic curiosity.