About my work
Having recently moved to Nidd I’ve produced a new body of paintings that depict the area surrounding my home and the landscape I experience on my walks. I’ve produced acrylic, watercolour and oil paintings. These stem from two particular routes that I walked most days during the period of national lockdown and from the view directly outside my house. For these paintings I’ve used reference photographs as I’ve worked on a large scale but I also sometimes paint directly from the view, outside. The two experiences are totally different and noticeable in the finished results. I enjoy both. Painted at home and at my Briggate studio in Knaresborough the landscapes reflect colours and light of the changing seasons, times of day and weather conditions, from personal experience. In these ever changing times the process of painting has given me focus and the desire to share my personal experiences of the landscape with others in the locality. The paintings will be on physical display for a weekend at Nidd Church during the Nidd Art Trail.
Originally from Faringdon, Oxfordshire, Shirley had a traditional art training at Oxford Polytechnic and Cheltenham Art College where she graduated with a B A Honours in Fine Art (sculpture). At this time she made life size modelled figurative sculptures in plaster, terracotta portraiture and painted portraits. After moving to the north Shirley continued to make sculpture and paintings, exhibiting her work and taking part in sculpture trails. It was her experience of walking in West Yorkshire and especially the deep wooded valleys that sparked her love of painting trees and later led her to paint ‘en plein air’. In 1998 she gained an M A in printmaking from Bradford College. She also started her job at Henshaws Arts and Craft Centre in Knaresborough, facilitating art workshops (sculpture, mosaics and painting) for visually and dual sensory impaired adults with special needs for the following 23 years. Shirley has painted in the Yorkshire Wolds and in the rugged West of Ireland where she has family connections, but is now concentrating on landscape and portraits of people around her home in Nidd and Knaresborough.