Primarily self-taught, Sheila has been a professional artist for over 23 years. Her interest lies in obscure areas of the environment as seen on the periphery of daily vision. Sheila works in oil, painting both Plein Air and in the studio, preferring large panels.
An elected member of the Society of Canadian Artists, the Ontario Society of Artists and a senior signature member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Sheila’s work has been featured in magazines, on television and is included in private and corporate collections around the world. She is represented by various galleries throughout Canada and participates in select exhibitions throughout the year.
My attraction is most definitely the play of light and movement in our natural environment. I am not attracted to ‘landscapes’ or ‘pretty scenes’. It’s the flash of colour and texture in a fleeting moment that gets my blood rushing. While unfettered forests are my muse the subject has come to be the paint itself. The surface tension created with drippy transparent passages sliced with heavy opaque brushstrokes as well as hits of light where the brush barely touches the surface and calligraphic mark-making. All lending itself to more abstraction than an actual place.
My interest is the landscape, emphasizing the energy of the space as a whole. I paint it as I feel it – not as a physical likeness, but as an entire presence, involving the space of emotion, spirituality, temperature and the senses.
I find I am inspired by the friction and play of textures where surface planes meet. The tangled undergrowth competing for light and space. A play of forces, where colour and temperature meld or clash for dominance - a battle of the elements, Earth, Sky, Water and all they encompass. I believe an Artist interprets best what they know intimately…what surrounds them personally and they touch daily… what influences on a deep emotional level either conscious or unconscious. For me this is the untouched Ontario landscape… tangled, unfettered and unfinished…a work in progress, constantly growing and striving towards light, strength and freedom from constraint.
Using traditional oils, I work quickly and vigorously, laying in several layers of transparent colour and value using large dynamic brushstrokes combined with splatter and drip, these layers are each reworked with opaque brushwork and calligraphy as I attempt to portray what first excited me about the subject, the flash causing the rush of Adrenalin and the urge to ‘get it down’ before the feeling dissipates.
I prefer to work in large format where I can apply movement and gesture to express the intense vitality and power I experience in the landscape. I want the viewer to experience the moment as if they are standing there with me.