Artists Shelagh Wilson

My mixed media work started off as a long exploration of pencils and charcoal on Fabriano paper where I made each mark with focus and concentration, enjoying the touch of the materials on the paper. Each piece of work I make starts off in this way, slowly making considered marks thinking of them as delicate, little jewels. 

When I have covered the paper with sufficient marks I develop areas of them into whatever shapes they suggest: bowls, planters, birds, foliage and flowers are favourite things. Marks are added between objects to suggest the minuscule things which float in the air: pollen, tiny slivers of foliage, fern fronds and bark, weeny scraps of feathers, beads of moisture, insects’ wings and so on.

It’s a slow, contemplative process building up and re-working the marks - sometimes with a smear of oil bar or sometimes by dampening some parts of the paper by dripping droplets of watercolour from a brush, into which I may then dip a coloured pencil creating a tiny puddle of colour. Both the subject and the creating of it are a happy kind of escapism.

In the end I want textures, considered marks and juxtapositions on the paper which have some drama and evoke feelings of place. I aim to create a sort of slightly surreal physical and psychological place in which to escape from bustle, noise and other unwelcome distractions. Apart from the seasons, influences come from reading - mainly poetry and novels - so my titles are a significant part of my work.,



Originally from N.Ireland, Shelagh now lives at the foot of the South Downs outside Brighton in West Sussex with her husband.

Shelagh enjoyed teaching English in secondary schools, until she retired in 2013 giving her time to be creative. Literature has been a constant for Shelagh, for the way in which it challenges and enriches her view of life and just for the sheer beauty of the words.