When I was a child growing up in Canada we were allowed to wander. Our lives were lived out of doors, in the valleys, and by creek sides, exploring, observing, or just plain ‘moodling’. Much of the time I was happily alone, and during that time I watched and tried to befriend the enchanting creatures I found around me.
My earliest memory is drawing and painting animals of every kind.
Today I still paint animals, but now they are painted life size, usually isolated against a plain white ground. It was the Inuit, those superb observers of the natural world, who influenced me the most. To the Inuit, space is as important as the subject of the work. By isolating a living being, away from any references to a specific habitat, I can bring the viewer into the same place as the animal, creature to creature, eye to eye.
Every creature, be they wild or domestic, fills me with a sense of joy and awe. It is my great hope that through my work I can convey these feelings to the viewer.
New works from Shirley are on display every month in the Salon.