Scottish landscape artist

Sheila MacLean

“As a Gael, I am continually drawn towards the landscape of home and the Gaelic language that defines its timeless beauty, colour and form. My work is an expression of what that evokes in me – fragments of words and memory; a fusion of land and skies and sea; escaping to a place of changing moods where always in my mind’s eye, I see the light in the West”.

I belong to Wester Ross in the Scottish Highlands where my family has lived for generations and through my maternal grandmother have long standing ties to Harris in the Western Isles. It is this Highland-Hebridean background, rich in landscape, language and culture, which provides endless inspiration for most of my art and always leaves me feeling really fortunate. I’m in my element when I paint. It’s complete freedom and despite working in solitude I never feel lonely.

Colours, sounds, scents, old familiar faces – they all ghost their way through my imagination, keeping me company. What emerges from this multi-sensory sort of state is the spirituality of the people and place that shaped me. They come alive and leave their imprint on my work in one form or another. I rarely set out to capture a specific scene, preferring instead to let memories merge with the paints to form landscapes of shifting light and reflective moods. For me, it’s an expression of emotional identity and an invitation to those who view it to wander freely into the scene and make it their own.