My name is Sheena McCurrach and I have been painting for much of my life. A few years ago I passed through Galloway as a traveller and decided, then, that when life allowed, I would come here to live. I’ve been here for two years now.

My home here beside the ruins of Girthon Kirk is the centre of my life now. The lanes that wind across the fields, the light that plays endlessly on Cairnharrow and the woods that straddle Bar Hill- these things form the landscape here. My windows frame each aspect and I’ve viewed them in every season now. Each day they seem fresh and different and the light ripples and changes a thousand times. And then there is the wind which shifts and blows bringing its own movement, bending and gnarling the coastal hawthorns.

When we first came, the priority was to coax the old house into life again, for it had lain empty. It was a welcoming place, though, from the beginning and I felt at home. It is an on-going process to improve and restore it and to reclaim the old walled garden. Gardening is my passion and already flowers are beginning to be in abundance in a random sort of way. And with the flowers came the butterflies and bees, and with the warm summer came an abundance of birds. Swallows reared two or three broods. Warblers and wagtails came. Goldfinches and wrens nested and thrush and blackbird are always about singing and hunting for snails. Rooks gather in the old chestnut beside the Kirk cawing like a gathering of crones and then taking off, all as one, to settle noisily in two old ash trees across the way. They, with the cry of the gull, are part of our life here and in every way, my work is defined by them.

A new place brings new friends and fresh challenges and perhaps the onset of a deeper healing of old wounds is possible – but all takes time. All these things I bring to my painting that has begun in earnest now. I have a new studio! The experiences of Galloway, the rugged coast, the estuaries, softer hills and gentler rivers and yet there is still loss. All make their mark on the canvas here. Yet it is altogether a fine place to be for an artist!

I work mainly in my studio at home or in the field. Commissions can be accepted. Please contact me to discuss your requirements.

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