Sheila is an artist and printmaker creating intricate limited edition prints inspired by her love of nature, Scotland’s wildlife and in fabulous contrast, the power of Tribal Art.
Working from her Comrie based garden studio, Sheila’s designs are made through soft etchings using layers of techniques working with metal, acid, wax, paper and finally ink. A complicated and fascinating process involving many layers and stages.
Sheila’s childhood was spent in Ghana surrounded by African art which continues to fuel her imagination and inspires her bold designs which are built up through the use of fine, delicate and intricate details to create her unique style of tribal art imagery. In contrast, Sheila’s love of nature and wildlife also feature throughout her collection of prints.
After experimenting with many different printmaking styles and techniques, Sheila ultimately honed her skills in the etching process. Beginning by coating a zinc plate with wax and drawing into it with a needle, it’s then immersed in a bath of nitric acid that ‘bites’ grooves into the plate where the metal is exposed. The plate is then cleaned and recoated with a soft wax known as a 'soft ground’ into which Sheila makes many textural impressions using a number of items including feathers, lace, leaves and grasses, building up textures and tones until the image is complete. The plate is inked by hand pressing ink into the lines, wiped and polished with muslin and tissue paper. The first run through the press is onto a damp good quality rag paper lifting the ink from the lines, creating a mirror image. The process is repeated until the limited edition of 25 is complete, and then numbered, named and signed. As the etching plates are individually hand inked and wiped, there are slight variations in the colour and tone across the editions adding to the character of these artworks.
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