Some years ago I decided to paint the spiral stairs in the Long Room, Trinity College Dublin as part of a series which were being sold as prints in the Old Library Shop in College. To give the painting a sense of scale one of the Trinity staff members walked down the stairs as I was collecting images to work from.
I brought the material I had gathered to the house in Co. Clare where I placed the large canvas in the kitchen, on a nail on the wall just beside the door. I closed the shutters on the window, lit a candle t evoke the atmosphere and set to work. Lucy PepR, the dog preferred to spend her time in the front room, keeping an eye on passers by on the prom.
A few days into the work I was happy with the stairs, with the bookshelves and gleaming gold gilded tomes. I raised my paintbrush to bring in the figure of a Librarian on the stairs when the kitchen door suddenly BURST open.
I SCREAMED in fright. Lucy PepR, (who had come in for a drink of water – her dish was directly under the painting) screamed back in fright.
And my brush did a wobble on the canvas.
I opened the shutters, calmed the poor dog and turned to the painting.
There, standing on the Spiral stairs was a ghostly figure, not descending the stairs but calmly reaching for a book. The feeling of fright was so real and authentic I left it exactly as it appeared….and here it is.
'Fantastic Paintings by Sheena Meagher
I asked Sheena if she would do a painting of our two lovely rescue dogs, Amber and Lola, as a present to celebrate my husband’s 80th birthday. I knew Sheena’s work and knew her love of dogs, especially rascally rescue dogs, so was delighted when she agreed.
Sheena came over to the house when Noel was away to get to know the dogs. The dogs were very excited at first with a new visitor, especially one who was so fond of dogs herself. But they soon relaxed after their initial welcoming ceremony and settled themselves next to each other on the sofa in the sun room in their usual positions to see what would happen next. Sheena took lots of photos of them there and then we all went outside for a look round the garden and for Sheena to get a feel for where our dogs spend most of their outside time.
From what she saw from the dogs and their relationship, she suggested that two pictures would be best, with Amber and Lola looking at each other. And rather than having them side by side on the sun room sofa, she thought they would look better in an outside setting.
The resulting paintings are fantastic and we are delighted with them. They really portray the dogs’ looks and expressions and they have been much admired by visitors to the house. It is such a pity that Amber and Lola cannot appreciate them too!
As well as the two paintings, Sheena also had printed for us some note cards with the dogs’ pictures on them, so we can share them with our family and friends. What a great idea!'
Honorary Secretary, KWWSPCA
My Surfing Song - It's a true story
(sung to the air of Johnny Jump Up)
I was handed a gift of a group ing day
"Twill enhance the enjoyment you get from the sea"
As my luck's decided, my class coincided
With Hurricane Ivan hittin' Liscannor Bay
folks came from near and from foreign
Their dream's to catch Aighlean 'tween Mohar and Aran
Mega trucks with pro ers rolled in from Biscay
To Hurricane Ivan in Liscannor Bay
The coach held my board, centred, ready I lay
Now GO FOR IT. PADDLE! Wow! I've caught the wave!
Body glued to the board I surged into the quay
Cruising Hurricane Ivan on Liscannor Bay
I finally drag my board to the quay!
Sore and exhausted, near dead from the sea.
Darn that Hurricane Ivan in Liscannor Bay
One short week later I'm arais in 'sna tonn
Spied a man holding steady a board for his son
Twelve times he held it til the lad got the knack
And ed in, erect, Sure I could do that!
Another year older, land locked in Kildare
With Hurricane Ivan blown out of the way
I'll conquer the ing in Liscannor Bay
Hanging five, maybe ten, gliding tall and upright
When the board bites the sand, off I'll skip, oh so light
Vitalised, on a high, "Who's that?" they will say
Showing off fancy footwork on Liscannor Bay.
I'll park up in Lahinch, hang out on the Prom
A wetsuit and booties I'll get for a song
Share a chips and a pint at sunset each day
And distill golden moments in Liscannor Bay
Sheena Meagher ©
p.s; This last painting went missing during a change over in the shop where it was hanging. I would love to get it back.
I thoroughly enjoyed giving this recent workshop exploring Chinese Inks with a super group of people in a beautiful location. And it all came about spontaneously at the wonderful Ennis Farmers Market when a family swooped in on the table I was walking towards, tea and cake in hand, to sit at. I asked if I could join someone at a another table with free seats and five days later....! Pure Magic!
Commissions welcomed - if you are moving home or have a special place you wish to remember.
Last June I was invited by an American friend to go on a walk in #Kilshanny led by qualified herbalist Emma Wilcox. She drew our attention to he abundant variety of wild herbs and plants in the roadside hedgerows and their potential as food, for healing as well as their beauty. I felt that during the dry conditions last Summer the vibrant dark green hedgerows were in stark contrast to the fields of wilting thirsty crops.
In September I was in the #Tyrone Guthrie Centre for two weeks and a new series of paintings emerged.
I titled the series Sovereign, meaning something of the land, in its own territory.
Sovereign III – Meadowsweet;
Gold leaf and silver on a jade background depicts meadowsweet, a creamy perennial found in meadows, woods and marshes.
Meadowsweet was one of 3 herbs held sacred by the Celts and was used to flavour mead, for pain relief, to stop bleeding and as a disinfectant. It was included in bridal bouquets to attract love, peace and happiness. Since 1838 it was synthesized and sold as aspirin, deriving it’s name from the latin name Spirea Ulmana- and in time the non steroidal anti inflamatories now used.