Artists I admire. Part 1.

There is one artist who always makes me think about her work long after I have visited her exhibitions. That artist is Shani Rhys James. She was born in Australia but emigrated to Wales as a child. I have visited several of her exhibitions and have also been fortunate to visit a private collector’s home and viewed her paintings up close. Her paintings are often autobiographical and always incredibly powerful.


HEAD NO. 1 (2003) 

Image courtesy of

When I look into those eyes I can not help but feel that they are boring into my very soul. They are not comfortable viewing yet I feel strangely drawn to them.


Green Chrysanthemum. Image © Shani Rhys James/courtesy of Martin Tinney Gallery

Image from

Shani also paints flowers. But these are not fluffy, chocolate box flowers. You really have to get up close to them to appreciate the thick impasto painting where you can see the actual finger marks or pallet knife strokes dug deep into the paint.

If you would like to see her work in real life then visit The Martin Tinney Gallery, Cardiff from 2nd March 2017 – 1st April 2017 where her new exhibition I Paint Therefore I Am will be held. Further information is available from

Her website can be found at

Many thanks to Shani herself for permission to include her amazing work on my blog.

Previous still lifes.


 390mm x 545mm – Still Life by Candlelight – acrylic on paper.

I thought it would be a good idea to post some of my old work so you can compare it with my new stuff.  These were done on the various courses I did while studying for the Certificate of Higher Education.


240mm x 290mm – Still Life with Wine and Fruit – acrylic on paper


295mm x 517mm – Still Life with Red Tablecloth – pastel on paper.

The beginning.

In 2008, with my children growing up, I decided the time was right to get back to my art. I felt a little rusty after all those years of not creating and so I looked around for any courses in my local area. One day I happened upon an open day for Tywyn Art Group and walked through the door and introduced myself. The rest, as they say, is history. I became a member of the group and it was through them that I found out about Lifelong Learning at Aberystwyth University.

I began a watercolour course with them and I was hooked. I loved the learning environment and, through my tutor, I was encouraged to apply to study for a Certificate of Higher Education in Art & Design (equivalent to the 1st year of a degree). In the six years I spent working towards the certificate I learned an incredible amount and gained some much-needed self-confidence. Gaining the certificate meant I qualified for entry to Aberystwyth University and thanks to the Welsh Government and Student Finance I was able to afford to continue on to gain my degree. So that’s how we get to today. I am now a fully enrolled student studying for a BA in Fine Art with Art History. I am proof that it’s never too late to follow your dreams!Continue reading “The beginning.”