Sheila MacMillan PAI
As well as being an Artist Member, Sheila was an elected Diplomate (PAI) with the Paisley Art Institute and exhibited at the Annual Exhibitions. One of her
works 'White Quarry' was used as the cover feature on the catalogue for the 129th Annual Exhibition and for all the 129th promotional material. Her link
with the PAI appears to be missing in Catherine's tribute.
Coming from a family of painters it was natural that Sheila Macmillan should show an interest in art from an early age. It was not, however, the profession she chose when she embarked on her working career. Instead of art she took a degree in Geography at Glasgow University and went on to train as a teacher. Later, having continued to paint and finding it fulfilling, she decided, with the encouragement of an uncle, to train and become a full time painter.
The uncle was the distinguished Iain MacNab R.E. R.O.I. [1890 - 1970] who had been Principal at Heatherley's Art School [1925 - 1940] so it was no surprise that she should go to London and study painting under his expert guidance. Her subject matter is mainly landscape. This fully complements her training as a geographer, allowing her to use her understanding of land formation, the delicate balance of the seasons and the interaction between Man and the environment.
Her work is most often in a semi abstract form where suggestion leaves viewers scope to use their imagination. Here one can take pleasure from the subtle arrangement of shapes and relish the rich, dark and moody colours of the Scottish landscape applied in thick, almost sculpted paint. Landscape is not Sheila's only subject, as she regularly exhibits equally colourful Still Lifes, with her own very individual compositional style
She also enjoys painting in France, Italy and Spain where the clear light and warm tones contrast sharply with those of her native country.
Born and living in Glasgow, she has been a staunch supporter of the Glasgow Women Artists and Scottish Women Artists organisations. For more than twenty years she has been a regular exhibiter at the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Glasgow Institute, and has also had work shown at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in London.
At the Royal Academy in 1999 her work was singled out for praise by the President in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. The recipient of various awards these include the Eastwood Publications Award at the R.G.I.
Catherine Grilli, The Grilli Gallery, Edinburgh
27th July 2018