Shirley Kirkcaldy

 Fine Artist

Artist Profile

Shirley Kirkcaldy was born in London but grew up in the southwest, surrounded by the moorlands and beaches of Devon and Cornwall.  Her early career was spent as a nurse but, always creative, she nurtured a hunger to follow an artistic path.  Having travelled the world for twenty-five years she began painting in earnest in 2008, since when she has developed meaningful projects that have opened-up a painting practice with integrity that is both experimental but grounded and coherent.

Shirley’s work is based on the exploration of her natural surroundings and she is willing to pursue whichever paint media will best convey her ideas, predominantly Oil and Acrylic; images that exist in actuality and memory are transposed onto canvas as expressions of her personal connection to a place and time.  It has been said of her paintings that ‘they are landscapes within landscapes, the closer one looks the more detail there is, the more one sees’.

Shirley was a finalist in the Fine Art Trade Guild Emerging Artist of the Year in 2014 and completed a year-long course at the Newlyn School of Art in 2016, which further defined and developed her practice.  Now living on Dartmoor and currently studying for a BA Hons in Painting, Drawing and Printmaking at Plymouth College of Art, Shirley works from her studio in Plymouth and exhibits regularly throughout the southwest and London.

Shirley Kirkcaldy CV


shirleyk.arts@gmail.com / info@shirleykirkcaldyart.com

Tel: 07393 317751

Education / Development

2018 – BA Hons Painting, Drawing & Printmaking [current]

2018 – Printmaking [Monoprinting, Drypoint, Collagraph]]

2016 – Defining Practice [1 year], Newlyn School of Art

2015 – Plymouth College of Art [Life Drawing]

2015 – Oils and techniques [Newlyn School of Art]

2014 – Pastel techniques

2014 – Colour and Abstraction

2013 – Printmaking [Etching, Collagraph, Drypoint, Monotype]

2013 – PTLLS Adult Teaching Diploma

2011 – St Ives School of Painting [Creative Materials]

2008/11 – Various workshops and courses



2016 – ‘Defining View’, Dulwich, London

2014 – Flavel Centre, Dartmouth

2013 – Devon Open Studios, 360 Gallery, Plymouth

2012 – Colour and Light, Art at the Works, Tavistock

2011 – Bistro One, Plymouth

2010 – Devon Open Studios, 360 Gallery, Plymouth


2018 – ‘Carn, Cove & Common Ground’, Dulwich, London

2018 – Wildwood Gallery, Landscape Exhibition, Dartmoor

2018 – ‘Carn, Cove & Common Ground’, Salthouse Gallery, St Ives

2018 – RNLI Exhibition, Salcombe, Devon

2018 – Delamore Arts Annual Exhibition, Dartmoor – Selected Exhibitor

2018 – Wildwood Gallery, Spring Exhibition, Dartmoor

2017 – SWAc [The South West Academy]- Selected Exhibitor

2017 – ‘Sea Moor’, Harbour House Gallery, Kingsbridge

2017 – Defining Boundaries’ -Harbour House Gallery, Kingsbridge

2015 – Salcombe Contemporary Art Fair – Selected Exhibitor

2014 – Devon Open Studios, 360 Gallery, Plymouth

2013 – Mariners Gallery, St Ives

2012 – Phoenix Centre, Exeter

2009 – Eddystone, South Hams


Wildwood Gallery,

Texts and Articles

2018 – Featured artist ‘Devon Life’ magazine [May]

2017 – Featured artist ‘Dartmoor’ magazine [Winter]

Nominations / Awards

2014 – Finalist “Up and Coming Artist”, Fine Art Trade Guild.


Drawn to the Valley

Devon Artists Network

SAA Professional Member

West Country Artists

Pastel Society

Tavistock Art Society

Salcombe Art Society

What Inspires Me?

Artists are storytellers and places tell stories.  For me there is something very humbling about being alone in the landscape – observing its ever-changing canvas and shifting light, seeing how it nurtures its wildlife and stands steadfast in all weathers.  Surrounded by the expansiveness of Dartmoor and enigmatic coastlines of the southwest, the exploration of the natural environment is an endless source of inspiration in my work.

Memories are woven into a landscape and this has a profound emotional ability to connect us to our past; my personal challenge is how to evoke the visceral, organic elements of nature and embody them within the confines of a canvas.  Sketching and visual note-taking on location allows me to respond to the feeling of isolation and solitude of a place – to describe its contours, intangible spaces and fractured light. Then, using layers of paint and glazes in oil or acrylic and abstracting or subtracting information, the final images will often move further away from documentary and more towards anonymity and ambiguity.  Thus, I am inviting the viewer to form their own interpretation and convey a personal significance of a place and time that has meaning for them.

Shirley Kirkcaldy


2016 [Feb-Dec]

Defining Practice, Newlyn School of Art, Cornwall


Creative Painting, Plymouth College of Art


Life Drawing, Plymouth College of Art


Landscape as Power and Emotion, James Tatum


New Pastel School


Oil with Pallet Knife, Neil Pinkett, Newlyn School of Art


Colour and Abstraction, Gareth Edwards, Newlyn School of Art


Printmaking [
etching, collagraph, monotype], Mary Gillett, Devon


Creative Materials, St Ives School of Painting


Various workshops and courses


Scheduled Oct 2016

“Defined View”, Dulwich, London SE22 9EU

June 2014

Flavel Centre, Dartmouth

September 2013

Devon Open Studios, 360 gallery, Plymouth

November 2012

Colour and Light, Art at the Works, Tavistock, Devon

April – May 2011

Bistro One, Plymouth

September 2010

Devon Open Studios, 360 gallery, Plymouth


August 2015

Salcombe Contemporary Art Fair [Selected Exhibitor]

September 2014

Devon Open Studios, 360 Gallery, Plymouth

May 2013

Mariners Gallery, St Ives

September 2012

Phoenix Centre, Exeter

November 2009

Eddystone, South Hams


Oil, Acrylic, Pastel [soft and oil], Charcoal, Graphite, Ink]

Nominations / Awards

Finalist for “Up and Coming Artist of the Year” 2015 – Fine Art Trade Guild


West Country Artists

Pastel Society

Drawn to the Valley

Devon Artists Network

SAA Professional Member

Work Currently Exhibited At:

Mayflower Arts Gallery, Barbican, Plymouth

Hope Cove Gallery, South hams

Drawn to the Valley

360 Gallery, Plymouth [Resident Artist]

error: © Shirley Kirkcaldy