In my 'hood by Sheena Vallely

In My ‘hood

oil on wood

60 x 56cm.

For many, the Covid lockdown was also a time for reflection and re-adjustment and this self-portrait was the foremost of several I painted. Here I am wrapped up against the cold that usually permeates my studio. The blackthorn is a common sight in Ireland, England, Wales and other European countries of similar climates and is an all-time favourite of mine with its fizz of blossom and glory that can match any cherry. This is my den, my cloak, this is my protection. The foreground forms, allude to early Flemish and German portraiture to which I am frequently drawn. The wooden back of a found mirror made the perfect support for this painting, imparting an appeal of religious icon, although I’m no saint.

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