A contour, a curve - the lie of the land
The effect of the touch of beautifully sharpened pencils on heavy, good quality paper is what Shelagh has developed in these works. It is a slow, contemplative process where she doesn't attempt to make any kind of shapes at the beginning, but just delight in the making of the marks, layering them - sometimes with a smear of oil bar - or dampening some parts of the paper by dripping droplets of water from a brush, into which She may then dip a coloured pencil creating a tiny puddle of colour. She is thinking of what goes on inside plant stems, leaves, tree trunks and so on, and also their interaction with the air, rain and dew.
Shelagh thinks of the building up of marks as being like the layering found in landscapes, of leaves, trees and flowers. The repeated marks she makes mimic those those found within plant cells, tree bark, stamens, pollen granules, seed pods, grasses, leaves, insect wings and feathers. Metaphorically, the rhythmic repeition is like that found in poetry, The Shipping News and litanies so Shelagh is aiming for the same effect as these things.