Senja’s relationship with oil painting began in the back of a draughty, old garage in the mid 1980’s, with a cassette tape of favourite songs for company. Finding that this medium really suited her subject matter, Senja went on to attend numerous evening classes, full time courses and weekend workshops. Learning as much as she could about drawing, painting and developing her style, she worked as an artist at some of her favourite venues such as Edinburgh College of Art and Leith School of Art.
Her move to specialising in seascapes arose from a love of the water. After learning how to sail and competing up to premier level in slalom kayaking for 15 years, she eventually discovered that it was not the competitive rivalry which spurred her on, but simply the process, sensation and techniques of working with the water. This is when Senja discovered surfing and moved her focus to more soulful interactions with the ocean – although she was part of the 1998 Scottish Surf Team! Memories from this meditative yet challenging passion now provide many of her paintings with a unique perspective – peering into the hearts of waves or over the wave’s shoulder, to the swirling heart of the sea.
Alongside her painting, Senja has worked for 30 years in education, sharing her passion for art and creativity with young children and adults alike, shifting the academic focus from end results to the joy of the process, and encouraging her students to develop their own unique ideas.
Although Senja was born near the sea in Pembrokeshire, and grew up in The Lake District, she has spent the last 35 years living and working in Scotland: her spiritual and emotional home, and now resides and paints full time on the Isle of Arran. She has worked with numerous art groups, run workshops and classes and painted publicly in artist residencies across Scotland. Senja supports the local ‘Art in Mind’ group on a weekly basis, encouraging creativity in vulnerable members of the community.
A premier slalom kayaker, British Ladies Team white-water rafter, surfer, motorbike-rider, and survivor of her fair share of feats, Senja continues to empower and inspire.