Our Story

Brigid Shelly

Brigid has been working as a registered artist for over twenty five years and feels privileged to have had her practice and gallery on the sunny side of the street in the beautiful village of Ardmore in Co. Waterford until recently when she semi retired back to her first love – painting at home in her studio. She loves old stories, she loves the land, she loves the sea and she adores cows! This is reflected in all her work.

Brigid  is a graduate of  St. Mary’s University College, Strawberry Hill, Middlesex (Bachelors Degree) and of Trinity College, Dublin (Masters Degree).

Her work is included in many private and public collections in Ireland (including Department of Agriculture, Cork Marts, Teagasc, Dairygold, Glanbia and her biggest herd of paintings to date hangs in The Red Cow Hotel, Dublin, forty six of them!), and now all over the world.

Our Story

Brigid Shelly is delighted to be known as the “Cow Painter” as she has been specialising in painting this wonderful animal for over twenty years.

Why Cows?

“Part of it is their curiosity and quirkiness that makes them a good subject to paint but also the fact that they are and always have been an integral part of the Irish landscape.

In ancient Ireland a man’s wealth was based on how many cows he had. They have always been there, sustaining us and that is part of the reason I am paying homage to this great animal on canvas. I am also  being drawn more and more to the sights that have been there for centuries that we are losing, like farmers driving their few cows along the road.”

I grew up in an Irish family in England but with no family  anywhere near us. Summer holidays spent with farming cousins in Ovens and the Whitechurch area of Co. Cork and with grandparents in Ballycotton gave me a strong sense of belonging and rootedness. My Mum’s home place like many farms was handed down, father to son (Timothy to James) for centuries and the cows were always there so when I started painting cows, they spoke of that familial bond for me and for many others”.

Brigid has sent her cows to nearly every far flung place in the world and to anyone who wants a little bit of Ireland on their walls.

Her designs and images are now printed on a variety of quality items from “cowshions to cowsters”


Our Team

The Brigid Shelly Gallery is now a thriving family business with Brigid, her husband, Don, who does the framing, and their five children bringing their own unique talents to helping to make us successful. She also has a trusty soldier in Mike Supple who frames too and is a major asset to the sales team!