"The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most" - John Ruskin
Contemporary landscape painter abstracting form and colour from the trees, farms and bogs of Ireland. Living in Mullingar, Co.Westmeath and painting all that I love of my land-locked life.
I promised myself I would come back to painting when I was older. I hadn't imagined it to mean this much older but I have no regrets. The great joy of being older is to live unfettered by fear.
A recurring subject of my painting is trees. My appreciation and curiosity for trees started with my father when I watched him plant oak trees on the avenue. He explained to me that they grow so slowly that they would still be growing after he (and indeed I) was gone. "A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they will never sit". And then there were the days I spent climbing them and
The trees are still there, growing. Each one unique and so each one perfectly beautiful by virtue of their incomparability. No one's life experiences are the same as another. Each one of us has different roots, different times of light and shade, obstacles to grow around, storms to survive, prevailing winds that shape us. I often see and depict trees in landscape as human, adopting an almost anthropomorphic approach I have shown trees guarding, watching, clamouring, protecting, distancing, dancing, isolated, fallen.
If you are curious to find out more about any of my work please do get in touch via the contact form and details below.
Paintings are available for sale unless marked as Sold in the 'description details' (on clicking to enlarge).
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Summer Specials 2023
Three special paintings that don't belong in a category.
"Love Grows" was a special commission for a couple that have saved me twice. A big square of light and happiness.
"Romeo's on Fire" was painted for the ArtNetDLR open call for their "Transience" exhibiton - transient forests, news and young love.
"Paradise Regained" is a supersize commission of pure magic. It was lovely to get back to a 'maker' painting - working with wood.
Romeo's on Fire
Flaneuring in France
I spent much of the summer of 2022 in France - Nice and Paris in particular. My intention was to paint this series on my return but as with so many great intentions, Life had other plans for me. So after a painting Hiatus of 6 months from September 2022 - February 2023 its nice to be back with these paintings of sunnier days.
Flaneuring in France
Flaneuring - Bois de Boulogne
The Tree Family Portraits
This started with a Haiku assignment, struck by the lace like bare branches of a solitary tree standing dark against the sky on a grey day. The lace, the posing grandeur of the tree, I got thinking about classic portraits of great ladies and so it began; The Tree Family Portrait album of the special occasions, the fun, the values and with the original lace motif running through each either in the form of actual lace or stencilled lace.
Fabric, wood and acrylic paints combined with all the coarse, gloss and iridescent medium that my heart and hand will allow. This is me throwing the kitchen sink at my love for these landscapes and the life they have provided me. No holding back, fearful of rejection, of seeming foolish or being judged. We might as well put our whole hearts out there and see what happens because some day it will be too late.
"crumpled bits of paper, filled with imperfect thought, stilted conversations, I'm afraid that's all we've got", the words of the Mike Rutherford 80's classic that inspired the name for the series.
Price Range - €800-€1100 (framed)
Gallery - a single thread of Memories
Where there was once a single board, a single piece of thread and two letters of favourite memories (one to each of my parents), there are now eight Memory Paintings bound by that single thread in a continuous line through each. Like the memories themselves, the thread has been cut and they are now disjointed, jumbled and hazy because time does that. I've been reading a lot about how memory works, how its not held in one part of us but fragmented across all of our senses. Is it any wonder we can lose track of them when there are so many ways in and out. These are small, mixed media paintings on old board. Part of me wants to keep them all together but to properly reflect how memories are fragmented, I know I need them to go to different homes.
GALLERY - Lost in The Wood
Abstract woodland acrylics/mixed media on canvas and boards.
"In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost"
- Dante, The Divine Comedy.
It was this line that prompted the first of the Lost paintings below. Portraying trees and forests as protective, playful and valued places this series of "Lost in the Wood" paintings emerged. Feeling lost can be scary but being lost can also be the start a great adventure.
Price Range - €400-€950
Gallery - Midlanding
Acrylics on Canvas - midlands and midlife memories. These are the paintings of the forest, bogs, canals, lakes and gardens of my midlands life and some excursion memories. For the most part these are 'the straight line' paintings. I've wondered if my preoccupation with straight lines is a resonance of the straight lines of canals and rows of turf I grew up around or is that just a strange coincidence.
Price Guide - only three remaining (first three on grid)
€600-€800 based on size
Gallery - Fusion
Straight lines and big colours but sometimes I like to embrace my inner 'flaneuse' and wander down some older paths that take me somewhere entirely new. These paintings are from times when I've broken free of the self-imposed tyranny of straight lines and indulged natural strokes and swathes of colour.
Price Guide - two new works added, La Vie on Rose €500 each
Gallery - Fragments
Small Series of Acrylics on Paper and framed.Each painting is an interior-scape, a fragment of where I live in our fragments of space; 2metres, houses, 5km, 20km, county, outlines, guidelines, frontlines...
Price Guide - ALL SOLD
My Bootleg Blog
These are the 'thoughts, musings and ruminations' prepared for my annual pilgrimage to the village of Cong, Co.Mayo for the #Congregation unconference held there each November. Each year we are given a one word theme on which we are asked to write a blog post and provide three takeaway thoughts. These are mine. There are more to follow....
First written and published for Congregation.ie a few years ago, this is interesting to read back and re-examine in the context of the current NFT Digital Art goldrush. It seems at least possible now that we have, to some extent at least, resolved the question of preserving and curating digital...
I wrote and presented the original long-form of this post for the European Network of Living Labs (ENOLL) in late summer 2013. The full transcript and indeed I think the full recording of the talk can be found here... https://4thenollsummerschool.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/keynote-speech-from-joan...
Community– The Essence of the matter! Community exists in places but is not aplace. It manifests itself in actions but is not an action. It can come from a tribe of ‘same’ but more often is strengthened by difference. Community is channelled through friends as well as sometimes enemies....