Friday, May 23, 2008

Making art

Greetings all. This is my blog for showing my artwork.
I have always loved making drawings and paintings, and REALLY wanted to go to art college when I was 18 and finished with the Irish Leaving Cert. However, that didn't happen; instead I went to UCD and didn't do any drawing or painting while I was there, but still had a pretty good time. But I missed the artwork, I missed making it, and eventually did get back to it. Between getting back to it and actually going to study it properly, 9 years passed during which I did a lot of anatomical studies at some great courses in the Netherlands on a part-time basis, and had some small exhibitions there also.
Then I joined a part-time Post-Leaving Cert course in Newcastle West, County Limerick, Ireland, and out of curiosity went to the Open Day in Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD) which is part of Limerick Institute of Technology and currently housed in what was a Magdalen convent, so it's full of ghosts. Anyhow I walked into the place and realised that I wanted to do this, so I applied and went straight into the Painting Department - which meant some serious talking to Bob Baker, the then Head of Painting.It was hard work and a major change of mindset, but I loved it, and I am so glad that I went and did it. I graduated in 2004 and since then have exhibited several times in Ireland, including once in Northern Ireland.My paintings and drawings have travelled, they are now on 3 continents - several are in private collections in Ireland, with one in the Law Society of Ireland's own collection and in Limerick County Council's collection. A few also made their way to the United States, and are in private collections there. And finally, there are some in China, on permanent exhibition in the 411 Galleries in Hangzhou City.
I love stories. My Dad loved to tell stories when we were growing up, and both of my parents fostered a huge interest in literature in all my 4 syblings and myself. I drive my significant other around the twist with speculations about people I don't know at all, and and 2003 he said it's something to do with my very active imagination ... so he suggested that I use this as a resource when making paintings. I thought hey, what a great idea ... and went on from there. But I love going around with my sketchbook and camera, sitting down and watching people interact, and attempting to catch this.
When I go to make an actual painting on canvas, considerations to do with composition, form, emphasis come into play, and I get a little excited by the paint, which is why I much prefer making larger pieces. Sometimes I add bits of text as well, but not too often - this largely depends on what's going through my mind or what I'm reading when I'm at this stage of a work, so it is perhaps a little time-dependant. But the most interesting part for me is how people react to the paintings - they say things like 'Have you met my daughter? You must have, you've painted her' or 'That painting reminds me of something ..' and they'll want to talk about their take on it. Stories generate stories.
This is why I have decided incorporate a story-collecting aspect into my next solo exhibition, which is taking place in the Thinkk Creative Gallery on Cecil Street, Limerick city, from May 30, 2008.

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