I have a great appreciation for nature and often when I am out walking in the open landscape a deep sense of my surroundings overcome me. I make sketches out in the open mostly using charcoal and pencil and take these back to my studio. I reference my drawings to either start a new painting or to inform a work in progress.
I am drawn to the mixed terrine of rock, granite, bog lands and vegetation in the Wicklow Mountains near where I live. Drawing directly on the canvas in charcoal and pencil introduce a composition as I work up the surface with several layers of paint. The marks and shapes in charcoal inform the composition while building up layer upon layer of paint. I work and rework the paint sometimes revealing parts of the under drawing lost in the process and I keep what stands out to me.
Derval graduated from Limerick School of Art and Design 1996 and she has been painting ever since. She was based in several different locations between Co. Clare and Limerick city and she is now permanently based in Glen of the Downs, Co. Wicklow.
Her first solo exhibition was in Limerick 2007, entitled ‘Urban Trail’. It showed a collection of work based on her city surroundings while living there at the time. The same year she decided to move back to her home in Co. Clare to get back to the rural landscape she loved and missed while living in the city. She took up an art residency in Cill Rialaig artist retreat in Co. Kerry where the experience of the isolated surroundings deepened a passion for nature and abstract landscape painting.
Derval has exhibited in many solo and group shows throughout the years, some of which include Signal Arts Centre Wicklow, Ranalagh Arts Dublin, The Schoolhouse For Art in Enniskerry, Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin, Gallery 75 in Limerick, Tipperary Institute in Co. Tipperary and Frame Gallery in Limerick. She is currently painting full time at her Wicklow studio.