The Humidity of and August Starty Night

A closer look at this painting I finished last August 2020. I made a musical sound scape to accompany my art videos early on during COVID and I am experimenting with more of this kind of creativity. I hope you enjoy.

Imagine Solo Show

Join me Monday at 2pm for my online solo exhibition with Imagine artists group at Hambly and Hambly at Dunbar House. All new works and all available through Ciara on 00 44 7808 010327.
🌺🦋🌺
https://facebook.com/NorthernIrishArts/

Alpha Centauri

My first painting for 2021

I am thrilled to be awarded for the winning painting at Enlighten call at Hambly & Hambly, a great start to the new year.

‘Alpha Centauri’, Acrylics, Oils and COld Wax on Canvas, 50cm x 70cm

I was drawn to the beautiful bright colours of the work of Adrienne Finnerty’s sculptural relief piece titled ‘Show the world you light, your bright, the wild exuberant me’. I loved the organic sense of explosiveness of bright colours. My painting is in response to that and to it’s title too.

‘Show the world you light, your bright, the wild exuberant me’, by Adrienne Finnerty

I was inspired by the abstract expressiveness of the work and so I wanted to be more loose and organic in response and less refined than I normally am. So much so that I found it hard to ‘stop’ and to stop over thinking the work!

I began it before Christmas and I was unsure if I’d find what direction to go, but over the few weeks it came through somehow.

Without explaining too much about the painting, I would rather it spoke for itself and for it to interpret however it may. Being my first painting of the year, I guess the only hope I would have in the viewer’s reaction is that it brings a sense of warmth, brightness and great optimism for 2021. It could even be the beginning of a slightly different direction for work.

Some detail of my painting below

The Great Conjunction

Where Jupiter and Saturn will meet from our perspective looking out into space. Another cosmic event that will somehow find its way into my painting at some point. I went out yesterday evening to try capture their closeness as best I could with my camera. Some of the photos are showing the other view of the skies behind me and I could not miss staying around to capture some of it.

Jupiter and Saturn Closing in.

How beautiful our universe.

Like the speed of light,

it takes time to see,

to adjust,

to learn and to be free.

Time may not be as short as you imagine..

Here are some of the photos I got and I decided to throw in Orion and another view from a previous time.

Standing on this rock, I can see the sea

I was hiking up Scarr mountain one day and on the way I walked through a landscape full of massive big boulders which were spread all around the landscape as if they had fallen like pebbles from the hand of a giant. At the moment when that thought came into my head I suddenly felt very small.

I climbed up onto some to see the view and nearer to the top of the summit they got bigger and bigger along the way. I could see for miles all round and then seeing the sea beyond I realised how close I was to the sea but yet so far away from it too. I felt a strange kind of parallel that relates to the wonders and concept of time. There is so much time and then there is none at all.

These are some of the questions and thoughts that come to my mind when out appreciating nature and taking in all that I can from it. Among many other things, it is moments like this drive me to paint and to reason out thoughts through my own creativity.

Here is a painting that was inspired by my hike that day titled ‘Standing on this rock, I can see the sea’, painted in oils mixed with cold wax.

‘Standing of this rock, I can see the sea’
‘Standing on this rock, I can see the sea’, 50cm x 50cm x 4cm

There are a lot of circular elements in nature and the universe that inform my art like these boulders, such as the tree rings of years on tree stumps, the coriolis force in the nature of the weather systems, the solar system, planets, and the cycle of time itself..

In Constant Flux

I am in constant flux,

nature is in constant flux,

the universe is in constant flux.

Art is in constant flux.

Just like the quote on my painting page, “There is no must in art because art is free”, a quote by Wassily Kandinsky, I try to live and make art by that. It is often hard to be free in making art though, but when it happens it is a wonderful thing.

I probably shouldn’t say this but often when I finish a painting or near finishing one, I often don’t like the finished piece. I leave the studio feeling defeated and my anxieties start up. Then when I go back to it after some time, for some reason I see it like it is brand new and unfamiliar and I begin to love it. I don’t know why this happens..

I get drawn in as my eyes travel across the canvas following the shapes that lead me into the next and the colours that shouldn’t of worked, but somehow do. Everything makes sense all at once. This is very grounding to me as an artist and there is a parallel..

I look at the universe and the great cosmos for grounding in the world sometimes as I carry all my childhood wonders in the background of my mind through to adulthood. Colour is all that is needed..

Colour is in constant flux,

because light and dark are in constant flux.

‘Satellite Walker’, Oil and Cold Wax on Canvas, 30cm x 60cm x 4cm

Just my thoughts for today..

Beyond the Bleak

In response to poem ‘Celtic Warrior’ by Maria Noonan McDermott.

Once again I had a blast responding to this week’s Enlighten piece. This time it was the words in the poem, ‘Celtic Warrior’ by Maria Noonan McDermott and . My inspiration was from her words in specific here below.

‘..a landscape ever changing, filled with promise. Light filaments of gold…over the bleak lines of the horizon..’

I really empathised with those words and it’s what I am thriving to bring to my paintings all the time especially in the past few months. A landscape ever changing, a world that follows, the cinders that burn within, bring light and colour to my every day. Without light, there is no colour.. and that colour lies beyond the bleak, where we rise undefeated above the shadows.. 

‘Beyond the Bleak’ and detail of the work.

I am all about light and colour this past year with everything happening in the world of lock downs and for one, I am missing family especially my son who is living in Berlin. To keep my head above water and to keep positive, it is in my art where I find real solace and the spark that keeps the flame burning within. By creating an environment of bright pure ‘candy colour’, I look forward to being in my studio every day.

‘Beyond the Bleak’, Oil on Canvas, 40cm x 30cm

A Brief Fix

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a night sky of stars and today I planned to head out and try capture them seen as it was a beautifully clear day today, despite the rising winds. As I made a dash for it earlier tonight when they came out, a mist started and I saw the clouds were coming over the sky. I got up to Sugar Loaf very fast because it is only 5mins up the road from me by car. When I got out of the car the door almost blew off the hinges. I was determined to capture something though, even if it meant the shortest stargaze and photo captures ever.

I had to hold down my tripod as the wind almost took both it and myself up and away. It felt like I was in a scene from The Wizard of Oz where Dorthy’s house took off into the tornado’s funnel.

Anyhow, here are some captures to keep me going and the plough, and big peachy Mars can be seen and I think Orion showed up too. Until next time, I hope you enjoy them!

Urban Trail 2005-2007

Finally I get to update my site with an old series of work I did back between 2005 to 2007.

Bricks and Mortar, Oil on Canvas, 47cm x 35cm

A series titled ‘Urban Trail’ 2007 that I never got to photograph properly at the time. I have so many more but the old computer I had at the time broke down basically and I lost all the original photo files. I salvaged some of them here from an old article back in 2009 that I scanned in. I wish I kept some of the original paintings now. Its interesting how parts of older styles can sneak its way into current work. In all my series of work how ever different they may seem/or not, there is a strong connection between them all.

Reflect on O’Connell Street, Oil and mixed media on Board, 47cm c 35cm

More here on my painting section about this series Urban Trail

Blue Moon 20

From a few nights ago, our first blue moon since 1974, (the year I was born). I felt compelled to paint a painting and wonder about how things were for my birth mother back then when I was a tiny newborn.

Blue Moon 20, Oil on Canvas, 40cm x 40cm x 4cm

I found this unfinished piece of writing a few months ago that I wrote back in 2008. It was something that just came to me when I was in the studio working on a personal series of work at the time titled Chromosome 9. I added to it recently and My Ghost might put a bit of the words into perspective.. its still a work in progress though..

In Progress

Lake

Enlighten, a collaboration of artists in response to the poem, ‘What Peace Feels Like’ by Fidel Hogan Walsh

What Peace Feels Like by Fidel Hogan Walsh

My response to the poem was with a delicateness and empathy to the words written. The tranquil setting of soft mist rising from the lake and taking time out to just breathe and absorb the moment resonated with me. My sense and vision is that of overwhelment in the surroundings of nature as time stands still for just a moment letting go of troubles and fears, something I experience often when out walking in the mountains and forests.

Lake, Oil on Canvas, 60cm x 60cm

We are living in dark times right now but the words in the poem and empathy I feel for them, brings a lot of light into my heart. I hope to bring a sensation of light, peace and optimism with this painting, through the play of colour, light and dark tones in a balanced composition.

I hope you enjoy it.

My Comet

My NEOWISE, my diary, all of me..

Here is an experience ‘in your environment’ of my latest painting, ‘Diary of NEOWISE’

(I hope)

Diary of NEOWISE

‘Diary of NEOWISE’, Oil on Canvas, 120cm x 100cm 4cm

This is a new painting I just finished yesterday. I may have mentioned in a past post somewhere here on my blog or on my social media that I like to title work around cosmic events at a given time. I think that is where my previous painting ‘The solar Wind of Comet SAWN’ came from. Although they are not specifically about the events per se, sometimes I they can inform a work every now and again.

Detail Close

From the studio

From the studio

I began this new painting back in July 2020 and I titled it ‘Diary of NEOWISE’ for the obvious reason was that comet NEOWISE began soaring our atmosphere around then and I felt inspired to start a new painting around it. The comet was one of the brightest in the Northern Hemisphere since Comet Hale-Bopp 1997 and it had two tails. The first a blue-turquoise and a second, a red separation which developed in July. So my colours stem from that and as the painting built up, I began to play with more and more colour.

From the studio

From the studio

Here are 2 short videos I made of the work in the early stages of making.

Studio time lapse session

My Ghost

My ghost.. a photographic expression from a few years ago of my exploration into my existence and therefore my son’s. This is a very personal thing to me.. finding my own mother when I was 19 and pregnant with my son.. finding my own mother was just a need at the time..
I found her and to my shock, she was severely visually impaired and in a wheelchair..
For the short moments we spoke on the phone, I tried to get to know her but she seemed to cry silently most of the time.. that was hard to experience on many levels..
but I could hear somehow.. I was 19..
I smiled on the phone in some strange unfamiliar empathy..
I knew her sadness though..somehow I just did..
what is a mother?
A protector..

Debris

My recent painting, titled ‘Debris’

Oil on Canvas, 30cm x 40cm x 4cm

Debris

Detail close ups of painting

Westival 2020

I am really happy my painting, ‘Communication’ has been selected for Westival 2020 launching October 21st and will run for 3 weeks. Due to current times, the show has been moved to the virtual world and can be seen on the link above or on their website https://westival.ie/

This years exhibition was an open call to artists in response to this quote by T.S. Eliot:

“We shall not cease from exploration

 And the end of all our exploring

   Will be to arrive where we started

      And know the place for the first time.”

T. S. Eliot  Four Quartets- 1955.

Communication, Detail Close up pt 1

Here are 2 short videos on the detail and close ups of my painting. There is nothing quite the same as seeing and studying a work of art in the flesh. To be able to experiencing it in a shared physical environment seems to be a rare thing this year 2020. My hope in making these video close ups on my paintings, is that they bring the viewer that small bit closer to them, even into their own homes or wherever they may be when watching them.

Communication, Detail Close up pt 2

Working Title – Neowise

Pieces of ‘Neowise’ coming together. Early stages ✨🙂

Here are some pieces of my current painting in progress. I was inspired to make a large scale painting back in the summer this year around comet NEOWISE which was soaring our skies at the time. I left it to breathe for the past few months as I psyched myself up to continue. I do this sometimes when I want to capture an idea and expression to work on later..

These past few weeks I have been looking up a lot more at night skies and capturing the stars and milky way with my camera. I even got to see the rings of Saturn and those stripy stormy belts of Jupiter AND it’s moons, And Andromeda galaxy.. That wasn’t with my camera, but with a small astronomy/star gazer group, Galactic Ireland that I ventured out with recently up in the Sugar Loaf here in Wicklow.

So today was one of those days where everything seemed to align and I am fearless and feeling energetic with this painting.. excited!

Making ‘The Solar Wind of Comet SWAN

I finally got my time lapse video finished of how my recent painting, ‘The Solar Wind of Comet SWAN’ came about. It began with the abstract expressive drawings and washes and the as I went on I began to refine the work. It is a diptych of 2 panels on deep edge extra fine canvas, sized 50cm x 100cm x 4 cm each. This work is currently available through Hambly & Hambly Gallery at Dunbar House, Enniskillen, in their exhibition, ‘Imagine Together – Artists Unlocked’.

I hope you enjoy watching the making of this painting as much as I loved painting it!

The Solar Wind of Comet SWAN 2020

Fire in the Sky

I took my camera out again the other night with eager eyes full of hunger, indulging upon our night skies. I was so overwhelmed yet again by the magical light show of wonder as I explored it with such incomprehension. It is because of these moments, which I have experienced throughout my life from as early as my childhood, that I view the world and life’s way from a zoomed out kind of perspective.

My paintings are influenced by this and it has come as a surprise more than anything, as it was not intentional that I am in a certain way re-creating maps of my own footprint on this planet, both physically on my walks and in experiences life has thrown at me.

Like trees that defy gravity reaching up to the stars, they are not too dissimilar to us and whats out there. Enjoy the skies and look up more! They are the same skies all round our planet connecting us all in some small way. I never feel alone on a clear night sky.