I am working on this new painting at the moment and here is a small part of the detail in close up. In its early stages it had been leaning toward a title that came to mind – The Rings Of Saturn.. and more from a sound and movement perspective. For a part of the process I listened to sounds recorded of the planet posted on YouTube..it seemed to intensify the experience and I’m hoping some of that comes through in this painting on completion.
My first art swop with fellow artist Michael Gemmell.. and Limerick School of Art and Design graduate.. I am truly honored to swop with such a talented artist who was tutored by John Shinnors and both of whom I’ve admired since discovering their work during my early years as an artist. I am completely inspired with this abstraction titled ‘The Burren in Autumn’ Oil on Canvas, 40x50cm
Swooped with my ‘Unfolding Autumn’ Oil and mixed media on canvas, 30x30cm
Now I am going to paint something new just to mark the moment.. More artists should be doing this.. it’s a phenomenal experience!..
My current new series is all about pushing abstraction more than I have ever done before. Responding to my surrounding landscape and being so passionate about nature, forests and the open landscape. The colours are influenced by the bright vibrant summer light that is being experienced here in Ireland lately.
This is only a short rough video idea on the current direction I am taking and I am very excited about it indeed!
A closer look at painting, ‘Growth’ 100cm x 100cm, Oil, Mixed Media on Canvas
I use beeswax in a lot of my paintings and here I mixed it into a thick opacity with the oils. Also on the surface of this painting I incorporated the found little pieces of the forest floor including pine needles, twigs and some sand. The colours and thickness of foliage from a Summer turning into Autumn is probably my favorite time of year. These great long evenings allow me to spend more time getting lost, finding new trails and exploring new possibilities of how I can bring these experiences back to the studio.
This is a mask I was given as a gift almost 9 years ago. My good friend Ger who gave it to me said she would love to see what I could do with it and paint something of my own on it. I really loved it as it was, just a blank white smooth surface. It took about 9 years for me to finally get the urge to paint something on it and turn it into something with narrative. I wanted to paint a kind of self portrait for a while and so I thought this would best represent what I wanted to do.
When I finished it, I decided to wear it and see how it would photograph. It felt like a ‘becoming of’. Like the land we came from and back to the land we go.
For the title of the piece itself ‘Privilege Of Existence’ I had in mind my belief of how fickle and fragile our own existence is. The chance of ‘becoming’ is like a lotto in ways. Since childhood I always think of my own very existence and how being adopted makes me feel about that. Time itself is a place we survive for only an atom-size fraction, until the next cycle of generations rotate. It raises questions to me about how significant we really are, in nature and among the smallest of stars to the largest ones that we know of yet.
I painted this piece in oils and I used pieces of pine needles I found on the Djouce woods bed where I incorporated onto the mask surface before applying multiple layers of oils. I approach most of my painting in this way. I like to keep pieces I find along the way when I am out hiking and reviving then back into a kind of living state, in art and forever preserved.