This is where my painting is taking me right now.. It may look like an entirely different artist’s work but if you really look at it, it’s not.. I’m letting go of order and expectation. That being entirely from my own expectation and criticism within my own institution..
Abstraction is very hard but it’s also very freeing. It requires trust and inner connection, but to let go of question and fear..
I find myself painting over abandoned paintings lately and it comes with no hesitation when I’m returning to it.. Even the harshest of endings..
My inspirations for this painting derives from my many trips up into the open landscape of Wicklow National Park. Its vast sense of space and atmosphere with the constant moving and ever-changing skies and mists were part of what I wanted to express back in my studio. I have also incorporated actual pine needles and twigs I collected from the natural surroundings of the woods I walked through, before setting out to climb the hill behind, onward to Djouce summit, leaving the woods behind. These pieces are incorporated onto the actual surface of the painting captured like souvenirs, forever preserved. I approach all my paintings in this way.
‘Ledge’ will be on exhibit February 27th to March 12th at Signal Arts Centre, 1 Albert Avenue, Bray, Co. Wicklow, along with all my most recent paintings and photography.
I stood at the brow of the waterfall over powerscourt that day, looking at Djouce Woods and taking it in within its own environment.
That was the ground down there that I picked up most of the pine needles which are incorporated into my recent paintings. With the Sugar Loaf in the distance beyond and my lungs filled with the fresh forest Spring air.. I feel luckiest. I feel free. I will re-live this when I paint it..
The woods is a place I am mostly drawn to. I have a need sometimes to bring some parts of it back to the studio and include as part of my painting. Here is how I begin the painting. Lots of thought goes into the composition before I start. I try out various compositions in my sketchbook and then place the pieces of pine needles where I feel they should be for the image I have in my head. The image is not a solid one but more from my visual memory of different pieces mixed together, for brief example, of the landscape, woods or other parts I have been. I recall what stands out and inspires me most at the time. Sometimes that can be a mix of mood, atmosphere, colours, my personal connection to the surroundings or other smaller details of a place..
Images and video below are all taken on my phone while out on my hikes.
I am working off this quick sketch I did yesterday out in on a hike. I am also mixing in different elements from video and pictures I took on my phone for brief reference. The colours and movement in the landscape are so vibrant these past few days