Supporting The Caroline Foundation & Art Therapy Project NYC
Two wonderful charities that I have supported for the last 4-5 years approached me at around the same time this year for their respective events in October & November 2022 and I wanted to do something pretty special for them.
Drawing from a Banksy style mural I did last year, I wanted to paint something positive, uplifting, inspiring, but that also had “an edge” and references to resilience and inner strength. Creating 'Dublin Bay Wonder' was a new challenge, a new creative challenge. I have found the last two years have pushed me into a space where I'm keen to 'push the boundaries' or 'test myself' in terms of styles and techniques. I was keen to bring the the figure of the girl I created for the mural last year onto canvas and let her 'come to life' there. Incorporating two iconic Dublin Bay landmarks, speaking to community, the girl reaches to the softly colored sky to the flutter of butterflies. The butterflies symbolize transformation change, beauty, adventure, as well as fragility and that sense of making the most of every moment as life is short. This painting is dedicated to making the most of the life and time we have.
I created three originals of 'Dublin Bay Wonder' with mixed-media and 24K gold leaf on board &/or canvas:
- the smallest one using the 12.5 x 12.5cm board provide by Art Therapy Project, New York;
- a mid sized one, measuring WxH 65 x 63cm framed for The Caroline Foundation, Dublin;
- a larger one on a deep edge canvas, measuring WxH 72 x 69cm, used for creating a Limited Edition Print series.
The paintings are beautifully framed by my regular framer @SkerriesFrameworks who chipped in by offering complimentary framing on the New York piece …!! Thanks Ger … :-)
See more about the Caroline Foundation Lunch:
Find out how you can support the Caroline Foundation: https://thecarolinefoundation.com
For more about The Art Therapy Project, please see: https://thearttherapyproject.org
Re-imagining my squares ….
I jumped at the opportunity to create this new-take / re-imagined approach to painting squares. Having being approached to do a commission for a light filled room close to the sea and a dramatic coastline close to Dublin, I was immediately draw to the potential of the colours, energy and freshness of my classic ‘Revive’ series for the space.
I was keen to capture the vibrancy and form of my classic squares but create them in a new way, make them bigger and see how they would work on canvas. I was also keen to ensure the three dimension aspect of my small squares was retained and enhanced further.
I enjoyed the process of making the 16 mini-canvases and creating the mini-paintings on each square, in what turned out to be a completely different process in using mixed media on canvas rather than watercolour on paper with the classic small squares. All part of the creative process, it was energising ...!!
Really delighted with how this peice has turned out both in terms of the vibrancy and balance of colours and the stricking three dimensional aspect of the mini-canvases floating on the back canvas and with in a gorgeous white wood tray frame.
A new & exciting Journey - Persia meets Donegal …!!
This probably has been coming for a while but the experiences of the last 18 months have brought me into a creative world of ‘adventure’ via vintage Persian carpet designs and childhood memories of ‘magic carpets’. To my surprise this journey has taken me to Co. Donegal in the late 1800’s, with it’s rich history of carpet making, and their early weaving techniques and motifs, remarkably similar to those used by carpet makers in Turkey and the Persian peninsula.
My new collection presents a series of aged metallic gold and silver mixed media painted canvases adorned with rich and subtle colours and patterns adapted from vintage Persian and Donegal carpet designs.
For me, I have found creating these paintings tapped into and evoked that ‘inner sense of adventure’. There is nothing quite like that feeling, standing in front of a painting, and taking that moment to ‘hop on’ a magic carpet … and ‘see where it takes you’ …!!
I would like thank Meath County Council and Creative Ireland for their support, through the Professional Artist Development Fund, in helping me explore this new creative concept.
I always wanted to do a Banksy style mural …!!!
I always wanted to do a ‘Banksy style’ piece on one of the walls at home (or somewhere else !!) and an opportunity arose recently and I decided to go for it …!! Our next door neighbour, was due her third child in late October / early November 2021, to join her two older sisters (3 & 5 yrs old).
With permission from the neighbours, a couple of weeks ago I spray painted a piece with two girls and two balloons. The girl on the left is ‘adapted’ from the classic Banksy and I created the other one, inspired by an old picture of one of our own boys excitedly chasing and reaching for bubbles when he was a tot …!!!
With the arrival of our neighbours baby girl, last week, on the day, I added the third balloon, to finish off the piece nicely.
It was my first time doing something like this and I have to say I really enjoyed it.
I call it … ‘❤️❤️❤️ - Welcome Ellie’
Dressing a Glasshouse in the Wineport Lodge
Well I’m really, really thrilled with how the glasshouse at the Wineport Lodge has turned out. A big thank you to the Wineport for the opportunity to collaborate with them and create this splash of colour at their wonderful venue. We wanted to create a wee bit of magic and something that would be ultra positive and uplifting with one of their new glasshouses, installed to create socially distant & protected spaces for customers.
Right from the beginning I was drawn to creating a memorable and immersive experience, with light and colour, that would help fill people with feelings of calmness, wonder, warmth and a ‘wee bit of magic’, while sitting at a bistro table taking in the stunning scenery by the waters edge.
Given the year that is in it, I’m delighted to have created an ‘outdoor immersive art piece’, and as an artist, this represents a new dimension, about which I’m excited.
Big shout out to David Daly for his help with installing the new piece in the Wineport.
I look forward to hearing what you think and hopefully you get a chance to visit soon ..!!
Lights & Mirrors - Bringing my squares into a new dimension!
After a year of exploring, developing and refining this new concept I am thrilled to release my new ‘Infinity Series’. I’m buzzing with the way you can, through the use of LED lights and mirrors, see up to 8 repeats of the squares going back into the frame ..!! They are 50 x 50cm framed, with a 6cm deep, although it looks like you can see nearly 1 metre into the frame ...!! It has to be seen to be believed ..!! I believe they are pretty unique in the Irish market and lend themselves really well to a range of spaces but also some shaded areas too ..!! :-)
This has been a tough one to pull off but I am so thrilled to have ‘cracked it’ ...!! A huge thank you to a range of people who have helped me at different stages on this, it really has been a team effort ...!!
Drawing inspiration from Japanese Artist Yayoi Kusama’s infinity rooms and the wonderful experimental artist Peter Gronquist from Portland in the US, it has been really exciting working with a very new and very striking way of presenting my squares. For the best part of a decade now I have been drawn to symmetry, precision and the repetition of patterns. The original influence on the development of the concept of 'my small squares' has it's roots in the capturing of, and the celebration of, positive moments, strengths, and the benefit of repeating good things in the search for excellence. The move towards capturing these elements in a format using lights and mirrors, in a way that is very engaging for the viewer, is very exciting. I'm really looking forward to where this journey will take me ... dare I say it ... !!! :-)
Absolutely loved Hong Kong
Well that goes down as one of the ‘great experiences’ …!! It was an absolute honour to have my art on show with the Sol Art Gallery at the recent Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong.
The show was run in the really impressive Hong Kong Convention Centre right down by the harbour, and featured 115 galleries from around the world. The buzz in the exhibition was electric throughout the weekend. It was really great to see some really fabulous art there and meet a whole range of people who were interested in Irish art.
I was very fortunate to be able to make it to Hong Kong for the show and take in the sights in this simply awesome city. Thank you Hong Kong ...!!