Exploring the language of paint and investigating creativity of the moment are fundamental aspects on my journey of making a painting.
The elemental combination of earth, fire and water are my core subject matter, once thought by the ancient Chinese to be the components of a human body. I seek to infuse and overlap these elements in a distillation of paint.
There are musical and poetic comparisons as I aim to create a breadth of dialogue in response to a live landscape situation. I attempt to weave a line between abstract passages of paint, that which is familiar, analytical and representational. I am reminded of a jazz musician using a familiar musical passage as the hook on which to hang his improvisations. Similarly, the landscape is equivalent to my hook. I am interested in going outside to paint, responding to the day as it changes and unfolds. I document the light, space and texture, spontaneously painting the changes, observing and marking the passing of time.
At times a vigorous approach is employed, capturing a sense of urgency in an effort to catch the changing light. This could then pass on to analytical observation, seeking to emulate the subtle complexity of natural forms.
Working outside brings an instinctive aspect to painting. I employ a directness of articulation and economy of language. At times areas are left understated while other areas are the focus of attention. This is reflective of how the mind, eye and the hand respond in a cohesive flow in response to working from life, whilst the creative energy emanates from the heart.
I look for a sense of pictorial space, taking the furthest point from the eye, then drawing the composition towards me. Conversely, the viewer, looking at the surfaces and reading the painting is gradually drawn through the space. In a sense I am painting an organic, natural space rather than a picturesque view of the landscape. I am not averse to the beauty and interconnectedness of things.
The palette of colours is kept simple. Considerable mixing takes place, on the palette and on the painting. I push the paint around using various brushes and tools as the pigments get to know each other. I often think of the process of painting as a series of mistakes, with an underlying sense of knowing, continuing towards a resolution.
Working within the parameters of a creative window, I see the painting evolve. I aim to depict a distillation and observance of the passing of time, rather than a photograph snapshot of a landscape, which represents a split second.
At times the event of doing a painting can be very challenging. Finding and getting to a location which has the right combination of elements, also being weather beaten and insect bitten standing too close to the edge on a windy day, sneaky freak waves, not to mention close encounters with various animals are all part of the happenings. At times I am struck in wonderment, standing painting the passing of a day as the planet revolves around the sun.
Born Belfast Northern Ireland 1965
Edinburgh College of Art Edinburgh Scotland 1983 1987
BA Hons Fine Art
Edinburgh College of Art Post Graduate Diploma Fine Art 1988 – 1990.
2015 Artist in Prison Scheme Arts Council Ireland
2012 Artist In Prison Scheme Arts Council Ireland.
2011 PollockKrasner . Award Jackson Pollock Foundation New York. Culture Ireland Grant , Imagine Ireland America.
2009 Artist in Residence in Reardon House Newfoundland. Arts Council Travel Award.
2009 Monaghan Co. Council Professional Artists Grant
2007 Professional Arts Grant Monaghan Co. Council
2006 Professional Arts Grant Monaghan Co. Council
2004 Fellowship to Vermont Artist Studios Vermont , U.S.A.
2001 AerLingus Travel Award to Chicago U.S.A.
2000 Millennium Fund Monaghan Co. Council
1998 Leader Grant rural Development Award Cavan .
1994 Northern Ireland Art Council Award
1995 Aer Lingus Travel Award to Italy
1988 Andrew Grant Scholarship to Edinburgh art College.
2009 Portadown Health Centre Shortlisted
2007 Cork City airport Hotel
2004 Patrick Kavanagh Bicentenary Monaghan Co. Museum
2002 CPV Clones. Fugi Sawa
2001 Queens University Dept. Palaeocology , Belfast
2001 Derrygannon Community Group, Co. Monaghan
2000 Knocktallon Community Group Co. Monaghan
2016 Custom House Studios Mayo.
2015 Ballinglen Art Foundation Mayo.
2014 Artist in residence Ontario Arts Society
2012 Ballinglen Art Foundation Co. Mayo
2011 Cillrailling Art Studios Kerry
2009 Reardon House Newfoundland
2007 Ballinglen Art Foundation Co. Mayo
2005 Ballinglen Art Foundation Co. Mayo
2004 Ballinglen Art Foundation Co. Mayo. Cillraillig Art Studios Co. Kerry. Vermont Art studios Vermont U.S.A.
2003 Cillrailig Art Studios Co. Kerry. Loophead Lighthouse Co. Clare. Artist in Residence Belfast Print Workshop.
2000 Artist in Residence Termon House Donegal.
1999 Artist in Residence TermonHouse Donegal
1990 Artist in Residence TheTyrone Guthrie Art Centre Monaghan
Mayo County Council
OFFICE OF PUBLIC WORKS
DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL
BOYLE CIVIC COLLECTION
BANK OF IRELAND
MONAGHAN COUNTY COUNCIL
LIMERICK COUNTY COUNCIL
TYRONE GUTHRIE ART CENTRE
MONAGHAN COUNTY MUSEUM
AN GRIANAN THEATRE LETTERKENNY
MONAGHAN COUNTY COUNCIL
NEW BRUNSWICK , CANADA
Clefnote Chicago 2011
Aiden Dunne The Irish Times. 2010
Fred Johnson TheSunday Time Cultural Magazine.
Aiden Dunne The Irish Times
Ian Hill Belfast Telegraph.
One Person Exhibition
2017 Doorway Gallery Dublin
2016 Claremorris Contemporary Fine Art . Co Mayo
2015 Fidra Fine Art North Berwick Scotland. Doorway Gallery Dublin
2013 The TomCaldwell Gallery Belfast
2012 Claremorris Contemporary Fine Art
The Market House Monaghan
2011 Lydon Contemporary Chicago. Peter Lewis Gallery St Johns Newfoundland
2009 Blackbird Gallery Kilkenny
Buckley Gallery Co. Cork
2008 Tom Cadwell Gallery , Belfast
The Market House Gallery Monaghan
2007 The Private Collector Gallery , Cork
2006 The Private Collector Gallery , Cork
2005 The Mullen Gallery , Belfast
The Private collector Gallery, Cork
The Market Place Gallery , Armagh N. Ireland
2003 An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.
The Mullen Gallery, Belfast
2002 Atlantic Light, Wellspring Gallery Co. Kerry.
On Edge, the Origin Gallery Dublin.
2001 Artemisia Gallery , Chicago, U.S.A.
Mullingar Art Centre, Co. West Meath.
1999 The Logan Gallery ,Galway
Source The Dolmen Gallery Waterford.
Source Drochied Art centre, Drogheda
New Works St Patricks train, Armagh n. Ireland
1995 Donagh Series Monaghan County Museum
1994 Donagh Series the Basement Gallery, Dundalk Co. Louth
Donagh Series The Cootehill Arts Festival Cavan.
1992 New Works Harmony Hill Art Centre Lisburn, Co. Antrim
New Works The Crescent Art Centre Belfast.
1990 The Step Gallery Edinburgh Scotland.
Hanover Fine Art Edinburgh Scotland.
Two – Person Exhibitions
2012 At Home Exhibition Tom Cald Well Gallery , Belfast.
2011 Tom Caldwell Gallery Belfast
2010 The Origin Gallery , Dublin
2004 The Wellspring Gallery, Co. Kerry
1997 New Works The Paul Kane Gallery Dublin.
And Many Group Shows.