Check out my latest post on Medium to hear some thoughts (and lots of questions) on painting: https://medium.com/@contact_6688/i-am-somewhat-reticent-to-share-the-following-ideas-as-i-do-not-want-to-give-the-impression-that-25796579a1aa
A friend and fellow artist commissioned me to make him a picture of anything I wanted. And I painted The Witching Hour. If you’re curious about the inspiration for the piece, I’ve shared my thoughts below. If you’re the type who would rather not know, then please read no further.
A creative work, at the beginning, is a fragile creature. One’s creative vision is easily bullied and overwhelmed by innocent everyday matters…laundry, groceries, the doorbell, etc…Especially during the early stages of a work, when it’s loose and unformed, one must batten down the hatches against innocent distractions. There will always be laundry, but not always your idea. It may slip away into the recess of your mind, and lie dormant for thirty years or even disappear altogether, only to be recognized and seen again in someone else’s work, someone who protected and served the idea.
The idea may come to us at night, at the bus stop, when our hands are full, when we are in the throes of creating a different work; we must pause and make note of it or it will flounder without the structure of our attention.
In The Witching Hour, our character, though disheveled and tired, is doing the protective work. He’s guarding the bright light of a fresh idea, a firefly, from the innocent everyday disturbances, a cat. Perhaps he’s heading towards an open window to inspect the idea in the moonlight, or perhaps he’s determined to grant it freedom, which in our metaphor, is its creation.
The title, The Witching Hour, comes from a favorite childhood book of mine, The BFG, by Roald Dahl.
“The witching hour, somebody had once whispered to her, was a special moment in the middle of the night when every child and every grown-up was in a deep deep sleep, and all the dark things came out from hiding and had the world to themselves.”
This excerpt surfaced, because the main character, Sophie, was awake to notice this hidden hour. When everyone else was sleeping, she was paying attention and therefore open to a different vision and rather than attend to the reasonable and innocent necessity of sleep, she discovered a beautiful new world.
A Victorian Muse, 60x46cm, oils, birch panel, Victorian toilet seat
This piece came about after perusing an old antique shop on Flood Street here in Galway. I came across what I thought had been a mirror, which in fact, turned out to be a Victorian toilet seat. And I knew immediately that it had to be mine. And so, this painting, evoking the wonderful feeling of the first pee of the day, came into existence.
Currently, this piece is for sale at the Kildare Gallery.
Jackson’s Art inaugural art prize competition whittled down 3100 submissions to just over 400 to a manageable long list for the judges to review. The short list will be announced on April 29th. Even if my piece doesn’t progress further, I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my work.
Update: This piece was not shortlisted, but I’m glad to have shared my work anyway!
Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending the opening events for the 186th RHA Annual. As expected, the gallery was elbow to elbow the entire time, replete with wine and good chats. You can see my painting, and hundreds of other great works, from now until June 11th. This piece is available for purchase – do go and have a look in person!
Update: This piece sold during the last week of the show to an enthusiastic and very kind collector.
“Evisceration of a holy ghost”
Oil on Birch Panel
25x30cm not including frame dimensions
I needed to explore some color options for an upcoming portrait, so I decided to do a quick little Paul Henry inspired painting.
Previous to living in Ireland, I was unaware of Paul Henry’s work. I first saw it in the National Gallery. I admire his simple, and yet grand, interpretation of the Irish landscape. I realize Henry may be old hat to many Irish artists, so please bear with yet another embarrassingly enamored American!
Here are two more Henry inspired paintings.
About the Artist
Currently exhibiting at the RHA Annual, Dublin
The Whyte’s Award
The Contemporary Irish Art Society Award
OPW State Art Collection
NCAD MFA 2022 – 23
- June 2019
- May 2019
- March 2019
- February 2019
- December 2018
- October 2018
- August 2018
- June 2018
- March 2018
- December 2017
- July 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- November 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- February 2015
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
I am lifestyle photographer based out of Paris, who loves to click, cook & travel. This beautiful website was built using the Oshine WordPress theme. Its so easy to use.