I began my creative journey at the Limerick School of Art & Design. I graduated at the top of my class with a first class honors degree (much to my very pleasant surprise!). I began teaching shortly after, and became a partner in a photography business about five years ago. With the crazy schedule of two full-time jobs, I lost touch with my own art and have only begun painting again in the last couple of years (thanks to a good kick in the behind from my boyfriend).
My paintings are captured moments of past experiences. However, when I begin, I never know what the finished piece will look like. The initial trigger is merely a springboard for my imagination; a vehicle for my creative urges. It is an emerging process. As the work unfolds, I may discover something by accident, which in turn dictates the direction of the piece. A representational piece usually ends up in total abstraction.
Most of my work is intuitive and instinctual. Often, to kickstart a session, I will grab the first thing that comes to hand, be it piece of chalk, a marker or some ink, if only to get rid of the blank canvas as quickly as possible. I’m usually working on at least ten paintings at the same time. I will bring a painting to a certain point, leave it, sometimes for a couple of weeks, then finish it in five minutes when I’m inspired to return. I work with both oils and acrylic. I love the depth and quality of oil, the layers and the glazes, but I equally love the instancy of acrylics. Whatever medium I choose to use very much depends on the mood of the day.
My style is quite distinctive; it has a painterly yet childlike quality with a sensitivity to aesthetics. My work is predominantly white on white palette, but I also use a mix of muted pastel colors and more recently, splashes of bright neons. I try to keep my pieces light and fresh. I like to create a delicate balance between linear/mark-making and denser, more built-up areas of paint. I love to work with glazes and also employ a scumbling technique to most of my pieces. This overlays a light color on the darker areas, which results in a hazy, opalescent feel. I love this effect!
I had always been an avid buyer on Etsy and love the whole philosophy behind it; a community where one could buy and sell handmade and vintage with a very personal touch. With so many unique and interesting shops, it was natural that I’d want to place myself next to lots of talented, like-minded people. I knew that when I started to sell my art, this would be where it would happen.
Since opening my shop on Etsy, I have taken a career-break from my full-time teaching job. I’ve thrown myself into my art. Before, I suppose I was institutionalized, running and racing everyday to the sound of a bell. Now my days are spent in the tranquility of my studio, painting. It has allowed me to breathe creatively. My life couldn’t be more different than before. My art is my business. I love it!
Why do I create art? I want to connect with people. I want to express my emotions. I want to evoke reactions and emotions in others. I want to become a famous artist. I could list a hundred of these plausible answers, and yes, the truth is it could be any of these, on any given day. I’ve given up asking myself questions like these. One thing I do know is that there is a compulsion there; a need to create. Painting seems to be what fulfills this inherent need in me. I got an email this morning from a girl who just bought one of my pieces. It read, “I think looking at this painting is going to make me very happy.” There’s as good a reason as any to do what I do.
Photographs by Fotissima.