• 'In West Clare' (We are Eternal)

    In my life, I have only toured through Clare twice – once on a teaching assignment at the wonderful Burren School of Art, it was high Spring and wild flowers were a wonder as was the Nivea blue sea. We were blessed with great weather and lovely dips after class. My second visit was during a terrifically stormy season (July!). Puttering around the County Clare coastline after an absence of many years was restorative in all the right ways. We were awash with elements. Incessant rain kept us grounded – but even so, the beauty of the place was undeniable. Sometimes in places like that, on days like that - the ones that take your breath away – I wonder at how I might have missed it – been rained off etc and never known its colour, shapes and texture in that season. The storm added starkness to the landscape, giving more grist to the black of the Burren and a cobalt green to the tide turning on a cliff. And so much frothy white in the sea. I can recall the colours of both excursions with ease. The scenes are still in my senses, I think those moments – the magic ones – are like tattoos on our minds. Eternal in that moment, as are we. Oil On Canvas: 100cm x 80cm In Slip Frame Ready To Hang
  • ‘Tis (All before us)'

    Oil on Canvas,

    180cm x 120cm

    ‘Tis – the west of Ireland abbreviation of ‘it is’ is a term I love to hear. The softness of it fills me with affection.

    ‘Tis was also the title of Frank McCourt’s second memoir. Following on from his best-selling ‘Angela’s Ashes’which portrayed the bleakness of Ireland in the earlier half of the last century.

    While we still enjoy significant rain fall, Ireland of today is vibrant. In spite of challenges economic and social, we are as a people – I feel, forward looking. And our landscape is abundant – it holds and inspires us all.

    ‘Tis’– this painting, is about looking forward. It was made in many, many layers and gave its own set of challenges.  When composing a painting, I am not looking for likeness but sensation – the feeling of coming home or being home. Place is important but not in a  geo map specific way. I am creating sense of place.

    Just as happiness is never  truly a thing but more a feeling. I am endeavouring to evoke that feeling when you round the Irish coastline and the views, as Seamus Heaney so beautifully set the scene in his poem Postscript  “.. catch the heart off guard and blow it open”.

  • A Turn For Grace


    A Turn For Grace

    I read a headline many years ago titled ‘A stage for the performance of heaven’. The article* discussed how the Calder Valley had been poet Ted Hughes ‘tuning fork’.  I loved the notion of inspiration as a wide open plain. It seemed boundless, yet active.     I have the article pinned above my desk – it feels like a talisman, a reminder to stay in my lane, plough on and stretch out into infinite possibilities.    It seems the sea is both my ‘stage’ and ‘tuning fork’.  it is the place I draw inspiration and it is a deep well. Making this painting was long and challenging. Made in fifty-plus layers of heavy oils, it was my largest sea painting to date, and the process, while (comma) often filled with joy, was at times tumultuous.   Hughes referred to Scout Rock (the view from his childhood home) as ‘"my spiritual midwife at the time, and my godfather ever since".  It is the perfect summation of my relations with the sea – a place of possibility and renewal. I am guided by it. This painting being a case in point. When the going got tough, a little too challenging, a gap seemed to appear in a wave and guide me on to grace. Oil On Canvas: 152cm x 152cm In Slip Frame Ready To Hang  
  • Flume



    ‘Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working’ so said Picasso. I agree – turning up is everything, yet inspiration turns up in many places. Often the oddest of places. For me, Ideas often solidify when walking or in the shower, And always, always in music.  The title for this painting ‘Flume’ came to me organically. While I was painting, the world rolled around my mind – it seemed a hybrid somehow of Flow or Float and Moon. On inspection the definition was of ‘an artificial channel conveying water’ or ‘ a winding tubular water slide or chute at a swimming pool’. Both definitions gave ballast to the sensations of rolling water and a light, playfulness at the edge of a body of water. Beyond the shallows, I remembered the Peter Gabriel song ‘Flume’– it petered up from the recesses of memory.  The lyrics,  “I move in water, shore to shore, Nothing's more.  Only love is all maroon,  Lapping lakes like leary loons’ affirmed the sensations I am trying to capture – the feeling of being ‘all in’ when in water (or life, or love!). Being entirely in your body,  in your own nature but also weightless – feeling in flow, sort of floating. That particular pleasurable illumination - the lightness of being. Oil On Canvas: 125cm x 112cm In Slip Frame Ready To Hang  
  • 'From Valencia' (Above us only Sky)

    I have, for many year, loved to paint on Bolus Head, so much so that I neglected Valentia island for far too long. A break away to Bray Head on a bracing day, or otherwise, is always worth the climb and was fine food for the stew of this painters pot. The view to the Skelligs is spectacular. It seems to me the weather sometimes falls away into the sea. As if it sort of changes its mind half way across from the mainland, somehow getting distracted on its way, the elements causing light to land in the sea. The colours changing in accordance with light and heat, filling the spectrum. From the viewing point it makes for a great stage show, mist, fog and clouds all in the mix of atmospheric textures giving a heavenly vibe. There is so much sky, God can’t be far away Oil On Canvas: 180cm x 120cm In Slip Frame Ready To Hang  
  • Nocturne



    Inspired by time fishing with my father on the Mayo Lakes, Nocturne is evocative of days ending and that very special light particular to the low sun on the lakes. I am a fair weather fisher but time on the lake with my Dad is nothing short of glorious. It is time out of time. Even though senses are accelerated with the cut and thrust of the boat traversing the waves, sideways rain and all the slip-slop sounds of water, reels and bird life – time feels somehow suspended. The experience is utterly elemental and yet really, very restful but stimulating.  Beyond the shoreline, out on that horizon there is a promise of magic and reward. Great days - time well spent – the best currency – before the waves roll us back to shore and home. Oil On Canvas: 150cm x 150cm In Slip Frame Ready To Hang  
  • Swansong

    My Dad Mick has fished the Mayo Lakes – Lough Mask & Lough Carra every May in tandem with the emergence of the May Fly. Some years more prolifically than others but it is always a place of joy for him. By proxy, genes or otherwise, his joy has become mine and I love to join him on these expeditions which then seep into my own work.  Before Covid we celebrated his 50th year fishing in his home from home, Partry – the lovely village nestled between both lakes. We had a hooley -  a wonderful celebration of time well spent amongst great lifelong friends.  Then nothing! The Covid pause put paid to that particular pleasure and we had to wait it out for years. My Dad had back surgery and was slower on his pins but his lovely essence and energy was buoyed by fast horses and slow golf.  It was glorious to finally return to Lough Mask. I doubted my Dad would be robust enough for long lake days. It was an illumination to see the vitality of place, people and nature infuse him. It energized him entirely. He was ginger-ish boarding the boat the first day but jumping off by the end of the week, exuberant!  Doing what you love really, truly is a lifeforce and nature is magic Oil On Canvas: 160cm x 160cm In Slip Frame Ready To Hang  
  • Threshold



    Oil On Canvas: 150cm sq €9,250.00 In Slip Frame Ready To Hang

    ‘Threshold’ marked the beginning  of so much newness for me.

    After years (and years!) of treading water and often struggling to keep afloat, my painting practice and by association my life,  suddenly and almost imperceptibly hit a growth spurt.

    Making my largest paintings coincided with finally finding a building that would be my home and house my studio and showroom. Built pre-1900,  ‘Threshold’ was created as part of an exhibition to honour the space and all that had gone before and was yet to be.

    Poet and philosopher John O’Donoghue wrote beautifully of change and emergence. I loved his notion to ‘ bless the space between us’ as I felt it marked that special time between the past and the future.

    “The rhythm of emergence is a gradual slow beat always inching its way forward; change remains faithful to itself until the new unfolds in the full confidence of true arrival”

    I have realised life is never linear and change is as constant as the tide. Even in trying times, we must believe in perpetual motion.

    Forward is always a direction. Our evolution is illuminated by blessings and possibility, but you must believe in possibility (often things you can’t yet see, but can just about feel!).

  • Wonderland



    Oil On Canvas: 160cm x 160cm In Slip Frame Ready To Hang To be full of future – dreams, plans, schemes and such – is a lovely, latent kind of energy. That’s how I felt when making this painting.  As a rookie artist I painted in a traditional context – working out in the landscape, making paintings in response to place. As my practice deepened, the response has become more intuitive. I’ve learned to trust myself and the work, and to understand (to paraphrase the late, great Mary Oliver) ‘My work is loving the world…, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished’.  Composition has taken on a more vital, vibrant quality – rather than thinking in terms of foreground, lines, proportions etc, making paintings now feels like composing music. It is beyond looking and seeing and involves a sort of deep cellular listening – to hear, but mostly feel the rhythm of nature.  My paintings are made with oils in many layers. Creating this big painting was a joy. Pregnant with possibility, it was in and of itself a wonderland. With every layer it seemed to unfold, evolve and reveal itself to me. Often painting feels like magic - a particular kind of alchemy. It fills me with wonder and a special energy – an illumination radiating from the inside out.

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