I am a self-taught artist, painting contemporary, abstract, expressionistic work, reflecting the sea, shore and harbour life.
Painting for me is a way to express the experience of being in and by the sea. Living on the south coast of Cork, the inspiration I find from harbour life, beach walks and sea swimming, finds its way into my work. I have an emotional response to being in and by the sea. The colours, textures, shapes, sounds and sensations emerge on the canvas to reflect a sense of the place. This environment is constantly changing, affected by season, weather and tide.
In the busy harbour, I see ships come and go as I work at my desk. They glide in to dock and, exchanges complete, glide silently away again into the ocean beyond the harbour.
I walk the beach, taking in the changing scenes, collecting flotsam and jetsam as I go. Rope and net fragments (ghost gear), sea plastic and sea glass, weathered driftwood. Each fragment tells a story of its own journey at sea. I use these for inspiration for colours and textures, for mark making or as collage elements, allowing them to bring their story onto the canvas.
Sea swimming is ever more popular in Ireland. At first it offers a sort of 'cold shock' that causes a gasp and all other concerns are forgotten beyond full focus on controlling the breath. Once acclimatised, there are myriad sensations, colours changing, light on water, movement on waves to be enjoyed until the cold becomes just too much and you emerge 'reset' back onto the shore.
My Latest Project
Early this year I heard of an amazing adventure being planed by an Irish sailor, who is aiming to be the first Irish person to sail solo, non-stop, unassisted around the world via the Five Great Capes of the Southern Hemisphere. I connected with the amazing Peter Lawless and am honoured to be working with him to capture his voyage on canvas.
A little bit about me
I grew up in West Cork and some of my earliest and happiest memories are of the sea and shore. I even learned to swim in the frigid Atlantic! Despite gaining a place at art college, I abandoned the idea and instead moved to Paris at 18. Living on the Left Bank for a year, I worked for an artist-photographer, learned French and was surrounded by art and design - museums like the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay and Musée Rodin were literally on my doorstep, as was the style of designers like Sonia Rykiel, Kenzo and the treasure trove of Le Bon Marché. I returned to Ireland to study and on graduating began working in technology, always with one eye on art and design. I consider myself lucky to be able to combine my art with a parallel career in applying the latest technologies to improve people's lives.