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About Me

 

I love paint! I've always loved the stuff and I love the colours and textures that can be created from it. I love it when the lumps and bumps, gouges and scratches are clearly visible on the canvas or board, giving a lively, active tactile surface. This is what lights me up when I view other artists' work and it's what I strive for in my own paintings.​

I was born in Co Fermanagh, a county of hills and lakes, and have lived here for most of my life but following a fine art degree which I took in Belfast, I spent almost 20 years living in London. It was while I was at art college that I first fell in love with abstract painting, then deepened this interest by seeing some amazing exhibitions over the years which were really inspiring. I loved my years working among other creatives in community arts but when my interests eventually led me into teaching, I gradually lost my own art practice. When I moved back to Fermanagh my interest in painting happily returned as I helped my daughter with her ‘A’ level art. I decided to take the first step, a short course in painting to refresh and develop my skills, about 6 years ago. I have since been continuing my learning and am working to develop my own abstract painting style, using mainly acrylic paints, collage and mixed media.   

 

My work is often inspired by features of the local landscape and I am increasingly interested in exploring my own connections to the area as well as family roots in the locality going back generations. My inspirations and interests are varied however, and any of my life experiences can make their way into my paintings at any time. I am increasingly painting from memories, feelings and hopes rather than referencing particular people or places. I primarily aim for an emotional response from viewers, who can project their own feelings and experiences, and make what they will of my work.    

 

I really love the process of painting and am not concerned with having a particular image in mind when I start, rather allowing the paint, random collage and free drawing to lead me in an intuitive way. I build up the layers, sand and scrape back areas, perhaps add more collage materials, until eventually I begin to form an idea of where the painting might go. At this stage of the process, I spend a lot of time thinking about the piece, editing and balancing principles of design, colour, tone etc. and assessing whether I have achieved my aims in the painting. That final stage may only require a few tweaks or, at the other extreme, I may decide it’s not working, cover everything up and start again! Thankfully, the finish usually comes at a point somewhere between these two extremes. 

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