Art has become the focus of and gives rich meaning to my life, calling me to observe and enjoy the wonder of all that is around me, and had previously been taken for granted: the colour, shape and movement of the clouds and sky; of the trees, bushes, grass and plants; of fields and the sea, rivers and lakes, and of the effect of light , shadow and reflection on everything and everybody.
These are all the things that inspire me to draw and paint and also to teach art and share that magic! My most satisfying work is completed on location, particularly outdoor scenes. I usually sketch up with charcoal to get a satisfying composition and also to ‘merge’ with my subject. Using pastel, acrylic or oil, or sometimes a combination, I work towards a finished painting or else a comprehensive sketch that I can use to develop a full work at home. Carrying a sketchbook and camera with me always gives me a chance to snatch any expected and unexpected delights.
I often visit art galleries and over the years I have taken and guided groups of students to The National Gallery of Ireland. I sometimes travel abroad just to visit major shows and galleries. Last autumn I had a highly enriching experience when I spent a term at The Art Students’ League of New York to study life drawing.