Energy and movement are key aspects in my latest series of paintings. There is the visible energy we can see in a cascading waterfall, in the motion of a dancer or in forms of an eroded rock. However, my paintings also are inspired by another type of energy, one that we cannot see but only feel, e.g. in an outburst of emotion, in a melody, in the moon.
When approaching a blank canvas I initially have little or no idea of the painting’s future form. I begin with a playtime in which I basically play with the paint. The initial layers are a time of fun experimentation and free flow.
Each layer reacts with the previous one and this creates a certain dialogue and tempo. Once a series of layers begins reacting with each other, it then becomes a gradual process of making choices about what needs to be enhanced and left grow and what needs to recede or be removed. It often feels like walking in the dark at first, with only vague suggestions and not much of a clue as to the direction. It depends on how tuned in one is to the source at this stage. Sometimes the instructions are clearer than other times. Either way only the next step as in the next paint stroke will be revealed and not the long term plan.
The artist is just like the paintbrush, a mere tool in the process. When a painting is successful it is not so much the result of how well I painted that day but more as a result of how well I listened.
Born in 1975, I grew up in Watergrasshill, Co. Cork, in the south of Ireland. Initially I took part in an art and design preparatory course at Coláiste Stíofán Naofa, Cork, and went on 1997 to complete a Diploma in Fine Art at the Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork. During this time I also took part in an Erasmus student exchange programme at the AKI Art College in the Netherlands.
In August 1997 I emigrated to the Netherlands and continued my studies at the Utrecht College of Art. There in 1999, I received a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art. Since 2004 I am also a qualified art teacher, having completed a Bachelors of Education in Visual Art and Design, at the same Dutch art college.
I have taught art since 1999 to both primary and secondary school school children and also to adults. I lived in Minnesota USA from 2011-2014 and then returned to the Netherlands where I live currently. I teach art classes to both kids and to adults.