I’m out and about along the Wild Atlantic Way, the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher, and really everywhere I look there is inspiration. I have ideas in my head and I have to get them onto canvas or they stay putting pressure on me like they are asking to be painted.
For instance this very morning I got up and went straight to the studio in my pyjamas to paint. There are many stages to making a painting apart from the initial idea. There is the selection of the canvas, the size should be right for the subject or the “take” on the subject.
Sometimes there is a small mock up on paper to test the subject, usually there is always a mock up if it is a commission. Then the paints selected, I work with a restricted palette with a few additions for various subjects, but I usually keep my colours as close to what I see as possible with some artistic licence.
Next comes the drawing which I scrutinise carefully indicating only the lines ofthe subject as my art is paint and not drawing, I use colour to indicate image and detail. The first basic layer of paint is applied fairly thin with brushes. I do not use a mixer in my paints as I prefer not to thin them, not even at this stage. Another layer of paint is applied giving more definition to areas usually working mostly on the darker or undertone shades. And another layer is used to add further definition and some detail, and again adding further detail. The final layer adds the highlights and finishes the painting.U sually there is some drying time between some of the layers, but this varies, I find there are certain times that the paint is more pliable for detail but this is visual and not specific. Sometimes there is a decision about when the painting is actually finished, if I want it to be loose then I finish with some unfinished but intensionally finished areas. Other times I say enough and down tools. After that the painting is usually left for a fairly long period to dry, and sometimes to be tweaked a little.
When finally dry I varnish to seal the work forever and a day , and have it framed. Then it is available to share. It is so nice to send it off to a home where it will bring joy and comfort or happy memories of a trip perhaps to The Wild Atlantic Way, the Burren or even the Cliffs of Moher.