I was dissatisfied. I had no wish to quest after an “originality” that was little more than a sterile intellectual game. I wanted to know how to paint. I wanted the foundational training that gave such grace and relevance to the works of not only our predecessors but also the best of what our own contemporary masters have to offer.
After having graduated, I travelled to Italy and taught English in Florence hoping to earn enough to enroll in one of the prestigious academies only to find myself doing the next best thing once that proved untenable; drawing from live models at the prestigious Angel Academy when possible, as well as discussing and taking notes on the methods and techniques employed there. I roamed the antique streets of that wonderful city every day, drawing from the public statuary and visiting its museums where I copied the works of old masters in the best of environments. Needless to say, it was pure magic for one who is self-taught.
I returned to Ireland after a year or so and immediately set about the task of maintaining the discipline I had developed during my time in Florence. I drew from Bargue plates and painted constantly which ultimately led to my having gained entry into one of Dublin’s Galleries. I was also fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to attend the Academy of Realist Art in Toronto under the directorship of Fernando Friatas and so learn and improve upon much of what my own self teaching could not supply.
Presently, I am living in Spain with my son quietly painting away.
To date, my work has been exhibited in New York, Montreal, Sydney, Beijing and Dublin. I was also accorded the privilege of being commissioned to paint several presidential and commemorative portraits for the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland. Additionally, I have also completed a number of private commissions and my work can be counted among those paintings now held in many important collections."
Painting is a humbling experience. I have learnt that it is only through patience, thoughtfulness and an understanding of the tools and materials involved that I could ever hope to achieve a completeness and quality of finish that would finally allow me to set down my brushes with any kind of satisfaction.
In search of the miraculous: Art tells us to look no further but rather, Look!
Painting is a way of seeing, an attempt to recall to mind the poetry of life, a poetry whose appreciation and recognition is, more often than not, hidden beneath a veneer of the habitual and the ordinary.
Art unveils in a manner appropriate to its mode of expression a facet of the common place heightened to the imminence and reality of experience renewed; it is a kind of peak experience, divested from the short-sighted preoccupations of immediate physical and emotional concerns. It has the potential to bring us home.