Tag Archives: Irish artist

I decided to paint digitally at ‘Life Drawing Thursdays’ in the Schoolhouse for Art.

Digital AlicJa


I decided to give ‘digital’ a go at last Thursday’s life drawing session in the Schoolhouse for Art . I was shown an app called ‘Paper’ by my youngest son Scott (who uses it to great effect) and had a few initial hesitant ‘attempts’ however I have to admit I’m really enjoying it. It’s very basic but also very clever and simple to use.

If digital’s good enough for David Hockney – it’s good enough for me…..!

Life Drawing in the Schoolhouse for Art – all day – every Thursdayany medium!


Time-lapse of Giacomo’s portrait.


This is my first attempt of doing time-lapse of my pastel portraits as I’m working. You can see it on ‘YouTube’ –  http://youtu.be/pGQFvpN5Yd0 I hope you like it.

My painting gets a mention in the Metro

Delighted to be told that my recent painting ‘Subjects of Debate’ was featured in today’s Metro Herald.

Subjects for Debate - Metro 

Self-portrait Sky bound

The obligatory self-portrait was completed in the early hours this morning to meet the deadline for the ‘Sky Arts portrait artist of the year‘ competition (stage 1).

I actually think I look as exhausted as I felt trying to get it finished….phew glad that’s done!

It’s great that portraiture and portrait artists will get some much-needed media, I hope the ‘Sky Arts portrait artist of the year’ will be a great success.

Self portrait '13 master

I spent weeks deliberating over a title for this painting. I wanted something that would properly reflect the different aspects of the subject and its Irish connotations. Eventually when I thought I had an appropriate title I showed the painting and the proposed title to a friend I admire as a gifted wordsmith…she suggested that I should let the painting speak for itself. I took her advice.

The inspiration for this painting, like my first 7×3 painting ‘upon small shoulders‘, was drawn from issues, controversies and injustices that currently prevail in Irish society. The  intention of the painting is to represent an ongoing debate not to infer an opinion.

I am indebted to my inspirational model who gave birth to her beautiful baby just two weeks after she posed for this painting. I’m filled with admiration for her self-assurance, and selfless generosity.





A portrait of Barry

While recently visiting my Brother Barry in beautiful Zagreb, I painted his portrait as a thank you for a much appreciated break away from a stressful little Ireland. Naturally I also leisurely visited every gallery and exhibition in the city taking regular breaks for fresh coffee, sitting under a glowing heater, watching the snowflakes and the beautiful Croatians drift by – sometimes life can be pretty perfect.

Barry (oil on canvas)

Barry (oil on canvas)


Zeus – portrait of my dog



The last dog I painted was a cocker spaniel ‘Kerry’ about 40 years ago, which is still hanging in my brother Barry’s house.  As painting became an occasional pastime for the following 35 years I never thought of having another stab at ‘canine portraiture’.

However having painted humans at all ages I decided to have a bit of fun with my pastels and paint one of my dogs (there could be some canine commissions out there?). Zeus is my lovable, loyal (he loves me to bits) and beautiful boxer. He’s getting on a bit in dog years and getting a bit grey around the edges but he still has a great figure – unlike his master!

A study in pastel

The result of a recent life drawing session.

Pastel on coloured paper (85 x 70cm).


A pastel of Rebecca

This is a pastel portrait I painted of  beautiful little Rebecca, just a few weeks old and my first grandniece – I assume that means I’ve to admit that I’m getting old….!

‘Upon Small Shoulders’ raises €19,500 for ‘Penny Dinners’.

Sinéad O’Connor raised a staggering €34,000 for the charity ‘Penny Dinners‘ at Whyte’s art auction in the RDS last night (see her post).

Sinead’s put two of her paintings up for auction; a portrait of Sinéad as a child by Thomas Ryan and my ‘upon small shoulders’, they were lots 150 and 151, so it was a nerve-racking wait watching each of the preceding lots go under the hammer. Eventually ‘lot 500’ her portrait, was presented and bidding shot from the hundreds to thousands and was eventually sold for a magnificent €8,500 (I had the absolute pleasure of meeting the buyer after the event). Next up was ‘lot 151’ ‘upon small shoulders’ I could hardly breathe – then the biding took off eventually ending at an incredible €19,500 I was stunned. I’m hopeful to discover who the bidder was – I’d love to know where my painting’s new home will be. Sinead was understandably thrilled with the results and very generous with her praise for my painting.

A huge thanks needs to be given to Sinéad O’Connor for her unceasing selfless generosity, she is a most wonderful woman. She could have left her paintings hanging on her wall instead she decided to auction them to raise money for ‘Penny Dinners’.

Thanks to the new owner of ‘upon small shoulders’ for your benevolence and for liking my painting, I hope it will please the eye for many years. And congratulations to ‘Penny Dinners’ and the people under their care who are the deserving recipients of this wonderful success.

Thank you Sinéad, I’m indebted to you for your appreciation of my work and for giving ‘upon small shoulders’ and me a global audience. I’m very proud to know you.