Friday, December 25, 2009


OH! what to do?
I find myself at a crossroads!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Recent drawings on the metro

I've been doing a lot of metro journeys and rather than read I've been drawing. It really gives a lot of people pleasure to see me drawing on the train. I'm amazed by how friendly they get when they spot what I'm doing.

Sometimes the subject notices I'm doing their portrait but generally not. Other times people have mistakenly assumed I was drawing them, when in fact I was drawing the person beside or behind them. It's surprising how often they would like to see what I've done. Children are particularly interested.

Women are funny though. There have been a few times when I've been doing their portraits and either they have asked for my card or they have simply passed me their phone number. Hilarious when that happens because I'm not the most attractive of guys, especially by Parisian standards. None the less I take it as a compliment and always pass it to the bloke that looks like he needs it the most. I'm married :)

Here are a few of the recent sketches from November and December 09. I get about 3 minutes or perhaps a little longer to draw these so there's nothing too finished.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Snow and portraits

It's snowing in Paris. Lovely but it means a total go slow. I'm not feeling very inspired anyway. There seems to be very little feedback, whether it be good or bad from people regarding arts these days. I'm not going to try to do anything for a few weeks. I'm just ging to go with the flow and see what does or doesn't happen.

I've been enjoying drawing people on the metro. Will post a few drawings of them here later. I've also been doing more portraits in oils. That's come to an end for the moment. I won't do any more commissions till January at the earliest. In fact, I think that I'll concentrate on Gravure. I've been missing my friends in the engraving group for some time now and thanks to the fact that I'll be handing the gallery over to someone else in January I'll be free to get back to that. Running the gallery has been so incredibly time consuming. Very interesting of course and I learnt a lot but so many other things that are important took a back seat as a result. What I learnt is invaluable though. It has given me a totally new outlook on art and the art world.

Here are some of the portraits I've done this week. Neither is finished and both were executed very quickly. I'll finish them off later. Oddly enough I've found that instead of speeding up through doing the portrait sessions, in fact I've slowed down. Great way to get to know people though.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Portraits for free - 2

It's been a week since I posted the notice about portraits for free and so far I've done several. There are 3 more planned for this week. After this I'll start looking for a location in Paris where I can work in natural daylight so a nice atelier in a good location would be good.

Here are a few of the paintings so far. 3 hours each which is pretty fast but there's no underpainting or drawing. I just go straight in with the paint.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Portraits for free.

I'm painting portraits for free in the gallery at the moment. If you are interested in coming along send me a message, phone or email. There are only a few days left this week. Most of next week is free. I'll give you the details when you get in contact.

December Exhibition in Paris

The opening night went well. I'm still a bit knackered by it all.
Here are a few pics from last friday. Thanks to Jean-Michel Volat for the marvelous photos.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Standing in the rain.

Burrrr!!! It's winter. I was out in the forest painting yesterday. It was a little overcast but nothing serious. About an hour into painting it started to drizzle. Nothing very heavy. I ran to the house and grabed an umbrella & large sheet of plastic. The plastic was for the easel and the painting. The umbrella kept me dry while I sheltered behind a tree. An hour later, I concluded, it was time to give up pack everything away and get back to the house till it stopped.

However, the time spent waiting for the rain to stop, standing under the tree with an umbrella in the rain, was marvelous. I had a chance to just experience nature. No mobile phone, no people passing, no cars. Just the drizzle, the trees and me. I almost never stop to just experience things. There is so much to do. Even when I'm painting I've often got that little voice in my head judging the work and trying to understand what it is I'm doing so that I can build upon the experience. This was nothing like that. Just calm. Very quiet and respectful. Nothing boring about it. I really enjoyed, just looking at nature, wet and all as it was.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Damian Hirst - Francis Bacon? I don't think so.

Damian Hirst must think that Francis Bacon was a pretty bad painter. He and his PR company are always drawing parallels between Bacon and Hirst. It's constant.

He's throwing tons of money at this new identity of his. So what if the critics dish the work he does. He'll just build more PR and pay for more articles in magazines, do more deals with museums and art galleries. Eventually the critics will bend and their opinion of his work will go from 'it's a terrible mistake' to 'the best thing ever'.

Because once Hirst has brain washed the public, the journalists will, quivering as ever in the face of public opinion and received fact, capitulate and kiss the ground he walks upon. Or should I say water, he walks upon.

The only hope for his demise is if he himself balks at the amount of work & money involved in changing the opinion of the masses. If he finds that actually doing his own painting is too much of an emotional drain. I can easily see him falling back on his minions to create the paintings while he parties. If he hasn't already.

At least he claims he's promoting painting that is supposed to be self created rather than directed.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Inside the brain of an artist

Have a look inside the head of another artist, literally!
Irish actor, Fiona Shaw allowed her brain to be scanned while reading T.S Elliots 'The Wasteland'. The results are remarkable.

Banksy's wall in Jamaica

I hope this doesn't happen to all Banksys work.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Reasons to be cheerful

Today I went to collect the frames for my December exhibition. The framer did a marvelous job and very fast too. They look great.

After that I went to an exhibition in Baillencourt sur Essonne. It's not a high quality exhibiton, just a local thing but lots of good artists come from all over france to be in it. Certainly it has some good quality work on show.

I got an invitation to a very cool exhibition in Paris on the Champs Elysses next week. Looking forward to that.

Sent off promotional material for the next exhibition in December.

Invited some other artists to show their work in Ireland with a gallery that I work with.

And now I can't sleep because I'm thinking about the show, in two weeks, so, I'm going to do the most creative ironing I can, at 3am :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Plein air painting

Thank goodness for the great outdoors. I was painting with some other artists in Fountainbleau on Sunday. This is when I'm happiest. Out in nature with other artists. It's really, really great. I wish I could do this every day.

Here are a couple of photos. The painting is in acrylic.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Some photos from FIAC 09

It was an interesting exhibition. I didn't get to see it for long (very expensive to visit) because I had to return to the gallery before 2pm and the FIAC show opens at 1pm. The que started an hour before.

Ahhh!! the French love a good que. See those smiling faces. I think Parissians are happiest while having a good group que :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Killing Pelicans............

You think you're responsible. That you live a decent life, which impacts others to a minimum and that you care about nature!

Which piece of plastic, that you discarded, is in these photos?

Which gas lighter?
Which bottle top?
Which item, that you discarded, got kicked by a shoe, got blown by the wind, ended in a gutter, was washed to the sea, is on it's way to the Pacific, to kill a chick, whose parents don't know the difference.

Look, learn, deactivate an action.

Make the world a better place.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Plein air, sketching, exhibition

Hey, been doing lots of things on the qt. Yesterday, thanks to an artist friend who looked after the gallery, I was able to go out and join some others at Fontainbleau for Pleine Air Painting. It was really a great day. Well worth taking the time out for. I'm a little ill with a cold as a result because it was freezing but I'm still very glad I went.

Here are a couple of photos.

I've also been doing a lot of sketching on the metro in Paris. The portraits above are of people I've seen on the train recently. It's a nice way to spend a voyage. I might take a day out just to do that, particularly on longer journeys, perhaps to CDG airport etc.

There's an exhibition coming up. Yes, my own work at last, rather than other peoples. It's in Style Pixie gallery. A great, off the beaten track gallery which I really like. It has an underground feel to it. The curator is great and the directress is very inspiring.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Some photos of the upcoming exhibition.

These photos were taken today. It took a lot of time to get everything right. The work of a gallerist and curator are not to be underestimated. It's a lot of preparation and my hat goes off to all those people whose jobs I never understood before.

The marketing side of things does take a fair bit of time too but it's easier now, than initially. Once you set the systems in place and have a good guest list thing are easier.

The paintings and fabric designer were chosen to compliment one another. Geometric forms started me off on this track. Then thankfully I found artists whose work complimented that idea. In this exhibition we see a progression from the geometric to the organic while still keeping the sense of sculpture in the images.

I'm looking forward to the exhibition. It should be a good opening and I'm looking forward to meeting the guests.

Stuff of dreams.

The next exhibition is being installed at the moment. It's called 'The stuff of Dreams'.
It should be compete today and the doors should be open in the afternoon but the grand opening is on Thursday at 6pm.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

End of the exhibition & the beginning of another

The painting exhibition came down today. Everyone was very happy and there was a last minute celebration. We also sold one more painting. So I'm pretty happy with that. I'd like to thank Raluka, Cyril, Ximena and JMY for participating. It was great.

The next exhibition is of black and white photography. It's called 'Reflections of Ourselves' and hopes to show how much we have changed in the last quarter century. The photos stretch from the 1980's to the present day. Things have changed a lot. In startling but also very subtle ways.

Here's the invite. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Greenlane gallery-sales

I sold seven paintings this week. That's good. In fact it's looking like I sold another to a Canadian couple this evening but it's not certain.

I managed to finish a painting, spoke to my mum on the phone (always a good thing), a friend called in to see me and talk about art. We had a great laugh. She's Polish and can drink whiskey like a guy. I didn't drink any but we had a good talk. Then another recently met friend called into the gallery and invited me to see the antique boutique which he runs on the ile. Lovely place. Seriously good quality antique jewellery, watches and furniture. I love emeralds. Guess it's the Irish in me.

The photography exhibition starts next week. There are three really good artists. I'll post more on that later.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The opening of "Les Lignes du Corps" on the ile Saint Louis.

At the moment I'm the curator of exhibitions in the Greenlane Gallery on the ile Saint Louis. It's 29 rue des deux ponts. Come along to see what's on show. We had the opening on Thursday of "Les Lignes du Corpes" on the 17th at 6pm - 9pm. It went really well and the artists work is terrific. It's based on drawing as the main medium of expression with some colour work by two of the artists to create dynamism and flow. Even with the colour work the lines of drawing are clearly visible.

Ximena de Leon Lucero's work has a lot of symbolism. Her drawings, which are big and extremely powerful dominate the show with rich layers of meaning and subtle messages.

Cyril RĂ©guerre has painted using line. His rich reds and dark figurative symbols coming together to anchor the exhibition.

Raluca Vulcan's work is whimsical but her lines are powerful and beautiful to trace. I've been present while she works and it's an awe inspiring experience.

JYM's work is almost graphic and reminds me of fashion paintings of the top class fashion houses from the 1920's and 40's. Her work is very powerful and done in charcoal on paper, framed in glass.

All four artists work comes together really powerfully and each compliments the other.

I hope you can visit if you are in Paris. The gallery is open every day except Monday, from 2pm till 7pm.

The invitation and photos from the vernissage on the 17th of September.

The film

Over the last few months I've been collaborating with a bunch of film makers here in Paris to produce a mucic video for a singer called "Lenna" which could be used to promote her songs.

Well it was a bit of a disaster. We had worked really hard in the preparation. The storyboards were great (that was my department) and the camera and lighting crew were top class. Seriously impressive. Lenna was incredibly flexible and positive and so were most of the actors.

However, the director sucked (no hesitation in saying that) and the production manager didn't have any experience so it all fell apart on the second day. Producing a good film depends on so many skills coming together very well and communicating clearly, respectfully and with dynamism.

Despite that, the whole experience was remarkably positive. At the break time we all came together and everyone got on very well. The production crew couldn't face everyone else so we ate in a jovial fashion and discussed possible future projects.

If there was a real problem it was that we tried to do too much too fast given the level (across the board) of experience of the people involved. If we had been more evenly matched I think things would have gone perfectly. The creative and technical resources were certainly there.

Here are some photos of the shooting. It was really cool. Most of the (good) photos below were taken by Virgil Shrock. The rest are mine :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back from Borgogne

Ah, you don't know what you missed!

Sounds like the opening chapter in a book by an old man to an audience gathered around his death bed.

Well I hope I don't qualify as on my death bed :)
We had a great time in Borgogne. Fantastic might be a better description. The chateau is superb. The weather perfect, the company suitably insane and the food superb. We did paint but not enough. Really and truely we tried but there were so many other things to explore. There was a lot more in the way of drawing going on. Thank goodness for Paul who anchored us all into the world of colour and form. As he painted, he spoke and we were drawn around in fascination.

That got us going and we attempted to bring ourselves to the creative process. It didn't really work but when I look back I think that this week was more of a battery charging exercise and a bonding experience.

We had a wonderful time. It was very creative. We watched movies on a big indoor cinema from 10pm till 3am, every night. Took lots of photos, painted, drew & talked about the past, planned for the future. Drank wine on the balcony and cycled along the canals. It will be even better next year.