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This work started when I went to the west of Ireland to paint for a few weeks. Instead of being inspired by the scenery (which is truly inspiring), I found myself captivated by my new little friends, the sheep. Everywhere I went, there they were, every time I turned my head, there they were – gawking at me. I called this first series of paintings Mary had a little lamb… because I definitely felt like Mary.
On my return home, to my delight, I found a studio on a farm so I am now surrounded by sheep and my new best friends, the cows. I try to capture the languid timelessness of their existence.
In general, my work is figurative and well studied before paint every hits the canvas. And then I let go. I relate best to the un-obvious subject matters which I can manipulate and allow to grow. I enjoy the spontaneity of a loaded brush mark, the direct communication between the artist and the canvas so that the subject matter itself becomes irrelevant in the application of paint to a canvas.
I enjoy stories behind stories, I usually paint from my own experiences and growing up. Going to school in a convent is one such experience which has resulted in a large body of work called Holy Orders. I still remember the rustle of robes and silent soles on polished floors; I remember being given Marietta biscuits and tea in the nun’s parlour when I was sick. Four of these paintings are part of this work in progress.
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