My paintings are like a conversation with a friend and not any friend, but my best friend. They just start. No plan, sometimes they ramble or are about secrets. At times they are funny, sad or serious. Frequently I change my mind; take thoughts back and then start over. Often I interrupt or make no sense and once in a blue moon I am quiet and just listen. Yet, in the end I feel safe and there is no right or wrong or judgements made when I express my thought to my best friend.

I leave layers of marks exposed, as they show a history on the canvas and end up having a language of their own. I use color to grab your attention and line to let the conversation slow so you can stay still and look longer. 

In 2021 my home has become my country retreat where the view of the water to the North and the corn fields to the South provides subject matter that has become an integral part of the physical and intellectual environment of my work.

At a time when communication is often digital and distant, I tap into something that is visceral, something everyone experiences and reacts to- the visual physicality of the human touch of the marks on paper or canvas. 

Using texture, color, and line with my oils or soft pastels I want to give the viewer something that mirrors the energy, forward motion and the beauty of my surrounding nature and its wildlife. I intend to give the viewer a place of sanctuary that lets the eye wander and the mind wonder.

 

2020  A year full of conflict and a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic had me creating differently from past years. Still driven by color and line I found myself embarking on a series that provokes a smile. Unlike previous bodies of work this emerged and caught me by surprise. I found joy in the bounty of feedback I received on social media or virtual exhibitions as Galleries and exhibition locations were in lockdown.

A smile that makes the eyes brighten, heard in a voice or felt in words gave me a psychological and physical uplifting which was so needed in 2020. ENJOY. #smileart

2019 

I live in the country on the shore of Lake Ontario where I have uncovered many secretly hidden and protected nests. I soon realized the safe havens I was painting shared characteristics with my life and circumstances; chaotic but with elements with order, adapting to challenges and always trying to find a place of warmth and safety.

Since I love line and the concept of contradiction I began drawing these little homes which are painstakingly constructed from scrounged raw materials, which appear fragile yet withstand harsh elements without losing identity.

2017 had a focus of #nests, a place to nurture, rest, or to hide. I will continue on this exploration of nests in 2018.  The circular movement of line, the natural fibers and the beautiful form continue to intrigue me. 

In 2016 I will continue to reveal my life through narratives.  Like many Irish I like to share stories. I use images, from a stockpile of memories often that are contradictory and uncomfortable realities  of my life in a world that is so gender based.

In 2015 I further developed a body of work, in oils with the lines of the lake. I found myself living in the country now, a simpler easier life. My work is reflecting that change, a life I have always dreamed about. For so long my life revolved around the almighty work week and yes- work is good for us-but it should’t take over our lives. My intent with this body of “lakelines” is to give the viewer a place to decelerate, to find a moment of calm. 

I continue to work with the figure. The female body is a widespread topic on social media, and through out history. I paint the feminine body because I find it a safe place for weaving a narrative of body image by women for women, and it allows an abstract exploration of the interplay between sexuality, gender, and form.  I often have conversations about my body with myself and these talks end up in my paintings. Sometimes I make those conversations clear and sometimes I put them in secret code, for women only. Painting the female body allows me to interpret women’s bodies and mentalities in a way mass media society does not conventionally allow or shies away from.

In 2014 I started to explore a simple soft body of work  (pastel portfolio) inspired by the view of Lake Ontario out my window. That infinite space between me and the horizon takes me to a place of my own. A place where I feel like I am allowed to imagine and float.  Yet, sometimes I feel disorientated- that is when finding the horizon line balances me. I took that line in the distance and created art, small in size, using pastels and thread on sandpaper, in hopes of giving you, the viewer, a moment of their own. When you eyes are softly focused on the horizon, your brain releases endorphins. It is like a runners high. So often we spend our days looking at screens, this is a nice change.

 My paintings (oil portfolio) are like a conversation with a friend and not any friend, but my best friend. They just start. No plan, sometimes they ramble or are about secrets. At times they are funny, sad or serious. I often change my mind; take thoughts back, and then start over. I interrupt or make no sense and sometimes I am quiet and just listen. But in the end I feel safe and there is no right or wrong or judgments made when I expresses my thoughts to my best friend.

I love layers because they show a history on the canvas and they end up having a language of their own. I use color to get your attention. I make lines and detail when the conversation slows and I want you to look longer. If I need to make a point I use text as an exclamation point.

In 2013 I started a body of work (mixed media portfolio),  which was inspired by “women’s work” or “fancy work” . There are many political, social and economic motives behind needlework , which run the gamut from an instrument of oppression to an outlet for creative satisfaction and even for feminine training. I love the ironic contradictions needlework has in cultures and throughout world history and it’s perceived relationship to femininity.