The Sean Nós  – literally the old ways – are inextricably linked to the sea. Folklore, fiction and half-truths – all feed into our mythology  – the spine that tells us who we are on this island, and beyond that out in the physical, fluich landscape.

In this work, I am trying to distil the essence of the old ways and the sea. I have spent much time now by the sea – studying it and finding in it’s essence my own, new way to paint.

  • Oil on canvas 45cm x 35cm Ready to hang in slip frame After many years traveling and living overseas. It is a constant comfort to feel 'at home' in Ireland. It is a place for my heart to rest.  
  • Oil on canvas 45cm x 35cm Ready to hang in slip frame I am not a strong swimmer (and a terrible surfer!) but anyhow - I love to do both - there is a feeling being in or on the sea that thrills and renews me at a cellular level. It is one of my favourite happy places!  
  • Oil on canvas 45cm x 35cm Ready to hang in slip frame I was lucky to spend many of my childhood Summers in Wexford. This past Summer I spent a lovely week in Rosslare and was delighted to note the magic is still as magnificent when walking at low tide on moon lit nights.  
  • Oil on canvas 45cm x 35cm Ready to hang in slip frame While on a fellowship at The Ballinglen Arts Foundation at the beginning of this year, I used to walk the shoreline at sunset. Most usually I was alone on the beach with my thoughts and it was a lovely opportunity to exercise my mind and body. It occurred to me  late on one of those evenings how the sea is so soothing - inhaling and exhaling in a rhythm as it does. Funny to get to my age before realising how the sea shows us how to breathe.  
  • Oil on canvas 45cm x 35cm Ready to hang in slip frame The back strand at Lacken in North Mayo is one of the most breath-taking places I have ever been. It's wide and long and surrounded by huge, high dunes. In the early part of the year, a breeze blows directly across the beach creating gentle gusts of sand - it feels otherworldly and a bit magical - as if for a few moments you are suspended between worlds,  neither holding on or letting go.  
  • Oil on canvas 45cm x 35cm Ready to hang in slip frame This collection has felt very much like a bunch of songs of praise to the shoreline and the magic, renewable energy of nature. This was painted after listening to Jack Lukeman's song - Magic Days & Magic Ways - a really lovely, hopeful tune - listen to it HERE.  
  • Oró, Oró

    645.00
    Oil on canvas 45cm x 35cm Ready to hang in slip frame Oró, Oró was painted while on a painting fellowship at The Ballinglen Foundation in North Mayo.  While walking along the shoreline in Ballycastle the tune deeply embedded in every Irish childhood psyche  - 'Oró se do bheatha bhaile' - came free in my mind. It is traditionally a rallying call but always to my mind - conjured up the image of rowing across waves, homewards. It heralded (to me!) a new way of painting, that felt much like being on the crest of a wave with home in sight.  
  • Oil on canvas 40cm x 40cm Ready to hang in slip frame I was fortunate to walk some of the Camino de Santiago trail earlier this year. It was wonderful - lovely clear seascapes and plenty of sunny times. I think I brought back some of the blue with me as it magic-ed it's way into my work for some time afterwards. As did this determined figure - a pilgrim who seemed to forge forward in faith - sure of just rewards.
  • Oil on canvas 40cm x 40cm Ready to hang in slip frame Suaimhneas is the Irish word for tranquility or relaxation - to be at peace. In recent times it has come to be associated with mindfulness and being aware of ones surroundings. Eitherway, being tranquil or mindful - the sea is always a balm to me.
  • Oil on canvas 40cm x 40cm Ready to hang in slip frame There is a moody, broodiness to the Mayo landscape - sometimes one can feel almost between worlds. I have heard it said 'the veil is thin' there - as if our ancestors are close by. I take this to be a comfort, and maybe a guiding hand that leads me and my work onwards.
  • Oil on canvas 40cm x 40cm Ready to hang in slip frame This painting is another song of praise, an ode to the sea as it renews, invigorates and keeps us buoyant - leading us homewards.
  • Oil on canvas 40cm x 40cm Ready to hang in slip frame There is a motion in the ocean that helps - I think - to move forwards out of 'stuckness' and  onwards. The constancy of the sea and holding on and letting go are a constant theme for me.
  • Contentment

    645.00
    Oil on canvas 40cm x 40cm Ready to hang in slip frame Another of my happy places! This was painted in my studio but harks back to happy times close to the boglands in Ciarraí. It is, in recent years, a contentment to me to take inspiration out in the landscape before incorporating it into the rhythm of a studio schedule. For a long time, I felt perpetually on residency - out in some landscape or other, it was enchanting but often unsettling. Now a new studio rhythm feels an enhancement, an orderly way to tap into influences and mine memories. **Now available as a Limited Edition Print** See details and purchasing options HERE
  • Oil on canvas 40cm x 40cm Ready to hang in slip frame Some paintings make themselves. This ones was made on a painting fellowship at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation and seemed to bring my work onwards - in a sure way, forwards - towards new paintings I wanted to make. Which is just as well as the felt the path behind had fallen away.
  • Oil on canvas 40cm x 40cm Ready to hang in slip frame As an Irish landscape painter, I have great reverence towards (and am inspired by) our great history in the field.  As islanders, the Sea is a constant theme in Irish art - we are steeped in it - literally and figuratively. It is very much a part of us. It is important to me to reference the Sean Nós (The Old Ways) while progressing my own work and I felt this painting went someway to creating an accommodation between both.
  • Oil on canvas 25cm x 25cm Ready to hang in slip frame Sometimes the littlest paintings have more than their fair share of magic. This one was painted in about 50 layers and I was just about to give up when it presented itself, like a secret kingdom - just beyond our imagination.
  • Oil on canvas 25cm x 25cm Ready to hang in slip frame This painting was made in many layers and took me on a bit of a journey. It was inspired by Bic Runga's song - of the same title - Everything is beautiful and new. Listen to it HERE. The song was inspired by Bic's first-time motherhood - the enchantment,  fragility  and wonder of the new. It's appropriate to any journey - that is challenging, a personal stretch but ultimately a happy song.
  • Oil on canvas 25cm x 25cm Ready to hang in slip frame Another painting made in many, many layers - often the smaller ones have that way about them. This painting was in itself an enchantment. I loved making it - as it seemed to form itself over many layers. It puts me in mind of salmon skies and Summer nights, striding homewards through high grasses not far from the sea.
  • Oil on canvas 76cm x 51cm Ready to hang in slip frame Mayo has some magic places, DownPatrick Head being a case in point. It's the edge of Ireland and not for the faint-hearted. The sea lashes it for much of the time - making for dramatic sea spray and the foamiest, thundering current but then at other times it is all calm - like at day break when the sun steals its way in silence into the sky. **Now available as a Limited Edition Print** See details and purchasing options HERE
  • At Valentia

    2,550.00
    Oil on canvas 40" x 30" (i.e. 102cm x 76cm) Ready to hang in slip frame I am a fan of islands but despite having spent much of my painting time in Ciarraí, I have only recently started to document Valentia island.  I love the sea-crossing - short as it is - and Bray Head, and the lapping water at ever side. I love too that you can go way, way high up and low down again into the sea. This is one of my first paintings from this place - it was made following a stormy Summers crossing.
  • Oil on canvas 40" x 30" (i.e. 102cm x 76cm) Ready to hang in slip frame The sea adjoining Ciarraí can often catch colours of the tropics - turquoise and fizzy greens that don't quite match our inky skies. I have been greatly infleunced by Sorolla this past year - visiting his studio in Madrid and seeing his shows in London and Dublin. I wonder how he might have painted our sea - with all the drama but not so much sun, I imagine the Spaniard may have had much to say in paint.
  • Oil on canvas 40" x 30" (i.e. 102cm x 76cm) Ready to hang in slip frame Valentia Island - as a location - had a pivotal and pioneering role in transatlantic communications. I find walking alone the shoreline and swimming very inspiring - it so often translates into my work. While I find abundance in the waves, it makes me think Marconi must have had a magic, marvelous mind to see so much potential beyond those waves.
  • Oil on canvas 100cm x 70cm Ready to hang in slip frame This painting was inspired by a night walk along the shoreline. There is quite a bit of gold in this painting - a departure for me - that I think captures the otherworldliness of the sea at night-time.
  • Oil on canvas 100cm x 70cm Ready to hang in slip frame  
  • Oil on canvas 125cm x 112cm This large painting happened immediately after I had taken a short holiday in Rosslare last Summer. It was such a lovely little holiday - I had spent most of my childhood Summers in Wexford - so doing the 'borough' beach walk every morning felt - in someways like re-enchanting a long, held connection. **Now available as a Limited Edition Print** See details and purchasing options HERE
  • Oil on canvas 100cm x 70cm Ready to hang in slip frame I made this painting while on a painting fellowship at The Ballinglen Artists Foundation in Ballycastle, Co Mayo. Dun Bristé - or the stack - is a tiny landmass just off Downpatrick Head. It’s a sanctuary for birds now but legend has it that the chunk of rock broke away from the mainland when St Patrick struck the earth with his stick in response to a naysayer who doubted his Christian doctrine! Either way it is striking and I love to paint it!