I love grafitti, street art, street photography, portraiture, interior design, textiles,and rain.
Being Irish, saying you love the rain is often met with surprise. When I try to explain it all I can say is....... think more cosy cafe window, less squelchy wet socks!
As I studied textile design in college, the tutors told us our designs could be created for 'fashion, fine art or interiors'. I got first class honours and even 'Student of the year' but I still came out of my degree thinking 'What now?' I eventually decided to do a H.Dip in Art Education. I figured it would only be a year of my life and a regular income bla, bla, bla. So, after a very difficult year of trying to learn to survive in teacher training, I got my first job at Greenhills College (a real job and all that) and put all my efforts into teaching second level art. An amazing school but teaching all boys was challenging, to say the least :-/
After seven years (in 2013) I remembered that I was an artist first and foremost! I began making T-shirts by painting on them with household bleach. The first one I did was of a London scene for my sister. Realising she probably wouldn't wear it, I figured I could frame it and make it into a painting. So, I cut the front of the T-shirt out and framed it. This led to me creating a whole series of paintings, rain scenes, city scenes, cafe window views etc. These became 'Calm in The Chaos', my first solo show.
I loved every minute of it.
While talking to someone about my technique at the exhibition, they mentioned I could buy this T-Shirt fabric on an industrial size roll. Before I knew it the package had arrived in the post from the UK and I was busy creating pieces up to five feet wide! Working at this scale is so different and exciting as it is a much more physical way to paint. The next thing i knew, I was hooked! I have been asked a few times (particularly by my mother) 'Where could you put a painting that big?!' Regardless of this, I was compelled to create.
I began working from street photography, everyday scenes and moments around the city, trying to capture light,and ambience, where nothing is stationary. This often includes a figure at the forefront of my pieces, as if they have nearly banged in to the canvas, a 'snaphot' composition, never posed. I've slowly been adding more colour over time, I even paint sunshine occasionally! :-) I adore light, any kind of light, sunlight shining in windows, nightlight, streetlights, carlights, diffused light. I aim to capture light in all my work, ironically starting from a completely black canvas.
So, this brings me to where I'm at now. Still teaching, but painting every chance I get. Dreaming of one day being able to live in my little studio bubble full time, where i'm the boss and the only thing i have to think of is 'Which painting will I work on today?'. Bliss.
In the meantime, as I'm not brave enough to leave my job and be a 'real- life artist', I will continue being the best teacher I can be (aww) in a school that I'm very fond of, and dream of a simpler, creative life where I could look forward to a Monday morning in my studio :-)
I studied at G.M.I.T. Galway and attained a National Diploma in Art and Design and went on to do a Bachelor of Design in Textiles. I then attained a H. Dip in Art and Design Education at N.C.A.D. and am currently teaching at Greenhills College, Dublin.
UPDATE: I got brave enough and am now a full time artist and creator of 'Julie The Genie' my new venture inspired by my teaching.