Charcoil on Canvas
Living and working in Dublin I was born in Waterford in 1961. I am self-taught and developed an interest in art at an early age.
I previously worked on a book of antiquities providing detailed ink drawings from celebrated sites around the south of the country, some of which were exhibited in Waterford along with other selected works from my portfolio at that time. My work has been purchased by various business and leisure establishments in addition to private commissions. In addition I have had a solo exhibition in Waterford. More recently I have contributed the art work used for the cover of Waterford based musician Liam Merriman’s latest album.
Over the last number of years I became increasingly interested in the re-emergence of portraiture as an art form and have been working in this genre during that time.
Currently using the medium of charcoal on canvas, which creates an interesting texture, my work tends to concentrate on the fascination of the face. Using larger canvasses to create a larger than life image, this makes for an immediate, powerful and almost surreal impact and allows the viewer to appreciate a greater connection with the subject.
I am currently working on a series of portraits with charcoal on canvas or paper. Focusing on the subjects face, I ignore any background or sense of place within the work. This concentrates the viewer’s attention directly on the subject which creates a sense of intimacy and connection with the subject. The face of the subject will, in most cases, take up the vast majority of the canvas space. This is in contrast to more conventional portraits which will place the subject in an elaborate setting whereby the actual face of the subject only accounts for a very small portion of the overall work.
To me a portrait should be all about the face which, when viewed in isolation, can portray a sense of that person far greater than any amount of “props” used in a more conventional portrait set-up. I see the face like a landscape or map which can assist the viewer to achieve a certain sense of the subject. Normally I chose to make the portraits larger than life which has a more dramatic and immediate effect. The use of charcoal adds to this as a powerful medium as it gives strength and definition.
Some of my portraits have a density of charcoal which allows for greater detail and a deeper exactitude to be achieved.