“From a very young age, I loved the rainy days spent inside with the crayons and paint.”
Today we travelled down to visit a very special Dubliner based in County Carlow called Lorraine Fenlon. She paints a range of subjects like magnified depictions of fruit, pet & people portraits, contemporary landscapes and seascapes. We particularly love the local images of Irish seascapes and highly recommend you check them out.
Anyway, we sat down with Lorraine to see what makes her creativity tick and how she got to where she is today.
1. Did you always want to be an artist? How did you get started?
Yes totally!! From a very young age, I loved the rainy days spent inside with the crayons and paint. At school, it was the one thing I excelled at and loved to do however, 1980’s recession career advice was to ‘pick something else’ as there’s no work in art. I was crushed! I never gave up though. I ended up doing projects and posters for adverts and loads of stuff. In the end working at screen printing and helping in the studio, I got my chance. With this encouragement, I took hundreds of night classes and attended as many workshops as I could. Now I am doing it and loving it and teaching as well. You have to do what you’re called to do.
2. Who or what inspires you as an artist?
I am inspired by lots of things including organic and man-made structures. I do love nature and the ever-changing challenges of light and colour in the landscape. I am also fascinated by large structures especially lighthouses some of which are feats of engineering. With nature, I also keep returning to fruit, flowers and fish which I am taken with the beauty of colours, reflective surface, form and textures.
3. Have any other artists been influential in your work ?
I love the work of the impressionists and especially Van Gogh. I also love Turner, and a Spanish Artist called Guillermo Gomez Gil, Mondrian, Rothko and Irish Artists Harry Clarke, Mark O’ Neill’s mastering of still life and Elizabeth Magill. As my work is an eclectic mix and continually evolving, the varied work of Artists like Picasso and Irish Artists Alice Maher and Dorothy Cross are a great encouragement.
4. What makes your pieces unique?
I paint in a contemporary style with subjects ranging from landscapes to buildings, fruit, animals and portraits. What is consistent is my colour palette and use of glazes or textures and I often like to zoom in and ‘fill the frame’ to show up close what we often cannot see if it is either too small or inaccessible.
5. Is there a specific technique that you use?
I have a range of techniques that I call upon to suit my subject matter. I use brushes, palette knives, sticks, cardboard, my fingers and anything to hand to get the effects I want.
6. Do you have a favourite material that you work with?
I mostly paint in oils but also use acrylic & mixed media to aid with textural under-base. Last year, I introduced a range of new work with genuine Gold Leaf negative painting styles. I would like to merge this style with my previous work to develop it further.
7. What projects are you currently working on?
Seascapes, lighthouses and iconic buildings painted in oils and gold leaf. Alongside that, I am working on developing a new range of abstracts. A lot of my work is quite ‘tight’ so it is refreshing to use abstracts to free yourself from a previous series of intense work. Again, vibrant colour and texture will prevail.
8. Do you have a favourite pieces or one that you are most proud of?
Favourites are often more recent ones but I did several commissions for a regular Dublin collector which were hard to part with.
9. Where can we buy your work?
My work is available from my website www.lorrainefenlon.com , from the Denis Collins Gallery and the Rosslare Gallery in Wexford and from Gallery 1908 in Bushmills, Co. Antrim. I will also be taking part in the Love Your Home Debut Dublin show in May, the Red Stables in Clontarf in April & June and Art Source in RDS in November.
Lorraine Fenlon Art – lorrainefenlon.com
Free tickets to Love Your Home Show Dublin 2019
Love Your Home Dublin is back! If you’re looking for ideas for your home, you have a project you need some expert advice on or if you’re just looking for some inspiration then Love Your Home is the perfect event to visit.