This Artist's Journey

in Journal

                                                   This Artist’s Journey

Study - 'Bather' after Degas 1987
There are many different routes to being an artist and mine was more of a late vocation, found by pure serendipity……..One wet Summer’s afternoon (it is Ireland - remember!) in the late ’80’s I had art materials on the kitchen table for my two little boys to play with, like any good Mommy!
The thing is, until that point, I was one of those people who said I couldn’t draw a straight line, I couldn’t draw and that I knew nothing about art, and all of above was perfectly true. But then Lady Luck played her hand when I happened to turn on the television and a painting programme came on the screen - ‘Paint Along with Nancy’ (artist Nancy Kominsky being the lady in question). It was at that moment I decided I had nothing to loose, I had art materials to hand with instructions on the television and no excuses!
Curiosity won through, and so it began!  I painted along to Nancy, a still life with a bowl of pansies and, you know, my first attempt was alright.  I decided to join an art class at my local V.E.C the following autumn.  I had been attending different classes at this centre every year, knowing that I had to have a ‘talent’ for something!

                                       Pencil Study    


                                  Mixed Media Study 1986


That evening in October arrived and I set off the 14 miles for my first art class.  Half way over, I had second thoughts - What was I doing? I know nothing about art?  I really can’t draw a straight line?  I know nobody!  But I decided I’d try it out for one night and if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t bother going back!  No harm done.

In the classroom, the tutor had a still life set up with a big leafy green plant and a jug, and the only instruction we received were - “Now draw that!”. I looked in horror.  I seriously did not know how to make a mark that would resemble what was in front of me so the tutor came to my help and said “Just draw what is in front of you, nothing else.  Start making marks with your pencil” - and so began my love affair with Art, painting, drawing, creating…That night when I got home I drew the television screen, the ornaments on top of it,  I even took the ‘Brasso’ tin to bed and drew it!!! Oh my word I had found my passion alright!


Still Life with Jugs, pastel on paper
I must admit when I started I was like a child in a candy store, I tried just about every medium in those first couple of years, experimented, kept going to classes and many workshops with wonderful tutors.   We started exhibiting and I made my first sale the following Christmas 12 months, the excitement!!! 

I stayed with this group and we painted and exhibited regularly and I had a few solo exhibitions which were really, really pushing me to a new place, one I wanted to try and get to - living and working full time at my art.  It was a case of following the breadcrumbs, my curiosity, it never occurred to me when I set off that first night that I would continue until I went on to study Fine Art in college.  I was awarded my honours Degree in 2004 from Limerick College of Art & Design, one of Ireland’s best art colleges and one of my proudest days was receiving my degree.

You can view my paintings on my website here: 

 Til we meet again!


 Siobhan x

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