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Irish art, Irish paintings, and Irish artists and contemporary art - Artist CV's




Anji Allen was born in Galway and has been producing contemporary art in England for a number of years. There are many influences on Anji's art work including those of St Ives in Cornwall where she spent time

Anji Allen has developed a specific and recognisable style of contemporary art. Anji builds her art works with layer upon layer of paint producing very textural paintings which are reworked and scraped back as she marks and draws lines into the paint. Paintings are limited calm neutral colours of pale green, dark brown, creams and golds

Anji Allen's paintings are a revelation and celebration of the day to day. Familiar items such as scrubbed table top, milk jugs and tea cups are elevated and given a rarity value in Anji's paintings with her careful use of space and texture.

Anji Allen says of her paintings: 'My paintings are an emotional response to memory, reminding me of people and places, of times spent with friends and family, chatting over a cup of tea or coffee. The cup taking on a symbolic personal statement each having its own personality and narrative. The pleasure and joy is in the mark making the layering and application of paint. The construction of the forms are intuitive and not contrived, flowing as if in conversation.'

Anji Allen's paintings are blessed with many qualities. At first sight her art works appear simple and minimalist, but on closer examination the undoubted technical competence of Allen is evident.

Anji ALLEN - Snowdrops and Salt
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Val Byrne was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1936 . He studied Art and Architecture at University College Dubin (UCD) where he graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture degree.

After a short spell working in London Val Byrne returned to Dublin and established a partnership with another architect. By the early 70's the business had grown into one of the larger practices in Dublin and was carrying out major projects throughout Ireland, Africa and the Middle East. In 1985 Val was awarded and made a Fellow of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (FRIAI).

In the late 1980's Val retired from his Architect practice and returned full time to his love of painting. Val Byrne has painted all of his life winning his first major national art competition in Ireland in his teens. Because of his architectural background Val has a particular interest in the urban landscape of Ireland. Most of Byrne's contemporary paintings record Irish scenes of the 20th and 21st Century with an emphasis on harbours and boats and a mixture of domestic and residential buildings.

Val Byrne contemporary paintings include the bright colours of the painted buildings which are nowadays very characteristic of the towns, villages and harbours around Ireland. Val has always sought to include in his paintings a degree of quirkyness and the absurd. As he says: "If there is wobbly leaning lamppost with straggling wires in the scene, I leave it in', but he also has a developing interest in his first love - Cubism. Today he is probably the only Irish artist working with a Cubist approach to Irish images.

Today Val Byrne paintings are held in private and corporate art collections throughout the world including: Mary McAleese, President of Ireland; Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland and U.N. Commissioner for Human Rights; Jean Kennedy Smith, former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland and several Irish Embassies in Europe, USA, Africa, Asia. In 2004 Val Byrne completed six large paintings for the Irish Ambassador's new residence in Canberra, Australia. Val's paintings have also often featured in publications most notably Forty paintings were commissioned for the book " Bray and North Wicklow" published in 2004 and his paintings of the 75th Anniversary of the Irish Navy are included in " A Maritime history of Cork"

Val BYRNE - Slatts in Ennistymon
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George Callaghan was born in County Antrim, Northern Ireland in 1941. George left school at 15 to work at Nicholson and Bass as an apprentice Commercial Artist. A year later he commenced studying Art at the Belfast College of Art on a Scholarship.

After studying at Belfast College of Art George started work in Dublin as a designer. Callaghan then left for London before continuing this career for a number of years working in Australia for a number of leading advertising agencies as an Art Director. At the age of 32 he then moved to the Australian Island State of Tasmania where he lived for many years before moving to France for a number of years. He has now returned to Tasmania but returns regularly to Ireland to sketch and renew friendships.

The move to Tasmania prompted a big change in Callaghan's career. He set up a studio which he still maintains today. He also started to make musical instruments becoming an accomplished harp player. He now enjoys the reputation of being Australia's leading Harp maker and a leading exponent of the Celtic Harp. Recordings of his harp music include two compact discs, 'Traditional Airs', and 'Rhyme and Reason' along with several cassettes.

However, it is Callaghan's paintings that have created consistent interest over the years. His paintings whether in Acrylic, Oil or Pastel all exude a certain quirkiness and narrative with his native Northern Ireland roots very evident.

Although George Callaghan attended Art College, he insists that most of his skills and discipline were learnt from advertising. He believes art cannot be taught because no one knows what art is. All you can teach, George says, is technique - and leave their minds alone. He now paints in the style he developed before he received any fine art training.

George Callaghan paintings are in an naive style. His landscapes are without depth or perspective and chimneys are often stylised with puffs of smoke whilst trees appear as little green balls on a stick. Drawing, design and colour are finely developed in George Callaghan's meticulous painting technique.

One of the influences on George Callaghan's art works is the surrealist painter, Escher. George has used elements of Escher approach and adapted it to his own purpose. He has a beguiling gift for symmetry and pattern and demonstrates close attention to detail.

In addition to Red Rag Art Gallery George Callaghan has also exhibited at other leading Art Galleries. Each painting at Red Rag is sourced from the George Callaghan artist studio and like all Red Rag contemporary art it can be shipped worldwide.

George CALLAGHAN - Aah...draught
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Paul Christopher FLYNN

Paul Christopher Flynn was born in Dublin in 1963. After studying at the NCAD, Paul moved to the United States in 1986, remaining there for seventeen years. In 2003, Flynn returned to Ireland and a chance encounter with one of the artists at the Peoples'' Art Exhibition in Dublin convinced him to resume painting after a twenty year lapse.

Paul became a full time artist in 2005. Since then he has had a number of successes and his work is now held in various private and corporate art collections.

Paul Christopher Flynn''s current paintings look to convey the landscape in a way which reduces it to an essence of form and tone. His minimal use of colour evoke the earliest art, such as the cave paintings in Lascaux, but the quality of light in his paintings leave the viewer in little doubt that Flynn''s art is of the highest contemporary standard.

Paul Christopher FLYNN - Quiet Boat
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Artist Connor Maguire was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1977. He studied at the University of Ulster in Belfast and then spent a period of time in New York working in the United States.

Since returning to Northern Ireland Connor Maguire has been working as a freelance artist specialising in Illustration and Ceramics as well as experimenting with all types of art medium in his contemporary paintings and drawings. Connor Maguire contemporary paintings are inspired from everyday events, personal experiences, friends and family.

After having his first solo art exhibition in the Down Arts Centre in 2003 Connor Maguire has continued to exhibit taking part in several solo and group art shows. His paintings have shown alongside a number respected Irish artists including: Shawcross, Blackshaw and Carol Graham. In the process his paintings have been praised by art collectors and painters alike. Today Connor Maguire paintings are now in a number of private art collections throughout Ireland, This includes the art collection of Jim Fitzpatrick - one of the most celebrated and internationally known Irish artists.

Connor Maguire constantly strives to improve his contemporary art works. The interest and inspiration for his paintings started at an early age when Connor would watch his Grandfather sketch and draw. Maguire's Grandfather was an accomplished Draughtsman and Watercolour artist who introduced him to pencil drawing and charcoal.

Connor MAGUIRE - A New Life
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Fran McCann was born in Belfast in 1945. Fran displayed a remarkable talent for drawing from an early age, but received little art education until he met the renowned artist - John Luke. Luke took Fran under his wing and helped to establish him as an outstanding artist in his own right.

Fran McCann contemporary paintings have been influenced by artists such as Salvador Dali, Picasso, Van Gough, Louis le Broche. Other strong influences on McCann have been musicians Van Morrison, Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, Myles Davis, John Coultrane and Phil Linnott.

Fran McCann is constantly experimenting. But McCann has established a highly personal and recognisable style. His paintings display energy and passion whether they have been produced in pastels, oils or watercolours.

Fran McCANN - The Rocker
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Padraig McCAUL

Padraig McCaul was born in Dublin in 1963. He is a a self taught artist who works primarily in oils, using brushes and palette knives in strong, sweeping lines. McCaul's composition and form combine with vibrant, primary colours and all come together in capturing a vision of the Irish landscape

Like many other Irish artists before him Padrag McCaul has been held spellbound by the beauty of the west of Ireland. He believes there is a special energy deeply rooted in the landscape of the west, which he captures in his contemporary paintings.

A number of Irish artists have influenced Padraig McCaul's paintings. They include: the Irish landscape paintings of Paul Henry and Roderick O'Connor, as well contemporary artists such as Donald Teskey. A love of strong, vibrant colours has been inspired by artists such as Norah McGuinness and French artist Claude Idlas.

Padraig McCAUL - Winter Storms, Ashleam Bay
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Irish artist John Morris was born in Dublin in 1958. He started painting in 1997. Although primarily a self taught artist John Morris did initially take painting lessons from Irish artists Brian Quinn and Trevor Geoghegan.

John Morris says: 'As an artist my paintings are about light and the effect light has on subjects such as figures, water and landscapes. Composition is important to me and I spend a lot of time getting it right before I start on a painting. I make quick sketches in pencil, charcoal or oil. These sketches along with photographs make up a visual diary which I use as reference material for my paintings.'

John Morris is an artist with a strong love for the Irish landscape with its constantly changing light and atmosphere. His paintings display vitality and freshness which when coupled with strong and confident brush strokes successfully captures a sense of time and place.

John Morris is an Irish artist who excels at plein-air painting and knowing how to capture glistening Irish light. Morris' paintings convey his compositional ability, an essential quality for rapid outdoor painting

John MORRIS - Ballybunion
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Cormac O'LEARY

Cormac O'Leary was born in Cork city, Ireland in 1969. Having completed his art studies in Co. Sligo, Cormac O'Leary moved to Barcelona, Spain. While there he regularly visited the Picasso Art Museum, the Joan Miro Foundation, The Antoni Tapies Foundation and the famous Gaudi buildings. On returning to Ireland Cormac joined other local artists and set up group art studios. Cormac began to exhibit his paintings locally and nationally, and also published art reviews and illustrations in various outlets, including Arts West magazine, Circa, and the Sculpture Society of Ireland newsletter.

Cormac O'Leary has won several awards for his contemporary paintings and has exhibited regularly in London and America. Today Cormac is represented in many national and international art collections.

Cormac O'Leary is an artist who produces paintings mainly in oils and acrylics. He is much influenced by his immediate environment, by the dramatic Irish landscape, but also by figurative and abstract images

Cormac O'LEARY - Raughley II
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Laurence O'TOOLE

Laurence O'Toole was born in Bray County Wicklow in 1968. He launched his career with a number of solo shows in corporate and public spaces in and around Dublin before moving to the United States. He subsequently held a series of group and solo art shows in California and Arizona with the California Artists Guild and the National group Showing

While pursuing his career in fine art Laurence O'Toole worked as a motion picture set and scenery artist. He collaborated with many artists and directors on a number of films before returning to Ireland. Since then Laurence has focused his career in fine art.

In 2003, Laurence O'Toole was asked by the organisers of the televised Festival of Arts Competition in Sardinia to represent Ireland. Out of thirty participating European artists, Laurence was awarded 2nd prized and had art works accepted into their permanent art collection.

Today, Laurence O'Toole's concern is with challenging traditional ways in interpreting and framing the many difference landscapes of Ireland. His subtle way of blurring the boundaries between physical and fantasy offers dramatic interpretations of nature and elemental forces.

Laurence O'TOOLE - Blue of the Cotton Sky
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Brian Smyth was born in 1967. He studied art at the Crawford College of Art and Design in Cork, graduating in 1995 with an honours degree in Art & Design. . Although Brian specialised in painting at college he also studied other various art subjects including multi-media, print, video and photography.

Brian Smyth paintings capture the very essence of his subjects. He is equally successful in his treatment of portraits, crowd scenes or café society. Smyth is a master in creating a sense of time and place in his paintings and leaves the viewer with an enduring and distant image on which to contemplate.

Brian Smyth has won many plaudits for his contemporary paintings and has exhibited regularly in Ireland, England and Scotland. Today Brian's' paintings are featured in many private and public art collections.

In addition to Red Rag Art Gallery Brian Smyth has exhibited at many leading Irish Art Galleries. Each painting at Red Rag is sourced from the Brian Smyth artist studio and like all Red Rag Modern art and Contemporary art it can be shipped worldwide.

Modern Art: Brian Smyth at Red Rag Gallery

Brian SMYTH - The Cafe
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Manus Walsh was born in Dublin in 1940. His first job was in a graphic studio. This was followed by a period at Abbey Stained Glass Studios, Dublin where his initial training began in the field of stained glass. It was during this time that Manus met Irish Artist, George Campbell who encouraged him to pursue a full time career as an artist.

After spending a period of time in Spain, Manus had his first art exhibition in the Dublin Paintings Gallery, Stephen Green in 1967. Since then Manus Walsh has had over 30 art exhibitions and has exhibited in numerous group artist shows.

The Irish west coast and especially Burren in Clare has had a major influence on Manus Walsh life and paintings. Manus has produced many art works featuring this dramatic Irish landscape. Another influence on Manus Walsh paintings has been the city of Valparaiso in Chile. Walsh's recent paintings have contrasted the colourful vertical kaleidoscope of Valparaiso, with the dramatic horizontal lines of the Burren.

There is something intensely personal about the art style of Manus Walsh that makes his paintings easily identifiable as that of Manus Walsh. His images are poetic, atmospheric, unpretentious, and subtle.

Manus Walsh art work has been described as cubist, abstract, impressionist, surreal, naturalistic and romantic. He is a leading exponent in the craft of enamel on copper and has produced a number of exciting art works in this medium. Manus works in stained glass, enamel, oils, pastels, gouache, chalk, collage, graphics- what ever comes to hand it seems! As a result, Manus Walsh's career has been characterised by an imaginative diversity of subject and technique, an ever-present willingness to experiment with the new or re-visit old ideas

Manus WALSH - Beneath the Alcazaba,Andalucia
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To view art works from British and Scottish artists select art links below

British Artists

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