ActivitiesArtThe Willow Art Collection

'Blush' - by Paul Hughes.      Painted over periods between Autumn 2009 & Autumn 2011.

I sat watching the very early morning sun rise one late autumn Sunday morning. I sat at the end of the West pier, Dun Laoghaire, on the seaward side where the big grey seal robs the fish from the end of the fishermen’s lines. I'm string North Eastward towards The Kish, staring at the tall column of uninterrupted sky and sea, divided only by the horizon line. Before the sun comes up fully the early morning clumps of clouds are washed with a 'blush' of pink light as the sun still rests below the horizon. The curvature of the earth means the sun can hit the clouds overhead, but does not reach me at sea level, until it rises further. It is as if nature is blushing, having been caught by me during an early morning naked stretch. It is still, and probably warmer than it should be for that time of year. The sea is still dark but seems to absorb some of the blushing sky.

We say good morning and I go home.

This painting is from the 'Absorption/Horizon' series of works I have been developing over the last 3 years. This project has been the constant study of the horizon around Dublin Bay. I endeavour to exclude landmarks and just concentrate on the vertical columns of light above and below the horizon line. Landmarks take your attention off the simplicity of a horizon line, that non-existent place that you can never reach. Horizons hold all our dreams, our hopes, our wishes. It is where we look when we want for something or when we recall past glories. But your horizon will always stay the same distance away from you. You will never reach it. As you move towards it it moves equidistance away. You turn and walk away from it, it follows you.

Paul Hughes lives and paints in Blackrock in Dublin. He exhibits regularly and is represented in London by The Kings Road Gallery in London.

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Elizabeth Cope

Kilkenny based artist Elizabeth Cope is best known as a painter of bright, colourful pictures.  She paints spontaneous, spirited still lifes, views of interiors, animals and landscapes.

Emotion is the colour in our lives, and colour expresses emotion in painting.  It is in the richness of colour that the heartbeat of the artist can be felt - the spirit of creation itself.  Elizabeth Cope lives for colour, and her works reflect her multi-coloured view of her world.

Movement is also central to Elizabeth Cope's work.  Change and energy are always only expressed through movement.  Her brush swings and plunges through a storm of colour, while, with the lightest hand on the tiller, she pilots her painting towards its resolution.  The very graphic quality of her line, seeking to simplify, search for, and explain all the minutiae of the world around her, has a quality that is both child-like and yet instantly recognizable as true....her eye wittily and wryly winking at the comedy of it all.  In her paintings domestic bliss is also not far away. Elizabeth's many still-life paintings are light and airy domestic scenes; casually unconstructed, they are heart-lifting, bright and colourful.

Hers are seriously powerful paintings full of energetic movement and strong imagery, whose intensity is alleviated by areas of decorative power within the figurative pieces - more fully explored in her still life works where the influence of Matisse is keenly felt - and her sense of humour!

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Neil Burke-Kennedy

Neil Burke-Kennedy is an artist and architect living in south Dublin.  His work reflects his eclectic interests and his locality - with many studies of the’ iconic’ chimneys that define the skyline for many Dubliners.


Annraoi Wyer - Title: Wall

Born in Dublin, Annraoi Wyer studied at the COMAD and National College of Art and Design taking an honours degree and diploma. He currently lives in Co.Wicklow.

From the mid 1990's abandoned structures and interiors re-emerged as a theme in his work. In 1995, Paraclete Press published his first book’ Blackrock College 1860-1995’,a selection of archival photographs. He has also collaborated in the creation of the  Blackrock College Art Collection.           His own graphic work has been included in numerous international shows.


John Kingerlee

Title: Figures - Gothic Series

For the past twenty years John Kingerlee has lived and painted on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork. During this period he has evolved a technique of painting whereby layers of pigment are applied one over the other, forming thick strata of paint akin to the rocky landscape visible outside his studio window.                              Born Birmingham England in 1936. he moved in 1982 to an isolated farmhouse on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork.                                                                                                                                                                                                 A non-conformist at heart, he has turned his back on the traditional way of seeing and depicting landscape - as a series of parallel planes that are made to appear to recede from foreground to background by the artist's manipulation of linear and aerial perspective. Recognising that perspective itself is a mathematical construct, John takes a different approach that is as radical as it is original. He states that he wants his art to recreate the experience of being in and moving through the landscape. His work is based in an imagination sustained by enchantment, observed reality, and superlative talent.


Mary Geary

Title: Rugby ball

Mary Geary comes from an artistic family and has been drawing and painting all her life. She attended the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and then went on to further  education at F.I.T. in New York, with a scholarship from the Kilkenny Design Centre.


Mike Fitzharris

Title: Dublin Port   'oil on Board'

Mike Fitzharris was born in Limerick in 1952.
His work is grounded in landscape. The pictorial perspective is invariably aeria,l which creates a tunnel view that the audience enters into visually. Paint is usually scratched into the surface and lines and shapes swirl as if controlled by natural forces. The colour is often Mediterranean in hue and he favours rich yellows, orange, vibrant greens and blues. Occasionally industrial or sensitive environmental circumstances are chosen as subject matter.


Annraoi Wyer

Title: Alley Structure

Born in Dublin, Annraoi Wyer studied at the COMAD and National College of Art and Design taking an honours degree and diploma. He currently lives in Co.Wicklow.

From the mid 1990's abandoned structures and interiors re-emerged as a theme in his work. In 1995, Paraclete Press published his first book’ Blackrock College 1860-1995’, a selection of archival photographs. He has also collaborated in the creation of the Blackrock College Art Collection. His own graphic work has been included in numerous international shows.