The People’s Art Exhibition, Dublin

The People’s Art on the Green

The People’s Art will take place once again this weekend from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st August  around  St. Stephens Green, Dublin.

This exhibition is  organised by Dublin City Council, the Office of Public Works (OPW)  and a voluntary group of organisers.  This is a super event and really adds to the ambiance of the city, so why not drop by, see some wonderful paintings and maybe purchase a truly unique gift for a special occasion or that someone special.

The dates for this years exhibitions are:

  •  6th – 8th May 2011
  • 24th – 26th June 2011
  • 19th – 21st August 2011
  • 23rd – 25th September 2011
I will be located on the north side ( opposite Dawson Street )  and I  hope you can make it.
Otherwise, see you in Merrion Square on Sundays.

My Plein Air Dingle Trip

On a sunny Sunday morning in May, I embarked on my journey from Dublin to Dingle, Co. Kerry.   A week of painting outdoors, or otherwise known as En Plein Air.  The car was laden down with field easels,  oil paints, turps, linseed oil,  stretched canvas of all shapes and sizes, clothes to paint in, clothes for warm weather, clothes for cold weather, raingear and the list goes on….   I arrived in Dingle a couple of hours later and was greeted by a number of other like-minded artists who had also packed the so-called ‘kitchen sink’ in preparation for our week of painting.

Dingle (Irish: An Daingean / Daingean Uí Chúis, meaning “Ó Cúis’ fort”) is the only town on the Dingle Peninsula, and sits on the Atlantic coast.   It is also the place where the Academy Award winning Ryan’s Daughter was filmed back in the ‘70’s. The town was developed as a port following the Norman invasion of Ireland and has a population of just over 1900. The western end of the peninsula is a Gaeltacht  (Irish-speaking area). This is the most western part of Ireland, and the village of Dún Chaoin is often jokingly referred to as “the next parish to America”.  It has stunning scenery and the Blasket Islands lie off the west coast of the peninsula.  It was the perfect place for landscape and seascape painting.

Irish Art - my-plein-air-dingle-trip - Blasket Islands, Irish skyline, Kerry, west coast of Ireland
Blasket Islands Oil Painting 20 x 30 on canvas

We travelled high and low, through the narrow roads of Conor Pass, on to Inch Strand, Slea HeadBallyferriter and sometimes we just had to curb our enthusiasm and wait until the traffic cleared:

cows crossing the road blocking the traffic, dingle, kerry countryside
Traffic Calming Measures in Dingle

We set out one day and arrived at a place  called Duineen with a magnificent  mountain range and a river system sometimes referred to as  the Three Sisters.  We started the day with the sun shining as the waves danced and glimmered against the rocks.  Seconds later, dark skies and hailstones, came from God knows where. The waves kicked up a storm and sprayed us with a cool mist while we tried in vain to protect the paintings and the easels from blowing away…. 

Irish Art - my-plein-air-dingle-trip - Peaked mountain range oftentimes referred to as the Three Sisters, with sea crashing against the rocks, Dingle peninsula, Atlantic coast

Another glorious day, the sun beat down on us and I imagined myself in far off sunny climes.  All the superfluous layers of clothing were abandoned as we squinted away from the glare of the sun and topped up our delicate features regularly with sun cream.

Irish Art - my-plein-air-dingle-trip - Sea beating against the rocks on Dingle Peninsula, Atlantic rugged coastline
Clogher Beach, Dingle

Next day, we decided to go inland and pulled off to the side of the road.  Came upon this amazing place called Kilmalkedar, an early medieval ecclesiastical site with a church dating back to the 12th century.   This was a fine example of Irish Romanesque architecture when Ireland was trying to bring itself more into line with the rest of Europe.  There was a sundial, a large cross and an ogham stone (Celtic alphabet).   Inside the church was a 6th century stone carved with the letters DNI representing Domini.  Many tourist buses came and went while we painted, but I found it charming when the school children arrived and all spoke fluent Irish as their Múinteoir (teacher) educated them on the enormous historical value of the site.

Ancient ecclesiastical church dating back to 12th century, historical site
Irish Art - my-plein-air-dingle-trip -Atlantic coastline, view of Dingle peninsula, many shades of green, sheep grazing
View from Kilmalkedar – Oil on board 14×18″

The days went by quickly.  Dedicated painting throughout the day, then lots of chat and laughter as we exchanged our stories and discussed the day’s events over a nice meal. Friendships blossomed and many beautiful paintings were created in oils, acrylics and watercolours, each and every one unique.  I look back now with fond memories of my plein air painting experience in Dingle.

Exhibition Invitations

The People’s Art on the Green

The People’s Art will take place once again on Friday 6th to Sunday 8th May around  St. Stephens Green, Dublin.

This exhibition is  organised by Dublin City Council, the Office of Public Works (OPW)  and a voluntary group of organisers.

The dates for this years exhibitions are:

  •  6th – 8th May 2011
  • 24th – 26th June 2011
  • 19th – 21st August 2011
  • 23rd – 25th September 2011
This is always a very colourful event and should not be missed.

I will be located on the east side and look forward to meeting you there.

Hope you can make it!

Terenure College Art Exhibition & Sale

Official opening on Friday 6th May 2011 at 7.30pm

The dates for this years exhibition are:

  • Friday, 6th May           7.00pm – 10.00pm
  • Saturday, 7th May      10.00am –  6.00pm
  • Sunday, 8th May         10.00am – 6.00pm
Hope to see you there!

Let the Performance Begin!

Irish Art - Let the Performance Begin - dancing girls, lady in red, stage performance, the ballet

The audience wait in hushed  anticipation.  The theatre retreats into darkness.  The stage lights herald the arrival of the dancers …

Let the performance begin !


Lately I have immersed myself in the wonderful world of dance and all that  it  entails.

Got to Dance, dance competition and reality show on TV with Ashley BanjoKimberly Wyatt, and Adam Garcia serving as judges.  It is a display of  unbridled talent waiting to burst forth in celebrating life itself!

Black Swan the American psychological thriller film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Natalie PortmanVincent Cassel, and Mila Kunis.  Its plot revolves around a production of Tchaikovsky‘s Swan Lake ballet.  Natalie Portman brilliantly plays the role  of a ballerina as both the innocent White Swan and the sensual Black Swan.

Finally,  saving the best till last, I  had the absolute pleasure of attending Tchaikovsky’s first ballet,  Swan Lake,   with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra held in the wonderful surroundings of The Grand Canal Theatre, Dublin.    The formation of The Russian State Ballet in 1979 brought stars from the famous Bolshoi, Kirov and Stanislavski ensembles together to bring Soviet ballet to the rest of the world.  Odette/Odile was performed  by Anna Scherbakova whose command of the stage and lightness of foot resembled a butterfly set free in a field of wild flowers, one more sweet  and alluring than the next.

Swan Lake, is considered to be the greatest classical ballet of all time. Its romance and beauty has mesmerised audiences for more than 100 years.  For me, it was a truly captivating experience.

Irish Art - Let the performance begin - Ballet, dancing girls, ladies in red, dancing performance, dancing on stage

With all of this in mind, I thought I would show you the paintings that  I have worked  on which are in keeping with this wonderful world of mystique and charm – the life of a dancer!

The Silent Journey

Upper Lake, Glendalough Co. WicklowIrish Art - Upper Lake Glendalough, Co. Wicklow
Upper Lake Glendalough, Co. Wicklow

Merrion Square Art – 25 Years On!

Art on Merrion Square celebrates 25 years!

Recently, Merrion Square Artists celebrated 25 years  of Art on the Square. The mood was festive and the artists  decorated their pitches with bunting and balloons.

To add to the ambience, the sun was shining and the music from the  Soul Picnic  festival in Merrion Square park complimented the day as the various artists sang their hearts out.

There was prize giving,  face painting and  a fun day was had by all.

The Mystery Man
The Mystery Man

Merrion Square  is a  Georgian square   lined with Georgian red-brick houses;  Leinster House, Natural History Museum,  and the National Gallery.

The exhibition of original paintings on Merrion Square began in 1985 and has continued to grow ever since. The exhibition has now expanded  to three sides of the  Square covering over half a kilometre of railings and can be viewed every weekend and all year round.

Georgian Building Doorway, Oil Painting 12x10" © Donna McGee
Georgian Building Doorway, Oil Painting 12×10″ © Donna McGee

The Catholic Church purchased Merrion Square park as a possible site for the first catholic cathedral in Dublin. The park was leased in 1974 by the St Laurence O’Toole Diocesan Trust (acting on behalf of the Archdiocese of Dublin) to the Dublin Corporation for public use and named in honour of Archbishop Dermot Ryan by the City Council.   It has since come up for review again and it would seem that the new name for the park is,  Merrion Square Gardens.

The park also hosts a flamboyant statue of    Oscar Wilde ,   the Irish writer and poet (1854 – 1900).  His former residence  was No. 1  Merrion Square from 1855 to 1876, however, since 1994 the house has been taken over by The American College Dublin.

Statue of Oscar Wilde in Merrion Square Gardens
Statue of Oscar Wilde in Merrion Square Gardens

Walking the park is a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon.   Maintained at a high level, the park  boasts  a magnificent display of shrubs and flowers for all to enjoy in the heart of Dublin city.

Oftentimes, other events take place,   such as the Street Performance  World Championship  which should not be missed.

Then,  feast your eyes on some great  original paintings displayed on the railings every Sunday,  whatever the weather! You will find me at  No. 90 (identified by brass number plates) on the north side of the Square.  Why not drop by for a visit and say hello.

What a great way to spend Sundays!

Cruagh Wood, Dublin Mountains

Irish Art- Cruagh Wood - dublin mountains

Cruagh Wood, Dublin Mountains


High up in the Dublin mountains, pockets of snow littered the landscape as the Spring sunshine and shrill winds competed with one another.  The harsh winter had been left behind and the only evidence remaining was the rush of  Spring water beating a track through the moss coated rocks, deep into the forest.