Thursday, January 29, 2009

Melisande, reference polaroid.

Here is an interesting reference polaroid I came across the other day.
It was the very first time I worked directly from photographs in my illustration work.
The model is a good friend and fellow illustrator, Siobhan Dodds.
I remember I was particularly keen to make the fall of the draperies convincing, but I didn't have access to any costumes back in the mid-1980s, so I made do with a sheet.
The painting is all the better for that. I had to invent details of the dress and Melisande's hair, and the whole of the town was created from my imagination.
Sometimes it's best not to have extensive reference photos, you can end up leaning on them too much. Finding the perfect balance between photography and imagination has been an ongoing challenge for me over the years.

Friday, January 23, 2009

"The Man in the Purple Suit", the finished portrait.

Here is that portrait I was talking about.
It's pretty much finished now, maybe just a few more glazes to tie it all together.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Upcoming Literature Festivals

I will be doing a couple of literature festivals in the next few months.
The first is the Caomhnú Literary Festival in Cavan. I always love getting down to Cavan, the people there are great and I get to see my big Gulliver paintings in the new library there. I'm doing a couple of workshops at schools on Friday the 6th of February, and I'll be hovering around the festival that day and next morning.
At the West Cork Literary Festival in early July, I'll be doing a talk with slides, and I think there will be another "In Conversation" event too. There might be an exhibition of original paintings too.
I'll post more details closer to the time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Man in the Purple Suit

Here is a shot of me at work in my studio.
I'm finishing off a pretty big portrait of my great friend Aidan Mulholland. I have depicted him wearing a purple suit and silver shoes which I think reflect his exuberant personality.
We were at school together many years ago, and have stayed friends ever since. (He's actually a few months older than me in case you were wondering.)
Aidan's path has taken him into music and architecture, and he spent quite some time living in Spain. You can read about him and listen to some of his music here.
He did a wonderful soundtrack to the Bee-man of Orn DVD, and, being tall and rangy, he was the ideal person to model for Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln and his Boys.
I'll post a shot of the portrait when it's finished.

Friday, January 16, 2009

PJ Lynch interviewed by Dr Pat Donlon

Here are a few images from the interview I did with Dr Pat Donlon at the National Library of Ireland before Christmas.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Lincoln family's first Christmas at the White House

February 12th is the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, and Candlewick and Walker will be publishing "Lincoln and his Boys" by Rosemary Wells, and illustrated by me.
Here is the scene showing the Lincoln family's first Christmas at the White House.
If you can get hold of a copy I can really reccommend this book. The story is incredibly moving.

Monday, January 5, 2009


An old friend from school sent me a picture of a terra cotta sculpture I did back then.
It was called "Stress", and in a fairly straight forward piece of Symbolism, it represents the pressures I was feeling with exams pending.