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Pollagh Trail Open Air Exhibition

    15 July – early September 2023

    I’ve always been captivated by the interplay of color, texture, and emotion. I’ve experimented with various techniques and canvases, but this summer brought a thrilling new challenge. It was the first time I embarked on creating a massive 1.3-meter by 1.3-meter painting on wood to be exposed in the open air exhibition on the Pollagh Trail, Birdhill, co. Tipperary.

    The decision to work on such a large scale was not made lightly. It was a leap into the unknown, a journey that would test my artistic boundaries and push me to explore the full spectrum of my creativity. But I was ready to take the plunge.

    Choosing the subject wasn’t an easy process. I wanted my painting to resonate with those who would stroll along the trail, to uplift their spirits and why not? Make them smile. After much contemplation, I settled on an idea that encapsulated the wild nature and the vibrancy of life: a bee, its tiny body, peacefully asleep within the embrace of a flower.

    The bee was the embodiment of ceaseless activity. From dawn till dusk, it flitted from one blossom to another, collecting nectar, pollinating, and contributing to the intricate tapestry of life. But even the busiest of creatures need their moments of rest and respite. I aimed to capture that very moment when the bee, its bottom glistening with pollen, surrendered to sleep in the soft petals of a flower.

    I started with a palette filled with the most vivid and lively colors I could find. The blues of the sky, the yellows of the pollen, and the lush greens of the leaves all came together to breathe life into my work. Every single tiny little stroke was infusing this painting with my warmth and joy.

    The process was both exhilarating and demanding. The size of the wooden panel required physical exertion, but the creative process was like a meditation and the bee was growing as the baby in my womb.

    Finally, the day arrived when my painting was ready to be unveiled. Placed at the beginning of the trail, it stood as a beacon of color and positivity, welcoming everyone to the open-air exhibition. The sight of people pausing to admire it, to share smiles and stories, filled my heart with immense satisfaction. My goal of brightening the moods of those who strolled on the trail had been achieved.

    Creating this large-scale painting on wood, exposed to the elements, had been an adventure filled with challenges and rewards. It had stretched my limits and deepened my connection with the natural world. As an artist, I had embraced the opportunity to share my passion with others, and I couldn’t have asked for a more fulfilling experience.

    Working with Melissa Ryan has been a pleasure, meeting a person so committed to enrich communities with art and events like this, an honour.

    See the video below to take a peek into the creation process.

    The Creation Process