Don’t people change over the years! It’s interesting sometimes to look back – and to see where you’ve come from.
I was doing this recently and I have to say that it opened a bit of a can of worms. I have reached a few conclusions alright but first, what you see above is a slideshow of paintings that I’ve done since I graduated from art college in the year 2000.
When I started off, I was making abstract paintings with the emphasis on the emotional impact of colours. I loved it. But d’you know, a certain art critic wrote a scornful article about them and let me tell you, that affected me for a long time afterwards. (I kept at it anyway and I’ve received some better reviews since then, thankfully). Anyway, when I became involved in the anti-war movement some years later, I found that I couldn’t say what I wanted to say in abstract and I (reluctantly) began to make more figurative work. Then, during the Celtic Tiger years, I began to make work that referred to the Homeless. In truth, it was really about the search/ yearning for ‘Home’. More recently, my thoughts have turned to emigration and to the Irish Diaspora and I started on a series of ‘empty hearths’. I was up in Donegal, and I couldn’t help noticing the number of abandoned and derelict houses.
So that’s what I’ve been at. Some people may be surprised that my work keeps changing but it’s simply because I’m interested in what’s happening in the world around me. I don’t think that artists should lock themselves away in ivory towers but still, I think you need a quiet studio for painting.
And now, to my conclusions. First: you must follow your muse; if you get an idea, you have to try it out, you just never know where it might take you. Second: you really shouldn’t let those critics get to you; just keep on going your own way. Third: (and this is not mine) but a wise tutor once said: “Rule number One: Don’t Panic”. Fourth: Art just ‘happens’ – you could be struggling away in the studio for ages but then, out of the blue, art just ‘happens’. Fifth: Plans, hah, you can make plans and it’s no harm of course but – things just ‘happen’. Have you heard of Synchronicity? Sixth: You can’t please everyone, don’t try! Seventh: Make sure that you spend more time working in the studio and less time reading stuff like this.
However, I would love to hear your comments so, if any of you out there in Bloggyland has advice for me, it’s ok to spend a little time here (!) And there’s more detailed information about all my work at www.eoinmaclochlainn.com
Slán go fóill, eoin