Are you looking for ideas?

clay sculpture by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

Well, you have to start somewhere. I started with a lump of clay, lovely mucky pliable stuff, and I created the shape you see above. In reality it was only the size of your fist. But I liked it so I photographed it.

And then I squashed it and made another shape, and then another…

That’s what I was doing for a while, to try to get some new ideas or to create something new. But what I was missing was colour, the joy of colour.  Clay is a wonderfully expressive material but… well it’s just grey, isn’t it.  So I added the colours into it with Photoshop. (Yes, I used Photoshop again – but no, I couldn’t say if it was a sculpture, a photograph or… a piece of fine art, even?)

Of course, it’s just a lump of clay again now, but actually, it started with the idea of hands covering a face.  And then I gave it a title:  ‘Brón’ (Sorrow).

I was reminded of those muddy endeavours recently when I came across the work of the American artist Stuart Shils.  He’s a great painter and printmaker but he also experiments with bits of paper stuck on a window, with shadows on the floor and indeed, with anything that catches his fancy.  Nach fánach an áit a bhfaighfeá gliomach! (meaning:  you can find real treasure in the strangest of places)


A 10t floor studio floor, 1.30am in the morning - an image by Stuart Shils
10th floor studio floor, 1.30am – image by Stuart Shils
Yesterday's Sun, Germantown Avenue - image by Stuart Shils
Yesterday’s sun, Germantown Avenue – image by Stuart Shils

And I think that’s the answer.  If it helps in the creative process, shur why not give it a go. How do you like his images above?  The first one is his studio floor, with the light streaming in and the second, a building site, perhaps. But they both look like abstract paintings to me. Loads more good ones on his website at:




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