I use many mediums including oil and acrylic, but encaustic is the one that most ignites my passion. It gives me the freedom to express myself in the way that feels most true to me. I can't explain it exactly but it feels right. It can be a really difficult medium but the beauty and the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. I think it allows the painter to put so much of their selves into the work because it can be such a fast, right brained process. When I paint in oils, which I also love, I tend to become very involved with the technicalities of the paint, medium, and additives. I studied History of Art and Archaeology at University before going to Art College in Ireland. I then trained at a classical painting academy in Florence, Italy so I have a very deep interest in all aspects of painting, not just the application. When I use encaustic, I have the same interest, but I feel that my heart and passion take over and my work becomes much more intuitive and primal.
I want people to be moved by my work! I want them to feel some of the passion that went into the making and I want them to feel a connection to the subject. When I can see this happening, it is a humbling, exhilarating, and very satisfying experience for me. The subjects I paint are very important to me and when another person 'gets it'; I feel a huge connection to them. It is especially important to me with my current body of work as the subject is so sensitive and tragic but it has been very well received.
At the moment, I am working on a series inspired by the stories emerging in Ireland about the treatment of young girls who became pregnant outside of marriage in the last century. These innocent young women were completely betrayed by the state, society, religious institutions, and their families. It is a monumental tragedy, and I have felt a huge calling to tell their stories in paint. I have called this body of work, 'Sinner – the lie of the land'.