Northern Irish Artists give you a piece of Northern Ireland on Canvas
There is something charming about the work of Northern Irish artists. It is the charm associated with cosy countryside scenes, farm subject matters and the radiant depiction of persons who's personality just shines through the canvas.
I count myself lucky I know one of the many northern irish artists.
I met Steven in an unexpected place, in church. Over time we became good friends as we share mutual ideals and interests. I have come to appreciate his gentle personality, his sincere friendship, his intimate knowledge of Northern Ireland.
I have also come to appreciate his art. Steven likes to draw and he does it well. He has drawn general scenes and portraits, particularly of children, peoples homes, horses and pets for many.
In my limited art collection Steven's Cushendall holds pride of place. The painting is a view of the town and harbor of Cushendall on the Antrim coast as one looks towards it from a promontory just by Layde Church.I asked him to paint this landscape because Cushendall and Layde Church are places I visited with family and friends repeatedly both for its natural beauty and even more so for the old church and its fascinating history.
Steven, when did you first become interested in art?
My earliest memory is when I was in primary school, another pupil had done an impressive drawing of a ship which received ample praise from the class and the teacher. Maybe it was envy but I wished I had done the drawing. I chose art for my 'O' level school exams when I was 14, so I was quite into drawing then. After school my desire to go to art school never materialised so my drawing flickered out for a while until I began receiving commissions around 13 years ago.
What are your artistic influences?
I use to be a fan of Salvador Dali, the detail of some of his work amazed me and I use to try to do similar work with arcyllic paints. I generally stick with pencil and pastels now from which there is no artist of outstanding influence upon me which I can think of.
What does it take to draw when this is not your main profession?
Time and resources aside, you must have the desire to draw, the spark to keep at it, learn from your mistakes and develop your own technique and style.
What makes this kind of art special for you?
I really love detail, to go right up to a drawing and it still looks good.
What else do you do besides draw?
Mostly work in a factory. I write songs and play the guitar, I hope to make recordings in the future. Most of my songs have a spiritual/gospel theme in a folk music style. I also like hillwalking and play badminton and table tennis.
Steven, tell us about Northern Ireland. How long have you lived here?
All my life basically, apart from time as a student in Bristol and Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England.
What aspect of Northern Ireland fascinates you the most?
I think there is quite a variety of landscape accessible within 2 hours drive.
Which places would you advise people to visit, especially off the beaten track?
It has to be Rathlin island.
Which are the nicest landscapes in your view?
If you get a really clear day which is too rare for my liking, the view driving into Murlough Bay near Fair Head county Antrim can be spectacular. Also Lough Navar viewpoint in county Fermanagh, it looks over lower Lough Erne and Donegal.
Would you like an original drawing by one of Ireland's gifted artists of yourself or your children, or a place in Northern Ireland or elsewhere you have fell in love with?
Then contact Steven. He will tell you about his art and/or Northern Ireland. And who knows, you, like us, might become one of the growing number of people in households from France to Australia where Steven's art holds pride of place.
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