I met Martha on Sunday. It was a lovely day and I drove to Fore to take the Nancy and Nellie walk and have a picnic, parking by the Abbey.
Rather than taking the usual route going via the Abbey, I decided to go the opposite way and start the walk where I usually ended it. I spotted posters advertising Martha McCabe Art Exhibition in a room below the coffee shop.
Martha had exhibited her work for the last four weekends, and was closing that day at 4 pm. I made it with two hours to spare. And I am glad I did.
The exhibition included watercolours, portraits, still life, local landscapes, and what Martha calls Botanicals. I spoke to Martha who told me she had painted all her life but this was the first time she had displayed her work and ‘put it out there.’ She allowed me to take photographs. Bear in mind, any photographs I take do not do justice to these or any other paintings I post here. Being in the presence of the artist enabled me to ask questions, and appreciate her motivation. While some of the pictures were quirky, others resonated with life. Three I liked in particular.
Two landscapes of the area local to Martha which I have added to the top of this page and this portrait of a Celtic Lady.
To me it has an Oriental feel. Beautiful. Martha said that the woman landed on the canvas. It reminded me of Ibsen’s remark that Nora, the heroine in his play The Doll’s House, appeared in front of him. Or words to that effect. Search for her signature. Martha puts it in different places, and it may take a while before finding it. You can check out more of her work at her Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/MarthaMcCabeArt
The area surrounding me is a hub of creativity. From crafts, to musicians, to artist, to writers and everything in between. Just look at some of the paintings I love by local artists.
Three paintings by A L Hayes, in acrylic, show the variety of subjects and the attention to detail. Audrey has limited prints of these and a few others for just twenty euro. She has painted numerous pictures of family pets and the personality of each animal shines from the canvas. A beautiful story accompanies Lavender Girl.
Last month, Audrey exhibited in Oldcastle, with other painters, for Le Cheile Arts and Music Festival. For the Jack and Jill charity fund-raising this year, Audrey submitted three pictures on postcards which sold at €50 each. You can see those pictures and more on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/alhayesartist/
In November 2015, a live reading of my radio play Lady Invincible was given, and Margaret McKenna painted the backdrop.
Margaret is from an artistic family. Her mother, Elizabeth McKenna is 93 years old, and still paints every day. Her eldest daughter Sarah paints, and she is also a talented actress.
Margaret runs art classes, paints on walls, in shop windows and more. She worked in the animation industry in Ireland in the late 80’s and early 90’s at Sullivan Bluth (I think it was called), and so did Martha. But they have never met.
See more of Margaret’s wonderful work on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Margaret-Mckenna-Dunne-Art-183515388345397/