Anna Marie at work in Saoirse Studio
My work is about Irish landscapes and it’s floras, from the soil to the sky, in the medium of watercolours and water based acrylics.
With acrylics, I like the colours to ooze like syrup over the surface, where they are moved around and dragged. With this medium, tool making has become an important part of my work as well as a selection of brushes and palette knives that enable me to spread the paint in a particular way with quite individual results.
When working with acrylics I am particularly enthusiastic about the mountains for their steadfastness, shape, colour and the relative lightness and darkness of tones. They are mainly scenes of the mountains in the west of Ireland, the sparkle of the mountain and the mountain stream and the ever-changing birch tree.
I never imagined that I would change from painting in watercolour to any other medium, but age changed all that. After I turned sixty I was on a family holiday in the Highlands of Scotland and as usual I was out and about in this wonderful space and visiting Galleries settled under the mountains and it was life changing for me to watch an artist paint with acrylic.
The fact that this was a water based medium changed my views on painting with something other than transparent watercolour. I could not get home fast enough to start painting Irish mountains and flowers in acrylic.
Ten years later I find myself slipping back to painting more in watercolour – after all it seems to have a very special place in my heart because it captures the fleeting effects of light and colour especially for the flowers growing in our garden and the woodland scenes around us.
I always say that an artist’s palette reflects on his or her personality. Painting is my way of communicating my ideas, emotions and my visual experiences.
When I take a flower in my hand and hold it – everything else is gone from my mind – it’s my world for that moment.
My conscious state at that moment, or perhaps the instant of realisation in the working, determines how I will dramatise or simplify the painting. With a lot of emphasis on colour and a certain element of drama, I like to feel that it will communicate good qualities to the viewer who wishes to read them.