Artistic License: Martin Mooney

A strong painterly quality and greater sense of colour infuses MARTIN MOONEY’s new exhibition “At One With Expression” opening at Sol Art tomorrow …

This is a milestone exhibition in that it is your first solo show in Dublin for over ten years. How long was the exhibition in planning and execution?

The exhibition was planned just over a year ago and the work has been in progress over the last few years. The exhibition consists of approximately 60 new paintings which are a combination of flower paintings and Irish landscapes. They vary in size, the largest being a triptych of Cashel, Connemara, 4ft x 9ft. Others are mostly 3ft x 5ft and then going down to 9 x 7 inches.

Tell us a little about how and where you work?

Generally I always work in oil. All the paintings in this exhibition are oil on panel. The paintings were created between my studios in Donegal and Greece. All the still life flower paintings were painted from life so they were executed in one go. The landscapes were also quite spontaneous but some were reworked after the initial impression. The landscapes were mostly inspired by a trip to Connemara, Sligo, my surrounding landscape in Donegal and also iconic views of Dublin.

The landscapes are a looser style than former paintings. Was this deliberate or a style evolution?

My style has been evolving for a number of years. The new paintings have a strong painterly feel which was evident in smaller paintings of years ago but never before on such a large scale. I’ve found this very exciting and stimulating.

What do you particularly enjoy about capturing flowers?

Flowers are very challenging to paint and I often paint them from day to day observing their movement and changing colours. To capture their delicacy is challenging and to see how over time their initial blast of strong vivid fuchsia fades to an almost transparent pink before they pass is equally beautiful.

What I find interesting about the Dublin exhibition is that the landscapes and flower paintings complement each other. The colours of the flowers are found in the landscapes and colours in the landscapes equally are found in the flower paintings. They’re all related to nature. Perhaps my time in Greece has made me much more aware of colour there and also in the beauty of the Irish landscape.

What’s next?

I plan a short rest but I’ll be back to painting no doubt in a week or so. I’m hoping to have an exhibition in Greece in the next year or so.

Need to Know: “At One With Expression” opens tomorrow Thursday April 4 and runs until April 25 at The Sol Gallery, Unit 3, The Times Building, D’Olier Street, Dublin 2;


Penny McCormick

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