Artistic License: Tracey Quinn - The Gloss Magazine

Artistic License: Tracey Quinn

The Dublin-based landscape artist has a new exhibition opening at the Irish Georgian Society …

How do you define your work?

My paintings are like a visual diary of the Irish landscape, recording the movement and changes in light and shadow, the distance and sweep of sky, sea and land. I often return to the same places many times to record the shifts in season and atmosphere. I aspire to evoke a nuanced sense of drama, dynamism, and balance within each piece.

‘Rathmines Lockdown,’ Tracey Quinn

How and where do you work?

I’m very fortunate to have a studio at the top of our house in Rathmines. From the windows I can see the iconic Rathmines dome and the Dublin mountains, but most of all, the daily drama of the Irish sky with its drifting clouds, bursts of sun and rain and multi-coloured sunrises and sunsets. It’s a daily spectacle that plays a big role in my creative process.

While I make sketches and studies out in the landscape, I also take a lot of photos, I find them very useful for playing with composition. The relative solitude of the studio and its elevated position sharpens the sense of engagement with the surrounding skyscape and the sense of the passing of time.

I prepare the canvasses myself and gather all information to explore composition, colour and form. I like to be surrounded by my work in the studio and generally work on several canvases at the same time. I find one painting often informs and influences another work.

My artistic process is a fusion of direct engagement with the landscape and a reflective refinement that takes place in the studio. 

‘Flooded field,’ Tracey Quinn

Who or what sparked your interest in art and how has your work evolved?

There was a fabulous art department in Friends’ School Lisburn, Co Antrim run by Barbara Smith, she helped me uncover my love of making art. I attended art school in England. Whilst all my peers were embracing conceptual art and sneering at painting, one tutor, Mike Hoar, would regularly take some of us into the vast panoramic planes of the middle English landscape and teach us how to observe, study and document the ever changing interplay of light, colour and form in the landscape. The Irish landscape has been my primary inspiration ever since.

‘Brittas Clouds,’ Tracey Quinn

What was the inspiration behind the forthcoming “Foursight” exhibition?

We are a group of four mid-career women artists, who have been meeting regularly for about seven years, generally to visit exhibitions but always to talk, about art and life. During the year we thought it would be a great idea to show our work together in one space. We all work in what can be called a loosely representational way, whether it be landscape, botanical, architectural or figurative. We work in diverse ways; some of us are more established than others but we are united by a decades long love of, and practice of the visual arts.

I am a landscape painter, Cliona Doyle works in tempera and print to capture the symbiotic relationship between plants, insects and our environment. Róisín Murphy’s passion for the preservation of our built heritage is carefully rendered through oils. Ruth Hussey’s inky watercolours are colourful and playful, sometimes fantastical responses to her surroundings.

The exhibition is also a chance to see the Irish Georgian Society’s O’Connell room where we are displaying our work. By supporting the show, visitors are also contributing to the care and maintenance of this beautiful space in Dublin.

‘Kilmuckridge Beach,’ Tracey Quinn

Need to Know: “Foursight” exhibition will be on display from December 2-9 at the Irish Georgian Society, City Assembly Hall, South William Street, Dublin 2. For more information on Tracey’s work visit


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