MAN IN A HAT- is a painting completed in oils on canvas. It was previously exhibited in the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin, 2019. I absolutely love painting side profiles especially working in oils. in this painting and others like this, I’m trying to capture the likeness and character in the painting which makes it much more challenging as you are working from the side rather than a full profile view of the head. I also try to make use of light where I am casting shadow over part of the face and in this piece, I’m using the hat purposely to create a shadow line creating more of a contrast. I’ve always been interested in realism as well as other styles of painting but even more so the technique used to apply the paint and preparation. I like to stretch most of my canvases when I can, creating the frame, preparing the compounds like Rabbit skin glue and Gesso which gives me a personal satisfaction that everything from the painting has started with me and finished with me including the frame
The painting itself was completed using 5 colours only. I try to keep my colour palette to a minimum using the Zorn palette. The Zorn Palette is made up of 4 colours being Ivory Black, Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre and Titanium White. The fifth colour was an ultramarine blue which I chose to use matching the colour of the hat only.
I’m particularly interested in the method and technique how the paint is applied. I’m a big fan of Anthony Williams who is a tempera painter mainly and his influences again would be paintings by Andrew Wyeth of whom again are one of many painters whom I admire. Looking at the painting it appears actually quite smooth but on closer inspection the painting is made up of tiny crosshatches and adding thin glazed layers over and over as they dry out which is a similar technique as that of an egg tempera painting. The under painting was also painted in a mixture of Ivory black and titanium white which gives the background that bluish tint. Only Ivory Black creates this lovely hint of blue.
Rather than concentrate on the background of the painting, I focused on the subject being the portrait. Although the background of the painting didn’t receive as much attention it still has an important status making the painting stand out and be noticed. I used the same underpainting colour with a mixture of Ivory black and titanium white. The painting was varnished with a clear matte Winsor & Newton varnish so as it doesn’t give off a shining glare making the painting better viewed in all angles especially in lit-up areas.
I have been painting as long as I can remember where my first memories were that of scribbling as a child. I work in most mediums ranging from Watercolours, Graphite, Charcoal, Oils, Pastel, Printmaking in the form of Woodcuts/linocuts, website design and frame all my own work making me an independent artist leaving me in control of all development of my art from the beginning to the end.
Working as an artist I constantly find myself learning new things and developing my skills further. I am currently focusing in the area of portraiture working in oils and closely studying the human form using other mediums such as Charcoal and Graphite so really enjoying rediscovering the simplistic principles of Art using pencil and paper. Two basic instruments but if used correctly they can produce works much more powerful than that of any painting using suggestive mark making which is something I would like to integrate into my paintings.
Overall, my main reason for painting or mark making in any form is simply because I enjoy it and it’s a wonderful feeling when I encounter those who enjoy my drawings/paintings and not get caught up with how sophisticated or intellectual they should be. Connor Maguire
“Man in a hat”, Oil on canvas 50cm x 50cm
“DUSK” Oil on Canvas. 50 x 50cm.
“Kidz” Oil on canvas 75 X 85cm
“Office worker” Oil on linen 75cm x 120cm
Office Worker– Again this was painted using a limited palette based on the Zorn Palette. This is a painting of a friend of mine who kindly agreed to modelling for me. Everyone has a circumstance, hopefully working or else stuck in a situation where they can’t. Its a case of judging another person on who they are at face value. Beneath the uniform or non uniform everyone has a story. I thought my friend suited this idea for a painting. A normal person on the outside as everyone sees most people in everyday situations. Take off the uniform he wears and you see a guy with tattoos showing his love for art and the oriental. He also has a love for surfing and kite surfing where we got to know each other initially. Office worker represents the person who we may have pre-judged.
All my paintings have a simple meaning and when I am painting them I try to make sure it’s something that interests me, topic wise otherwise I lose interest. Nothing worse than painting something with a dreaded feeling of just wanting it finished. I also try not to make anything be more ambitious than it is. I like people to look at my work through visual attraction and with thought but to a point where they don’t feel intimidated where they feel the need to look at something with an educated eye.
I enjoy all mediums from printmaking to Drawing and when I’m working in a medium over a period of time I find it hard to shift mindsets going back into painting, printmaking mode or sketching mode. In School, I was told not to go down the route of painting as I was much better suited to ceramics but I loved painting and drawing. When it comes to drawing I love working looser and capturing the likeness of a person’s identity in charcoal. I’ve said this before but sometimes a few simple loose marks can produce a better likeness of a person than any painting can. It’s a hard argument. The Art battle continues
“Portrait of a modern family” Oil on canvas. 100cm X 100cm.
Sail Away Portrait