Paul Colreavy is a self-taught painter and primary school principal from Sligo. He has been exhibiting his paintings for over twenty years now. The subject matter of my work for anyone that knows it, is more or less consistent with what I started painting more than twenty years ago. The paintings are derived from the constant feeling of being drawn back to the landscape of my surroundings in Sligo that continually compels me to reinterpret this subject.
I spend a lot of my time observing, while fly fishing from the boat on the lakes and sometimes the anticipation of the hatch of flies can be the magical moment, where time stands still and you are helplessly spellbound by the beauty of nature.
Observing the landscape is a continuous wonderful experience, where images are constantly recorded and the notion of the feeling, or essence of the landscape, rather than just the visual are conjured up from the familiar. The paintings evolve from layering, scraping, removing and reworking until the image reveals itself and is accepted as the resolution of the preconceived. I continue to interpret the land and water around me and can never expect to be finished.
As an artist, what are the key challenges that you face on a daily basis?
The key challenge for me is time. As a primary school principal, time management is something that I am very aware of, but with this full time job the painting is secondary. I am lucky to have a studio set up so at least everything is ready to go when the time allows.
What inspires you most about the county in which you live?
There is a vast wealth of inspiration from the beautiful landscape of County Sligo. There is also a strong history and tradition of the arts in Sligo and as a result today, a very strong arts community. People in Sligo are used to being exposed to the arts and thus it is very accepted as an important part of the fabric of life in Ireland.
What is your top tip for fellow artists?
The two tips I would have are firstly to keep working and developing as an artist, the opportunities will come. Secondly, to get involved in your local arts community.
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