One of my most recent paintings is “Paradise is Here”. Last summer I was driving along a road, over a bridge in near Aughrim, Co Wicklow and I looked over the wall as I passed. It was a road I travelled regularly for twenty years and I’d never noticed this scene before.
I immediately pulled over and headed down to the river. It was one of those gorgeous summer days, hardly a breath of wind, the insects buzzing and the gentle sound of the water passing between the rocks as it headed out to sea. The sun was shining through the trees and the reflections on the pool of water took my breath away.
There was such an incredible feeling of peace there and as I took a few photographs, I wondered would I ever be able to express that feeling in a painting. Sometimes when something moves you so much, it feels like something precious, a memory purely for your own enjoyment that you don’t want to dilute with a photograph as a reminder.
Later when I looked back, I decided to try and paint the scene and impart my emotional response to it. As I painted the various layers, I thought about how often the best things are within our reach, just waiting for us to stretch out and find them.
Beauty is all around us, we just have to slow down, get off the tread wheel, look at things from a different viewpoint.
See the prints here: Paradise is Here - fine art prints
As many of you are aware, music is a big part of my life and many of my paintings are titled after songs. When I was thinking about a name for the painting, I was reminded of a brilliant song penned by the inimitable Paul Brady, ‘Paradise is here’. It’s a song that has been recorded by some of the most incredible vocalists in the world, including Tina Turner and Cher. But his version is excellent too.
We live in a beautiful part of the world.