During lockdown we probably all tried to become the next Van Gogh, but one Irish woman has been making waves with her stunning art.
Deborah Donnelly grew up surrounded by art, as she followed her mother’s footsteps to become an artist. She studied art in NCAD before she headed State side to work with an Art Gallery in New York for a few years.
The professional artist and writer told EVOKE that she usually paints with Oils and exhibit with galleries in Ireland and the UK. She also writes children’s books and encourages people to paint. As ‘painting makes you happy’.
So how does she do it all in just 24 hours?
I’M AN EARLY RISER… so I get up at 6.30am. Although I wake up a little later in the winter. Then I fill my flask and head up to Killiney for a morning dip. I swim all year round and I love it. Breakfast is coffee and usually an energy ball. I batch bake.
MY DAY STARTS WHEN… I cycle to Marlay park and start working at 8am. I kick off with painting as this is the only time I don’t get disturbed. I open my studio at 11am to the public.
MORNING IS… the best part of my day. Painting in the morning is pure bliss.
LUNCH FOR ME… is always miso soup. I have packets in my studio and they are quick and easy to make. Also fruit and lots of liquorice!
WITH THE WEATHER SO NICE… in the afternoon I move my easel outside in Marlay and paint under the tree. Oils take about six weeks to dry so I am always waiting for paint to dry. With COVID, I prefer to sit outside so people can look in my studio. It feels safer somehow.
MY CYCLE HOME… usually helps me unwind. Painting is very relaxing so I find coming home is the hard bit!! My husband usually cooks dinner. Usually one pot wonders. It is so nice to be cooked for.
I AM MAD ABOUT… podcasts. I am loving Esther Perells Where Should We Begin about couples in therapy. I also love Grounded with Louis Theroux. His podcast with Rose McGowan stayed with me as it was all about the #MeToo movement.
I’M NOT AN NIGHT OWL.. I want to say I stay up late and party but I am asleep by 11. Especially during COVID. I have slept a lot. Before I get into bed, I usually have a bath and then read some poems.
IF I COULD GIVE MYSELF ADVICE… I would say: ‘Have courage’. Obsession about your work is normal and don’t give up too easily.
THE BEST PART OF MY JOB IS… when someone connects with a piece and wants to buy it! I don’t feel as guilty about spending so much time painting.
MY BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT WAS… getting my children’s books into the Tate Museums and the Saachi Galleries. Seeing my book in the Saachi Gallery in Venice was pretty awesome.
ART IS PART OF MY BLOOD… My mom is an artist so years of hanging around Merrion Square in Dublin!! I went to NCAD but I really learnt the business of the trade in NY. I worked as a ghost painter for another artist. This is where I learnt the business of art. My mantra is Expression beats Depression.