Artistic License

First Published online @ https://thegloss.ie/artistic-license-leah-beggs/

Suggestive, evocative, atmospheric and dreamlike, abstract artist LEAH BEGGS tells us about her new exhibition at Solomon Fine Art …

What was the starting point for this exhibition – “The Space Between”?

“The Space Between” is a new series of paintings, which delve further into abstraction from previous works. This body of work explores the landscape of memories, suggesting a sense of place, an atmosphere, or a feeling, rather than depicting a particular scene. In its essence I suppose I am painting a landscape that I feel, rather than one I see.

What is the significance of the exhibition title?

My paintings have always been informed by the Irish landscape with subtle representation of elements such as rocks, bog, sea and sky etc. When you take a closer look at the work you can appreciate the layers and textures that lie beneath the surface. The paintings are as much about the medium of paint and the process of painting as well as an interpretation of the Irish landscape, depicting that “space between” dreams and reality, real or imagined.

How and where do you work?

I work from my studio at home in Co Galway. I am constantly gathering inspiration while out and about, be it on camera or just lodging it in the back of my mind. When I get into my studio I start painting with “warm up” pieces to get the creativity going and it usually flows from there. Working mainly with oils on canvas, I paint in a layering, sketching process. I start by creating a ground with thinned-out washes of oil paint, creating drips and splashes along the way. I tend to work on a number of canvases at the same time, each one feeds the next. With thicker more opaque paint I paint out certain areas, or enhance others, constantly editing, until a composition begins to emerge. I use brushes, rags, my fingers or palettes knives to create soft layers that result in an illusion of texture. It’s hard to know when it’s finished, and often paintings succumb to the overdone pile! Thankfully that doesn’t happen too often and I am satisfied with the final piece.

Has your painting style evolved over time – have you been influenced by any other artists?

Moving from a city to the countryside has certainly changed my style of painting over time, definitely becoming freer. It has also evolved as I’ve become more confident in what I do. My most recent body of work has a different colour palette to its predecessors. This was a big change for me and now I know I don’t have to stick with blue.

I would say that I’m inspired by, more than influenced by, other artists. I think every artist is, in some shape or form. Hasn’t it been said that nothing is original? What’s important is that what you create is authentic and comes from you. I think social media and platforms such as Instagram have allowed artists to share much more of their work and in turn has created a vast viewing platform. While you can fall into an Instagram wormhole of art observing, there is nothing quite like seeing an artwork in person. This resonates in particular with me, as you can’t appreciate the full effect of either the scale or the painted layers in my work from the comfort of your Instagram feed!

Have you a favourite painting in the exhibition?

Can I have two? I like ‘The Space Between” as it is probably the most dreamlike of all of them. However, while my paintings can be interpreted differently depending on the viewer, the titles tend to evoke something you wouldn’t have necessarily seen or thought about. I love some of the sayings I hear about the Irish weather and I often give some of those sayings as titles to my paintings, so it would be safe to say that “You Wouldn’t Put a Gate Out In It” is a personal favourite.

Need to Know: “The Space Between” is at Solomon Fine Art, Balfe Street, Dublin 2 from January 11 – February 2; www.solomonfineart.ie.

Penny McCormick


BT Art & Style

Delighted to be included in a collaboartion with Brown Thomas Galway for their Art & Style Event which rus for 6 weeks from the 16th March 2018. My work is on showcase in their windows. Teamed up with matching fashion!

HERMIONE EXHIBITION 2018

The Hermione exhibition in Alexandra College this year was a fantastic one and I was delighted to be included by curator Aisling Prior. One of my pieces "FIVE O'CLOCK SHADOWS" went off to a new home! Painter Una Sealy delivered the annual lecture and it was a wonderful insight into her art career.

Other artists included in the exhibtion were: Rachel Ballagh, Tinka Bechert, Leah Beggs, Michelle Boyle, Peter Bradley, Molly Brown, Ursula Burke, Cecilia Bullo, Megan Burns, Susan Buttner, Pat Byrne, Faolan Carey, Mark Cullen, Michael Cullen, Jennifer Cunningham, Cora Cummins, Gerry Davis, Cecilia Danell, Stephen Dunne, Aoife Dunne, Melissa Ellis, Cara Farnan, Fiona Finnegan, Niamh Flanagan, Salvatore Fullam, Joy Gerrard, Barry Gibbons, Paul Hallahan, Sean Hanrahan, Clare Henderson, Karis Hopkinson, Oonagh Hurley, Eithne Jordan, Orla Kaminska, James Kirwan, Gillian Lawler, Mateusz Lubecki, Kaye Maahs, Sabina MacMahon, Colin Martin, Steven Maybury, Sean Molloy, Fuchsia Macaree, Niamh McCann, Eleanor McCaughey, Roisin McGuigan, Lucy McKenna, Elva Mulchrone, Janet Mullarney, Mick O’Dea, Will O’Kane, Mark O’Kelly, Mandy O’Neill, Sean O’Rourke , Eileen O’Sullivan, Holly Pereira, Emma Roche, Sven Sandberg, Una Sealy, Donald Teskey, Kathy Tynan, Saoirse Wall, Marcel Vidal.

A NEW LIGHT

Following a period of experimentation, I am delighted to show some new paintings at Oughterard Courthouse this October from 13th until 20th. As part of Social Inclusion week, I will be giving a talk about my new work on Tuesday 17th October at 11 am. I am both excited and terrified by it! Hope to see you there. 

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Close ups

Some close ups of work on paper. Acrylic, Watercolour & Gouache on Paper

Not one, but two great reviews!

Sunday Times 2nd October 2016 and Sunday Independent 2nd October 2016. 
Many thanks to Cristín Leach and Niall MacMonagle

Image interiors

Delighted to get a mention in this months Image Interiors magazine!

In Situ

Trying out some room settings with my paintings in them!

Outside the Box and in the Circle

Something new that I was working on for an artist book project. All of these images are mixed media on paper - ink, acrylic and gouache.

Changing Colour

I've been trying for a while to move away from blues, for no other reason than a change!! Here's the results!

 

Winter Blues

New York Shadows

I took these photos on the street of New York recently, sort of by accident, had camera in my hand being the tourist and snapped three of them unbeknownst to myself. Have to say I really like them!

LOOKING BACK

I was recently looking at some older pieces from 2014 and kept getting drawn back to these two.... CLick on them for a larger image

London MAY 2015

My work will be shown in this group exhibition in London in May 2015. http://eepurl.com/blTRnr

Mixed Group Exhibition

A selection of paintings from some of our regular gallery artists Brian Ballard, Cloe Cloherty, Jimmy Lawlor , James MacKeown and Sherree Valentine-Daines Also introducing new gallery artist Leah Beggs

Barbara Stanley is pleased to invite you to the  opening reception on Tuesday 19th May 6-8pm 27 Connaught Street , London W2 2AY RSVP

The exhibition runs until 4pm on 31st May

SOMETHING NEW