Irish painter Donna McGee captures the rugged coastline and dramatic beauty of her homeland. See more of her work by visiting her website.
I have been working as an artist from my studio in Dublin for over 20 years. My former career was in financial services. After raising my family, I gave myself permission to dream of a career in the arts, going with my childhood passion and ignoring the age-old advice of getting a “real” job.
I have always felt at one with nature. Living in Ireland means I am surrounded with 1,600 miles of rugged coastal beauty along the Wild Atlantic Way, one of the longest defined coastal routes in the world. In addition, exploring Ireland’s Ancient East reveals mystical castles and charming towns and villages. This is a truly inspiring environment for an artist. I feel blessed that I live in the heart of it all.
My happy space is—looking up at the vast skylines, the cloud formations and brilliant colours. I get lost in this mystical world.
Listening to the sound of crashing waves like rolling thunder or the gentle lapping of the waves as they dance a rhythm to the shore makes me feel so alive. I savour every breath of salty fresh air.
Hiking through mountainous hills and valleys and observing wildlife along the way, I am in awe of the magnificent landscape.
I like to travel and always have my camera at hand. I will often make quick sketches that help to implant those special places in my mind. This enables me to create harmonious compositions back in the studio. I paint in oils because I love the intensity of colour that can be achieved. I like to work on large, atmospheric pieces and sometimes insert a surreal element to add an extra touch of mood.
If only I had time to paint all the beautiful scenes that I have floating around in my head. I think of the quote by Mary Ann F. Kohl, “Art is as natural as sunshine and as vital as nourishment.”
Creating art is an avenue for me to connect with a very large community of like-minded people. I am self-taught, but I returned to college a number of times to study digital media production, marketing and entrepreneurship. I felt those skills were a must to survive in the art world.
I spend a lot of time updating my website and creating social media as these are my main sources of distribution. Exhibiting around the country has led to meeting so many interesting people along the way. I’m forever grateful to those who have put their faith in me and purchased paintings which have found homes across the world. Knowing that they bring joy to others is an absolute honour. It enables me to continue my passion in life—painting!