pictured with Fr. Allan O'Sullivan OP and Fr. Peter Sexton SJ, chaplains at Trinity College, Dublin.
New Portrait of Fr. John Sullivan SJ
I'm very excited to announce that the portrait of Fr. John Sullivan SJ of Dublin is now complete and is to hang in the Catholic Chapel of Trinity College, Dublin.
Bl Fr. John Sullivan SJ(1861-1933) was a graduate of Trinity College and received a Gold Medal Award in Classics while he was there. After graduating Trinity he later converted to Catholicism and soon after followed his vocation in becoming a Jesuit priest.
Fr. John devoted his life to the poor and the infirmed and spent his life teaching at Clongowes Wood College in Co. Kildare.
His life is an inspiration and I would highly recommend anyone to read about him. There are several books about his life written by people who knew him.
I am very grateful to Fr. Peter Sexton SJ and Fr. Allan O'Sullivan OP of Trinity College Chapliancy who both commissioned me to work on this project. The portrait is to hang in the chapel at Trinity. Instead of a formal portrait of Fr. Sullivan I presented him at prayer in a simple country chapel. This chapel is complied from my imagination but is based on several churches in Dublin city. One being University Church on St Stephen's Green. I used the window from there, the pews from Whitefriars and also St. Kevin's on Harrington street. My hope was to evoke his charism through the painting. He kneels at prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, at his beads. This to me summed up the man.
Fr.Sullivan has been elevated to a Blessed and hopes are set on him being canonized. Prayer directed to him may help in this great effort.
All are welcome to visit the chapel at Trinity College.
Recent Portrait Commission of Dean Mary Frances Crowley
I am happy to announce that I was asked to paint the portrait of Dean Mary Frances Crowley. She was the founder of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland in Dublin City. This portrait was completed as part of an initiative in Ireland to promote and pay homage to woman in the workplace called Woman On Walls. Accenture together with the RCSI have used fine art portraits to honour these remarkable woman. I was chosen to paint one of the 8 commissions which now currently hangs in the RCSI Board Room in the historic building of the College overlooking St Stephens Green in Dublin City.
Dean Crowley was a tireless worker and selfless nurse who raised the occupation of nursing to a Faculty at the College. This was a posthumous portrait completed in my studio. I was fortunate to have met with Dean Crowley's niece in Co. Cork who explained in great detail her aunt's character and personality. She also explained her life's mission and gave me anecdotes about her life. I found this to be essential to the success of the portrait. Podcasts of this project are now available and may be found on the RCSI website. One will discover and learn a great deal about these woman and the role they played in the College and what their work meant for Ireland.
This is also an honour to have the portrait hang alongside the work of the other incredibly talented artists chosen to portray the other notable and pioneering woman who worked in medicine, nursing and palliative care. I would encourage anyone to visit the RCSI and to meet these woman yourself.
Completed Portrait of Irish Chief Justice Susan Denham
The portrait of the first woman Chief Justice in the history of Ireland, Chief Justice Susan Denham is now complete and hanging in The Honorable Society of the King's Inns, Dublin. The oil measures 40 x 50 inches and hangs in the dinning hall of the King's Inns. Justice Denham was very gracious and patient in sitting for the entire duration of the portrait of which I owe immeasurable gratitude. I was honored to be awarded this commission and humbled to see it hanging amidst so many other beautiful portraits of previous Justices throughout the history of Ireland. A charcoal sketch which I did in preparation for the oil also hangs in The Four Courts in Dublin.
PORTRAIT UNVEILING OF AN IRISH BARRISTER
In October of 2016 I had completed a portrait of an Irish Barrister, Mr. Kieron Wood, a highly accomplished Barrister, writer, journalist and Father here in Dublin. His own website is here, Kieron Wood
It was an honour to have had the opportunity to complete his portrait and to get to know him.
The sittings began in his home from which I completed his head and major body forms, including the hands. Once this was established I worked on the remaining background and accoutrements in my studio using studies and photographs I took as reference. There are many background elements which are very personal to Mr. Wood including books he has authored and family heirlooms, one of which is a bronze figurine that had belonged to his Mother. This was important because it made the portrait more personal and tied it into his own family history. It was a great opportunity to have had life sittings with Kieron which I believe certainly allowed me to penetrate a deeper psychology with his likeness.
Once the portrait was completed Mr. Wood very generously organized an unveiling with wine in my studio. It was wonderful to have been able to share it with all who were present, in particular some of his family members.
It was a great success and a testament to the growing popular tradition of commissioning artists for one's portrait. Portraiture is not only a visual record of one's life but also a contribution to the history of art. Unlike photographs which are certainly an important aspect of portraiture, artistic paintings have an added strength. They are completed by hand from materials made by hand and are a marriage of the human eye and imagination. This can never be replaced and greatly adds to the finished work. It is the story of a life and hopefully a life well lived.
SECOND COMPLETED PORTRAIT of CARDINAL O'BRIEN
I have completed a second portrait of His Eminence Cardinal Edwin F. O'Brien, 15th Archbishop of Baltimore, Maryland. His Eminence is now the new Grand Master to the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. This ancient military order has its headquarters in Vatican City, Rome, where His Eminence now resides.
It was an honor to have painted His Eminence a second time and contribute to the other fine portraits which hang in the Bishops Residence in Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore was the first Diocese in America established in 1789 and later an Archdiocese in 1808. America's first bishop and later archbishop was the most Rev. Father John Carroll who was painted by both Gilbert Stuart and Rembrandt Peale.
His Eminence was very generous to have been able to sit for the face and I completed the rest of the portrait in my studio from oil sketches and photographs. The sittings took place in his office in Vatican City. It was a wonderful experience and the natural light in his office was superb. I was with my pregnant wife Lucia at the time and we extended our stay to take in as much of Rome as possible. Harry was born on Aug 22nd 2014.
A marble bust was also commissioned for the Archdiocese and sculpted by Rhode Island sculptor Nathaniel Risteen.