Brenda Flannery Artist
I was born in London but returned to Ireland at a young age and grew up in Co Mayo. With family roots in Erris & Galway, it’s easy to understand the lure of the western coastline. The sea is a consistency I still seek out to ground and root myself, forever giving that sense of being ‘at home.’ I’ve always been artistic and am lucky to be both creative and business savvy. I worked in both sectors for many years, before and after completing an honours degree in fine art and a business masters in strategy & innovation management.
In 2021 I left my corporate job to set up ‘Brenda Flannery Art’ and my main focus initially was to grow the painting side of the business with solo exhibitions, gallery representation, commissioned artworks, and an online store.
Inspired by the Sea
You’ve got to start with what you love so I started with the sea. There’s always an isolated beach or a dramatic coastal drive to be discovered on the wild terrain along this part of the coastline. I wait for high tides to photograph the crashing waves, or the reflections left behind by the water on the strand as the tide makes its way out. A favourite time of year for capturing imagery is Winter. With less humidity in the air, the colours appear more saturated. I time the dusks and weather-watch in the hope of a dramatic sky.
The Painting Process
I work on a collection of paintings at a time. I filter through the photographic references from my day trips and decide on imagery, compositions and sizes for the work. Choice of painting surface is important. Smooth surfaces like aluminium, wood panels and hand stretched linen are perfect for highly detailed work and I change this up by working on deeper grained stretched canvas for larger pieces. My favourite medium is oil paint as I love the intensity of the colours and the purity of the colour mixes. Paint application is often smooth, soft, and blended. The paintings are built up in layers and this helps to create a richness and depth of colour in the work. After a number of weeks, once the paintings are dry, they are sealed with varnish, and I make choices on framing.
Gallery One, Belfast
Gallery One, Cookstown, Co Tyrone
Lunasa, Belmullet, Co Mayo
The Print Range
In 2023 I decided it was time to expand the business by creating a range of prints that offered a similar aesthetic to the original work.
Painting with oils is so rewarding but the process itself takes time. Ideas began to formulate as I started the research for a range of ‘Brenda Flannery Art’ prints where I could include elements of the original paintings but present a variety of locations of the landscape & coastline. The procedure for creating prints is very different to the practice of painting and involves a more design led approach. Manipulated photographs are layered together in a digital process to create a simplified version of the original paintings. I love that I can combine the same perspective and subject matter to produce images with a quirkier composition.
All materials used for ‘Brenda Flannery Art’ prints are sourced through Irish suppliers. Prints are available in A3 & A4 sizes on archival, unbleached, FSC certified paper using the finest quality archival inks.
Brief Work History
- BA Honours in Fine Art Painting, Centre of Creative Arts & Media, ATU, Galway (2015)
- MSc Strategy & Innovation Management, NUI, Galway (2018)
- Arts Council Agility Award, Painting Mentorship, TURPS London (2023/24)
- Arts Council Travel & Training Award, SIM residency, Iceland (2017)
- Visual Arts Bursary, Mayo Arts Service (2015 to date)
- Solo Show, Ballina Arts Centre (2023)
- Solo Show, Aras Inis Gluaire, Belmullet (2022)
- Group exhibitions, RUA Annual Show, Belfast (2021), The Courthouse, Oughterard, Galway (2018), Galway Arts Centre (2018) and SIM Gallery, Reykjavik (2017)
- Registered member of Visual Artists Ireland & The Design Council of Ireland
- Art collectors in Ireland, Europe, UK, US, and Asia.