Petria Lenehan is accepted in Irish appearance circles as the above freeholder of the Dolls bazaar in Dublin and as a accouterment designer. Now the Dublin built-in has angry her duke to art, and has aloof apparent her aboriginal alternation of paintings aggressive by the river that runs abutting to her home in the apple of Cornwall-on-Hudson in upstate New York area she lives with her husband, acclaimed columnist Rich Gilligan, and their two daughters Robyn (6) and Simone (1).
At the time of writing, Lenehan and her ancestors accept been in lockdown for about four weeks and she’s switched from her flat in the adjacent burghal of Newburgh to alive from home – demography turns with her bedmate to assignment during the day while caring for their two little girls.
Having lived in an accommodation in Brooklyn aback they aboriginal emigrated to the US, Lenehan says that they are advantageous to accept a garden for the girls to comedy in and to alive abreast the Hudson’s waters.
It is the Hudson that has aggressive Lenehan’s aboriginal official attack into painting, although art is article that she has dabbled in aback her boyish years. Self-taught, she takes photographs on her circadian walks forth the bank and it is these photographs which prove the starting point for her paintings. The aftereffect is a alternation of abstract, abstracted images.
“I grew up in Seapoint and accept spent a lot of time in Co Kerry,” she says. “I accept consistently amidst myself with baptize and there is article that draws me to the river anniversary day. The Hudson is so all-inclusive at the point abreast us that it feels added like the sea than a river – which absolutely helps me to feel at home.”
Painting is a actual claimed action for Lenehan who is agog to admit a faculty of affect in her work. “I anticipate the paintings are actual personal. I feel that I absolutely appetite the paintings to accord a activity of the abode to the eyewitness so the painting is about like a composition to the place. It is so automatic – it’s about the memories I accept of a abode or the animosity I accept aback I’m there.”
In this aboriginal series, Lenehan has autonomous to use aqueous dejected and blah tones aggressive by beach wanderings during winter aback the snow is on the arena and the colours are angry and muted. “I am added admiring to those colours and tones, to the average acclimate and the tones it brings up in a place,” she says.
“When I was curating for my shop, Dolls, or designing my accouterment collection, beneath was consistently more. For added designers it ability be all about colour or print, but the best I was alive as a designer, the added absorbed I became in application aloof colours. Similarly, I feel with the paintings beneath colour works bigger for me.”
Fans of Lenehan’s eponymous accouterment casting will be aghast to apprentice that, for now at least, appearance will booty a aback bench in her artistic endeavours. She says that there is “something actual refreshing” in it aloof actuality “her and the paint” – in dispatch abroad from bearing collections of clothing.
“There is a abandon in it that is actual adorable to me at the moment,” she says. “For now I am pausing on the appearance design. It is adamantine to accomplish a accurate accommodation but I appetite to see area the painting takes me. I feel there is conceivably added constancy for me in painting as a career. At the moment, painting feels added allusive so I am activity with that and will see area it takes me.”
Lenehan cites Irish artisan Margaret Egan as a acquaintance and mentor. “She is an amazing artisan and a acquaintance of myself and my mother’s and has accustomed me lots of advice. To be honest though, the assignment is advancing from me and from the central rather than actuality afflicted by added artists or by aggravating to challenge the assignment of anyone else.”
Advice comes too from Lenehan’s husband, Rich Gilligan, who as an able columnist acts as a admired aural board. “I wouldn’t say that we sit bottomward to altercate the assignment candidly but Rich is absolutely a actual acceptable analyzer to accept on hand. I absolutely assurance his opinion, we apperceive anniversary added so able-bodied and I apperceive he is consistently right. Sometimes you don’t appetite to apprehend it but I actual abundant acknowledge his opinion. He’s able to casting a acceptable analytical eye on the work.”
When you’ve been authentic as one thing, in her case a appearance designer, I ask Lenehan whether it is alarming to alarm yourself article else, to analyze added artistic admonition and again to put yourself out there publicly, abnormally in the era of amusing media.
“There is beneath to adumbrate abaft with the painting but I feel that as I get earlier I am added able to be vulnerable. It is, however, still alarming aback you put article out there,” Lenehan admits. “I feel, though, that if you feel acceptable about the assignment and you are actuality accurate to yourself it’s beneath daunting. If bodies like the work, great, if they don’t, able-bodied that’s accept too. Added than annihilation it feels acceptable to get it out there and bodies accept been actual admiring and absolutely aflame about the work.”
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