Monday, October 21, 2013

3 New Limited Editions Now Available for the Autumn Exhibitions..

Winner of my new print competition, Marion Bockman, with her prize!
Earlier in the year I ran a competition to help me choose which painting to create my next Limited Edition from. And here's Marion, winner of the competition with her prize - one of the first copies of the new 'Homeland' print!

As well as 'Homeland' I have produced 2 other new prints, 'West Cork Homestead' and 'Tom', all of which will be available at my exhibition in Whites of Wexford, as well as at Art Source in the RDS in November and Craft Fair in the RDS in Dublin.

That brings my collection of Limited Editions to 15. The full collection can be seen

'West Cork Homestead', 18x18ins Limited Edition Archival Print

'Tom', 10x10ins Limited Edition Archival Print

Exhibiting at Whites Hotel during the Wexford Opera FRINGE, from 25th October

I somehow managed to delete my previous post about the upcoming Fringe festival exhibition, so here are the details again...

I will be exhibiting in Whites Hotel in Wexford during the Opera Fringe Festival from Oct 25th to 28th and Oct 31st to November 3rd. I'll be in the Selksar Suite on the 1st floor from 11am to 7pm each day.

There's a nice mention about the exhibition in the latest edition of the Irish Arts Review...

'Under Summer Clouds' 50x50cms

I will be exhibiting my full collection of Limited Edition Prints and Art Cards, as well as over 30 original oil paintings. Don't ask me how I'm going to fit them all in!

'On the Saula Road' 40x40cms

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Homeland - New Solo Exhibition and Video

'Our Mountain', 60x60cms
My new exhibition, Homeland, opens in The Doorway Gallery on June 27th.

I'm starting to get excited about it now and am really looking forward to seeing the reaction to my latest 'Family' paintings. It's a little bit of a departure for me and has made the new show much more personal. I don't have too many of them in the exhibition but just enough to tell a little story of our time living on Achill Island.

That's the family there in the painting above, on 'our beach', under 'Our Mountain'. Jack the dog isn't ours but he likes to hang around and play with the kids, so he get's to be in the painting!

Homeland Video

I put together a short video, a mix of paintings from the show and some footage that I shot in my studio of me talking about the ideas behind the exhibition. It features a song from The Harvest Ministers, 'You do my world the world of good'.

This was the first single we ever released, it was recorded around the kitchen table in the recording studio in one live take. It's still one of my favourites and just goes to show that sometimes that special 'magic' comes only once and you have to learn to leave as it is once you've found it, and don't go trying to 'improve' or tamper with it. Just like a painting!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Work On Show at the Affordable Art Fair in London this Week

The Affordable Art Fair takes place again this week in Hampstead, London and once again the Doorway Gallery will be exhibiting some new work of mine there.

'Riverbank Rooftops' Oil on Canvas, 60x60cms by Padraig McCaul
 If you would like free tickets to the fair please contact the gallery at..

24 South Frederick Street, Dublin 2
Ph: 01 764 5895 

As if to act as a reminder to me to let you know about the fair I received a lovely email over the weekend from someone who purchased a painting of mine at the fair last year. Without giving away any names I thought I would share it with you...

'I bought a painting of yours over a year ago at the affordable art show. It seemed so much money at the time and I had to pay half in cash and borrowed half off my sister. It looks amazing in my house now and I love it. Sometimes if I'm watching tv and its boring I swing my head round and sit and gaze at it instead. I've had so much pleasure from that painting, I thought you should know!'

'The Road Home' by Padraig McCaul, Oil on Canvas, 100x100cms
Now there's an email that put a smile on my face :) It's amazing how good it can make you feel when someone goes to the trouble of simply letting you know they are enjoying your work!

You should try it sometime, I know I plan to.

Monday, June 10, 2013

2 days of Sunshine, Pleasure and Painting on Achill Island

What a great weekend! I've just been reflecting on a perfect weekend painting on Achill Island with a lovely group of enthusiastic (and talented!) art lovers. Easy to see why my summer painting workshops are something I look forward to each year!

Painting workshop with Padraig McCaul on Achill Island , 2013
But this one was extra special. Glorious sunshine for the 2 days, breakfast in the garden each morning with the kids, before meeting up with the group to share some of my favourite painting locations on Achill. We spent a lot of time sketching and talking and just looking at the unspoilt views at Keel and Dooagh and Saula. The remainder of the day was spent painting indoors, absorbed in the challenges of trying to put down on canvas what we had spent the morning observing and sketching.

Then there was the bonus of getting to build friendships that I know will last for a long time. Add to that  a great evening at home on friday with friends from Dublin, a gorgeous meal on saturday night in the Bervie (top 5 places to eat in Achill according to the Irish Times) with two very special people from Canada, a celebratory pizza with the kids in Pure Magic on sunday night (also in the top 5 places to eat!) and it all adds up to the perfect weekend.

Drawing the Minaun Cliffs on Achill Island, June 2013
Next painting workshop on Achill is not until July 20/21 but I'm already working on the weather!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

'West Cork Homestead' - A New Painting For The London Affordable Art Fair

I just got back from a trip to Adrigole, a small village on the Beara Penninsula in West Cork. I was dropping some new paintings into the Hungry Hill Gallery, one my favourite trips each year.
'West Cork Homestead' 80x80cms Oil on Canvas, By Padraig McCaul

It takes a while to get there from Achill, about five and a half hours, but once you turn off from the main Killarney to Cork road and start driving along the narrow Kerry roads that bring you to Kenmare, you start to forget the previous four and a half hours of monotonous driving and become enthralled by the beauty of the landscape. Thick, lush green hedgerows and trees follow the winding roads that bring you to the beautiful town of Kenmare. After that it's a drive over the Caha Pass - no time this trip to take the more scenic route over the Healy Pass - before you reach Glengarriff, nestled in the Beara landscape of barren rock and bright green fields and trees, with it's boats and pubs and tourist shops. And then it's only a short trip down to Adrigole, with Bantry Bay on one side and the mountains on the other. It's an amazing place.

And every time I go there the sun seems to be shining! But what gets me every time is just how green the landscape is, and how blue the sea is. These are my 'Cork' colours. Green and Blue. My painting 'West Cork Homestead' is typical of my 'Cork' colours. It depicts a small Irish farmhouse, with it's hayshed and barns tucked in close to it, overlooking Kenmare Bay on the other side of the Beara Penninsula to Bantry Bay.

The Doorway Gallery will be exhibiting West Cork Homestead in a few weeks time in London at the Affordable Art Fair which takes place from june 13th to 16th. Please contact the gallery via their website for invites if you would like to addend the show - they would be delighted to send you out some.

It is also one of two new Limited Edition Archival prints that I have released in advance of my upcoming solo exhibition 'Homeland', which the Doorway Gallery will be hosting this summer in Dublin (more details to come in the coming weeks). It is printed at 18"x18" on Hahnemuhle German Etching paper, signed and numbered in an edition of 100, and has been produced by the master printers themselves at Inspirational Arts,  Dublin, so the colours are sparkling!

The Limited Edition Archival print of West Cork Homeland is now available to order online at . It costs €250 ($325) and includes shipping worldwide.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

You will always remember your first Achill Island Painting Workshop

You always remember the first time, right?

Well the first painting workshop I ran on Achill Island was pretty special...I'd been hoping for a nice sized group, maybe six or seven, enough to create a good dynamic and to ensure some good interaction over the two days of the workshop. The room I'd booked could easily cater for more if any latecomers showed up looking for a place, plus I'd bought in a few extra easels, made sure I had plenty of brushes and paints and canvases. By my own standards I was well organised.

My first confirmed booking had been taken nearly two months before the start of the workshop and there had been a steady flow of interest. This was going to work!

Sort of. As it turned out, despite all the interest, that first booking was the one and only! The dates didn't suit, a partner couldn't get the time off, 'we'll do it next month instead'... Lots of excuses, but only one person signed up.. It was going to be a long weekend...!

But it turned out to be very special weekend. The lady that had booked, let's call her Catherine, turned out to be one of those people you meet in your life that make you feel better for just having been in their company. Catherine was a pensioner, and recently widowed. A born and bred Dubliner with a warm heart.

Catherine had been coming to Achill every year to paint for longer than she would admit. For two weeks each year she would come with her husband and paint the Minaun Cliffs, Keem Bay, Croghaun, Keel Beach...She was passionate about Achill. It had got under her skin, she had the bug! Her husband didn't paint but would accompany her each day, sit and read the paper in the car and together in the evening they would discuss the day's painting. On one such day her husband suffered a massive heart attack and died. She had lost her companion and friend on those painting trips.

But Catherine continued to come to Achill, on her own, to paint and to remember her husband. Some friends tried to dissuade her, they couldn't understand why she would come all that way on her own, to a place where 'it always rained' (not true!), and was so remote and isolated. They didn't see the beauty of the island, they just didn't 'get Achill' they way some people do and that makes them return time after time. But Catherine did.

And so this particular weekend she spent it with me. She was the gentlest character you could wish to meet. She was constantly apologising for taking too much of my time or for asking too many questions! I had to keep reminding her that she had in fact paid for the weekend and therefore could ask me as many questions or take as much of my time as she wanted. We spent the mornings at Keem Bay and Keel and Dookinella, sketching and drawing before heading back to Ted's function room where we painted for the rest of the day, stopping at lunchtime for a bowl of their legendary homemade soup and brown bread.

She told me stories about the many times she and her husband had come to Achill, about the painting classes she had attended on the island and how previous tutors would arrive in the morning to give a short demonstration... then leave, and let the class work away on their own for the rest of the day! I started to get a much better idea about how I was going to run my own workshops, and from her I got a sense of what was working and what wasn't.

The workshops have developed since then but the one thing that doesn't seem to change is the type of people that attend them. Without exception I tend to attract warm hearted, generous, friendly people who want to spend a few days painting, enjoy their time on the island and make some new friends in the process. And that's why I find myself looking forward to the start of the 'season' every year, wondering about the people who will attend and what stories I'll be priveleged to be part of for a few days.
My next workshop on Achill Island is on  May 11th & 12th. Full details are on my website

Saturday, March 2, 2013

And The Winner Is.........

Thanks to everyone who took part in my recent Facebook competition to help me choose the image for my next Limited Edition Print. The response was much better than I had expected and the result was not quite what I had expected. Which made the whole thing really worthwhile!

Anyway, in the end it turned out to be a dead heat between image number 1 (Homestead) and image number 6 (Homeland). Each received 37% of the votes, leaving 26% to be shared out between the other 4 images.

'Homestead' 80x80cms Oil on Canvas

'Homestead' 80x80cms Oil on Canvas
And the winner of the competition is.....Marion! (name and email kept private). Congratulations, I'll be sending on one of the first copies of the print in the coming weeks once it has been produced.

This was great fun, expect another competition sometime soon!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

In Conversation with James Sweetman

I recently gave an interview to James Sweetman for his online e-Zine and Blog. James is a highly-rated and well-respected Executive and Personal Coach, Trainer, Keynote Speaker, Author and Columnist, and he had some great questions. Over to you James....

In the latest in my series of articles where I interview people who have aligned their passion with their profession, I met with landscape artist Padraig Mccaul to discuss his inspirations and how he was able to step out of the corporate world and make a living doing what he loves. Read the full interview here -

Thursday, February 21, 2013

London 2013 - Affordable Art Fair

'Clifden Skies' 100x80cms
The Doorway Gallery will be exhibiting at the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea, London, next month, and will be showing a large selection of my new paintings there.

Unfortaunately I won't get a chance to get over there myself but if anyone would like invites to the show please let me know, or contact the gallery directly at , they will be happy to send on some invitations.

This is the first big show of 2013 and I'm looking forward to seeing how some of my new work is received in London. Once of the pieces that will be on show there is 'Clifden Skies'. 

This is a painting I started working on over two years ago! I got it to a certain point and then it just lay in the studio, as I waited for the burst of inspiration required to take it over the finishing line. Well it arrived last week.  I've been really happy with some of the work I've been doing over the past couple of weeks and thought now was the time to try and finish it. 

'Connemara Farmhouse' 60x60cms
It could have something to do with the music I've been playing in the studio - lots of My Bloody Valentine and Led Zeppelin. I got the new MBV album, which is great, but it sent me back to their earlier album, Loveless, which is just incredible. And it's perfect music to paint to.

Anyway, here are some more pieces that have been born out of the beautiful, distorted noise of MBV, all of which will be on show in London. To see the full collection please go to my website at

'The Long Road' 60x60cms

Friday, January 25, 2013

Here we go again...Welcome to 2013

Wow, I hadn't realised I had left it so long since my last post - nearly 3 months ago! But I haven't been idle you know...

I had a really busy run up to Christmas with the Wexford Opera Festival, Art Source and the National Craft Fair, as well the London Affordable Art Fair in October. It was a bit of a whirlwind - all happening within 5 weeks of each other - but very worthwhile and very successful. The most enjoyable aspect of the fairs though is getting the opportunity to meet everyone. It is such a privilege to know that what you 'work' at brings such joy and happiness to some people.

'Homeland' Oil on Canvas, 80x80cms
But busy and all as last year was, 2013 is going to be crazy! The Doorway Gallery have a hectic schedule of exhibitions pencilled in, starting with two London exhibitions at the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea (March) and Hampstead (June), then I have a solo show - Homeland - opening in the gallery on June 27th which will be running until the end of August. We have lots of events planned to coincide with 'Homeland' and I'll be letting everyone know about it closer to the time.

'The Little Footballer' - Oil on Canvas; 8x8cms
 On top of all that are a couple of projects which are very close to my heart but which I can't say too much about yet! However one of them is related to our first year living on Achill Island, watching the kids grow up, settling into a new way of life. So far it's been a pure joy. There are days in the studio when I catch myself asking if life could be any better right now. It's obviously affecting my painting too. Here's something a little different...'The Little Footballer'. Can anyone spot the Mayo jersey??

The soundtrack to this contented period of work in the studio is firmly rooted in the 1970s. I've been listening to lots of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd - it's like being back in my first year in college as a 17 year old! But just listen to Led Zeppelin's new live album and try telling me they're not as vital and raw and alive as anything being produced right now. And they're in their 60s!