Ellen McDermott is a busy woman.  As well as rearing four daughters,  she’s the director of an art gallery, a painter, a photographer and a retoucher of photographs.

Ellen outside Kilmantin Art Gallery, Wicklow

Ellen outside Kilmantin Art Gallery, Wicklow

Ellen’s a director of the Kilmantin Gallery in Bridge Street Wicklow.  The gallery offers local artists an outlet for their work.  The gallery uses an interesting commission model.  It’s a hybrid of the usual gallery commission and “pay for space”.  Artists pay  €50 per year for membership of the gallery.  €20 allows the artist to exhibit three paintings for a month.  There’s then a 20% commission on any sales.

The gallery was originally on the main street but recently moved.  Interestingly sales have improved since the move.  Ellen points out that there’s a coffee shop and book shop nearby: Coffee + Books = Art.

Ellen discovered her flair for photography when taking photos to help with her paintings –  the photographs drew such admiration.  This has opened up a whole new area for her. Her work is predominantly in portraits.  She has worked on model portfolios, fashion, family & children portraits, musicians…

Ellen’s portraits would not be your “jeans, white t-shirts on a white background” variety.  They have an ethereal, surreal quality to them.  Think fine art.  Think unique.  She has a studio for taking the photos in her house.  As she tries to capture the personality and interests of her subjects other locations are also possible.  A large part of her work comes from the commissions she receives.  Her prices are very reasonable for a one off fine art portrait.

A Fine Art Portrait by Ellen McDermott

A Fine Art Portrait by Ellen McDermott

She is expert in photo editing software such as Photoshop and GIMP.  She uses these to create art from the raw material of the original photograph. She also uses her skill to retouch photographs.

Ellen’s work was spotted on the web by the owner of Clic Gallery in New York who has taken five of her pieces to display there.  An exhibition in New York is being planned for later this year.

I had lunch with  Ellen in Tinakilly House just outside Wicklow Town.  She regards this as her second home.  (The waitress even knew how she likes her soup.)   Ellen has been chosen to exhibit in Tinakilly House in the Wicklow Art Festival.  Her exhibition opens on 20th May and runs for a week for the duration of the festival.  I might make a return visit.

Ellen McDermott

Ellen McDermott

For more information on Ellen and her work visit ellen-mcdermott.blogspot.com.