I recently visited Dublin artist John Nolan at his Shomera studio in Drumcondra, a veritable colour fest for eyes. Along with many others in the arts in Ireland, John has noticed a considerable decline in art sales in recent times. Although John’s work has been reasonably priced for many years, it’s no longer a question of “paint it and they will buy”. He always believed, as did the late Cecil King, that his art should be available to everyone, and still pursues this belief. John has had to look at various ways of “reinventing” himself to stay above water.
After many years John has returned to teaching. He holds art classes in his studio. When I visited, he had ten easels set up for a class the following day. This is the maximum number of students he can accommodate in his studio. John has the “just paint” approach to teaching painting. He believes everyone is artistic, it is just a matter of helping the individual to discover this talent and develop it. His classes are very practical and the students come away with completed paintings.
As well as his very distinctive signature paintings, John explores several styles. John paints every day. The notion of painting one theme, in the same style daily, wouldn’t satisfy his creativity, he would be bored, he prefers to be versatile and explore various styles from day to day. He also produces a range of greeting cards and giclee prints of his work which are on sale in the IMMA bookshop, The Hunt Museum, Evans Art Suppliers, Art & Hobby, The Helix, The New Brewery Arts Centre, UK., Heartlands Gallery, USA.
Recently John was awarded 3rd prize by the American Art Awards, in the self portrait category, his work was competing with entries from America, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Canada, England, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Macedonia, New Zealand, Romania, South Africa, Slovakia, and Ukraine! Due to this award his work has attracted more attention in the USA which has lead to exciting new projects and commissions for the future.
The Girl with the Peacock Tattoo
A more recent development is tattoo art. Jillian Hanrahan liked one of John’s paintings so much that she has had it tattooed on her arm. The tattoo was done by Norbert Halász of Dublin Ink and took eleven hours to complete. John is toying with the idea of getting one himself – maybe!
I look forward to seeing any other developments in John’s career….. and his tattoo !
For details on John Nolan, his art classes, his work and where to buy his paintings, giclee prints and greeting cards visit his website at www.nolanart.com. His Studio is in Drumcondra, Dublin 9, just ring or email for an appointment, all are welcome. As John says “ Paint what you feel not what you see, Art is for everyone, all we need to do is open our eyes and enjoy”.
John Nolan is a practising artist well known for his upbeat, colourful, paintings which are widely exhibited and have represented Ireland at the Florence Biennale.
Contact John at
Irish Art News.