Ireland is famous for its rugged coastline, charming towns, lush green landscapes and rich culture. Is it any wonder then, that this nation produces some of the world’s greatest writers, poets, songwriters and actors?
It is also home to some incredible artists, and nowadays, everyone is looking for unique and special pieces to put in their homes. And Irish artists have these in spades.
So in this guide, we’re going to share with you some of the best Irish artists and those you need to add to your collection this year.
1. Rhea Hanlon
Rhea Hanlon is an Irish illustrator who takes her inspiration from the natural landscapes around her. Her aim is to capture the beauty of her home in Downpatrick whilst encouraging people to get outside and explore, to take in the peaceful moments as they come and to enjoy the little things.
Her work presents itself in A4 illustrated prints, and as well as being passionate about Ireland, she is also largely fuelled by her love of coffee.
2. Kevin Collins
Based in Warrenpoint, County Down, Kevin Collins’ work can be easily recognised by his signature woven style. Although he uses acrylics to paint the landscapes and captivating Irish scenery around him, his brush strokes emulate a warp and weft pattern, as if the painting had been woven by hand.
This likely stems from his background in weaving, which began in 1998. Now, he uses these skills to create a truly unique and textural appearance in all his work and often starts slowly on a dark canvas, building up the layers until you have something beautifully crafted and perfectly finished.
3. Richard Croft
Richard Croft works in a varied range of mediums including oil, pastel, watercolour and print. When Croft retired from teaching, he and his wife Helen Kerr set up the lodge studio in Dundrum, Co Down.
Croft began as a realistic painter but quickly became influenced by geometric formalisation and later by geometric abstraction, creating pieces in wood and Perspex. In the 1960s he produced several kinetic works and in the 1970s Croft returned to realism, but always leaning towards the influences of geometric cubism
4. Thomas Bannon
Another illustrator, Thomas Bannon, is based in Belfast, where he graduated from the Belfast School of Art. Despite having worked with huge brands like Kraken Dark Rum and Jameson Irish Whiskey, Bannon is still relatively undiscovered.
He has an incredible eye for colour and the ability to give a unique texture and perspective to all his work. He takes inspiration from the world around him, generally working in pencil so he can creatively blur the line between fantasy and reality.
5. Susanna Banks
There is another award-winning artist on the list, this time Susanna Banks from Newtownards. Much of her work is influenced by children’s illustrations, which is why so many customers choose to hang her work in their nurseries or children’s rooms.
Banks has a degree in fine arts from the University of Ulster, though right now, she enjoys making prints from a mixture of monotypes, illustrations, cut paper pictures, typography and more.
6. James Kelly
Based in Kircubbin, County Down, James Kelly is a sign painter and graphic designer. Most of his work has local themes and is inspired by old-style travel posters. Though he still enjoys traditional brushwork, as technology advances this type of art, he is taking a more modern approach through graphic design.
Currently, with around 300 pictures in his impressive collection, Kelly hopes his customers can take as much joy as he does from his poster artwork.
7. Rosalinda Connelly
8. John Breakey
Finally, John Breakey is an artist and lithographer who always showed promising talent from a very young age. In fact, he is an honorary life member of the Ulster Arts Club, and he studied art in Belfast in the 1950s.
His work largely features the oceans and incredible mountains of Mourne, and he enjoys taking inspiration from the local area and his surroundings. Every canvas is enhanced by his love for colour, with splashes of bold colours emanating from his designs.