On: 10 Apr 2024 To: 08 May 2024

Wilding the Watercolour - Contemporary watercolour workshops with Noël O´Callaghan
Wednesdays 10 April to 8 May, 10:30 to 12:30
Maximum of 9 places / €150 per person including materials and refreshments
Booking direct with artist - 085 2748144 /

This watercolour courses is energetic and bold in direction, taking inspiration from fauvism and expressionism.

The emphasis is on embracing the dynamic nature of the material, enjoying its sensuality and fluidity rather than a strict academicism. However, we also study classical techniques and concepts such as washes, layering, perspective, figure, foreground and background, and using the white of the paper as light. In other words, we find out about the rules, question them - and then break and bend them to serve our own individual creativity!

Watercolour as a medium is sometimes perceived as staid and conservative, but this does not have to be the case. In fact, the immediacy of watercolour makes it especially suitable to spontaneous work. The materials are light to transport making it perfect for outdoor work (even for those without a car) and because it is odourless and fast-drying, it is especially suitable for people with limited, or no, studio space. This workshop provides an opportunity to try out and get advice on professional quality watercolour paint, brushes and paper get a feel for the materials before committing to the expense of purchasing your own.

I will give a brief demonstration and present examples from my own work and that of artists such as Turner, Emile Nolde and John Marin. Then students experiment with colour and composition while receiving personal attention and suggestions. We explore the various properties of paper ans brushes,look at colour theory and colour recipes, gestural mark-making, negative space and practice exercises which take the fear and nervousness out of making a watercolour. We will strike the balance between delicacy, transparency, strength and intensity which makes for a vibrant, lively and modern watercolour.

We will also look at ways of rescuing ‘failed’ works in what is often considered an unforgiving medium. I will share tips on reusing and recycling materials, thus promoting sustainability in our practice. This is not only beneficial in terms of the environment and our pocket, but also helps to loosen up and can lead to painting in a freer manner.

Finally we will evaluate our output and discuss what we like (or don't like) in our own paintings. Then, using mounts and frames, we will see how these radically change our perception of our work. There is no pressure to create a "finished" work but most participants make at least one watercolour which they want to frame and have the basis for a number of others which will evolve to completion over time.

Born in Cork City, Noël’s early art experience was in the studio of her father, the artist, Diarmuid O´Ceallachain, who was teacher of painting at the Crawford College. She studied for a time at the Crawford College but found the art school system restrictive and left to follow a course of self-study through constant life-drawing and plein-air painting. She has used this experience to help many students to discover their own unique creative "voice" She graduated with a B.A. in English and History from UCC. She has worked as a professional actor, singer and percussionist in both Ireland and Berlin where she moved in the mid-80s. These experiences all feed into her art practice. She has exhibited widely with solo and juried shows in Germany, Ireland, China, the U.S and U.K. and has taken part in many festivals and events. She has received awards from the both the Irish Arts council and the Berlin Ministry of Culture and her work can be found in many private and public collections. She works in her studio in Berlin and, more recently, West Cork where she now also has a studio.

Events for 2024 include Feathers for Rosa a tribute to Rosa Luxemburg which will premiere at The New Theatre, Dublin in March and includes, painting, performance, music, poetry and film of which she is co- author; Changelings in Nighttown, a figurative solo exhibition at the Galerie Michaela Helfrich, Berlin, opening 16th June as part of the Zeitgeist Irland 24 festival an initiative of Culture Ireland and the Dept. of Foreign Affairs; Somewhere Else a solo show of landscape oriented work at Cnoc Buí Art Centre, Union Hall in July. She has been awarded a two-month residency at Uillinn beginning in autumn.

Among the places she has shown are : The Highlanes Gallery Open,(shortlisted for the Janet Mularney prize) Boyle Arts Featival main exhibition, The Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, Uillinn, the West Cork Art Centre (Affinities, solo show with her father’s work), RHA, Dublin, RUA, Belfast, Dublin Theatre festival main programme, Catherine Hammond Gallery@ VUE, The Fenton Gallery, Cork, The Drawing Hub, Berlin, Gallery im Turm, Berlin, Hallward Gallery, Dublin, Origin Gallery, Dublin., Lavitt Gallery Cork, Kunstverein T27, Berlin, Galerie in Körnerpark, Berlin, Brecht Haus, Berlin, Galerie Michaela Helfrich, Berlin

©2024 West Cork Arts Centre. All Rights Reserved.