Yesterday I went to visit Dublin Castle to see my painting ' Misty Ree' in situ.
What an honour it is to hang in such a prestigious location!! How did it get there?
Well, earlier in the year I applied to be a contestant in a televised painting competition, RTE's 'Painting the Nation', and after many interviews I was chosen as one of the final seven.
Each week we were set painting challenges and each week one artist was eliminated. The host of the show was Mrs. Doyle herself, Pauline McLynn, and the artwork was judged by the very accomplished Una Sealy R.H.A. and Gabhann Dunne.
I met six of the most wonderful artists and together we battled it out around the country; Wicklow, Louth, Kerry, Dublin, culminating in a head-to-head in Westmeath on the beautiful Lough Ree. Myself and artist, Agnieszka Ryan, painted our hearts out en plein air to attempt to capture the beauty of this mystical place.
Although I felt happy in my work, (under the tight time constraint of 3 hours, oil paints and rain!!) Agnieszka really did turn out a beautiful piece so I was unsure who would take the prize but ultimately my painting was chosen and as a result my painting was acquired by the Office of Public Works to become a permanent piece of the National Collection, and hang in Dublin Castle.
“This was a difficult decision," said Una Sealy, "but we felt Sinead's piece captured something of the atmosphere of the Shannon, a misty peacefulness”. Gabhann Dunne added: “It was very close but Sinead's landscape just had something more of the lake and its surroundings, giving her the edge”.
What an amazing experience!