Ellen McDermott
Contemporary Irish Artist: Modern Style: Fine Art Photographer.

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For a list of the leading Irish
painters, including exponents of
figurative art, see: Best Irish Artists.

Ellen McDermott (b.1964)
Irish Painter/Photographer

The talented contemporary figurative artist and award winning photographer, Ellen McDermott, specializes in visually striking imagery - the sort that grabs you from across the room. But the funny thing this, her paintings really grow on you. They're easy to live with. Perhaps it's the balance of colours, or maybe her eye for composition - she certainly has a remarkable flair for creative photography. Or maybe it's the constant feedback she receives from her husband and four children. Whatever the reason, McDermott's art is definitely worth a close look. Not least because it sells! Her overall style is far from settled, and she continues to experiment widely, but there's no mistaking her talent. Who knows where she might be, two years from now? And if you like her painting, you'll love her photography. Check her blogsite for some excellent examples.

For other modernists based in Ireland, please see: Contemporary Irish Artists. For the world's best 200 practitioners, see: Top Contemporary Artists.


For late 20th century artworks,
see: Contemporary Art.

Born in Dublin, McDermott turned on to painting when she won a school competition. Despite top marks in art in her Leaving Certificate, she went on to work as an engineer, and painted on the side.

Some twenty years and four children later, she decided to start showing and selling her work, so far with great success. Over the past 12 months, she has exhibited at: the Art Station Gallery, Wicklow Town; Expose Yourself Gallery, Dun Laoghaire; Kilmantin Art Gallery, Wicklow Town; Red Cross Summer Exhibition, The Hague; Baby Elephant Gallery, Dun Laoghaire; D4 Art Gallery, Ballsbridge, Dublin; to name but a few. She plans to show at The Nora Dunne Gallery from October 2008.

She is now in the process of becoming a full-time artist.

As a painter, McDermott works in oils and has a modern semi-classical style which lends itself to her strong figurative compositions. As you might guess, she has been influenced by a variety of modern artists noted for their direct approach to art, including Van Gogh (1853-90), Andy Warhol (1928-87), Francis Bacon (1909-92) and Graham Knuttel (b.1954).

Despite her growing success, it can't be easy to paint with a house full of children. When I asked her about this, she admitted she needed to be "very very organised". She shops and plans her menus for the month ahead, and sleeps with a diary 2 inches from her face. Hmm, makes me wonder how Van Gogh would have managed with a wife and four kids!

As well as her own works (currently priced between €200-500), McDermott handles a wide range of commissions (fine art and photography).

She was a finalist in the Photo Ireland Festival 2010 and has exhibited her artwork both internationally and here in Ireland. She is a director of an artist-run gallery in Wicklow Town, and is represented in America by Clic Gallery, Soho, New York, where she will be holding an exhibition of her work, in 2012.


Our Opinion

McDermott's strong draughtsmanship, good eye and well developed sense of colour makes me feel that she could have enormous potential. Well worth a close look before her prices go up.

Unfortunately, the small-size images on this page hardly do justice to her talent, so please check out her website:thearthallgallery.blogspot.com

• For more about contemporary visual artists, see: Homepage.
• For details of famous painters and sculptors from Ireland, see Irish Artists.

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