Marie Hennessey, born in Kilkenny, now living and working n Dublin, is a professional artist who specializes in medium and small scale oil paintings. She graduated from University College Dublin in 1975 with an honours degree in History of European Painting, Her work, which is mostly on paper, included a wide range of subject matter; street scenes, interiors, still-life, landscape and seascape. The subject is invariably “Ireland” – its landscape, its waterway, its weather, its people. Her main concern as an artist is with light and atmosphere, capturing that special timelessness of an Irish day and the things around us that tell us this is Ireland. Skies with their ever changing cloud formations and shifting light are a constant theme, as are bogs for their marshy textures and rich colour variations. In her most recent exhibition the focus was on the city. “Joyce’s Dublin Today,” sought out the Dublin of the early 19th century in the modern city.
Hennessey uses a traditional painting technique, similar to that employed by artists working prior or the development of Impressionism. Oil paint is applied in layers on a prepared tones surface. The base colour is then allowed to show through the upper paint, unifying the piece and giving it stylistic identity. The paper used is a heavy duty art paper, Canson 224 grams, chosen over canvas for the smoothness of its surface. It is prepared for painting in exactly the same way as a canvas with tow coats of size, tow coats of gesso and as mentioned, with a final toning coat. Finished pictures are mounted on board for additional durability.
“Joyce’s Dublin Today,” May 2004, The Davis Gallery Dublin
The Guinness Gallery, Dublin
Wolsely Fine Art, London
The Cobweb Gallery, Kilkenny
The Coachhouse, Howth
The Lavitt Gallery, Cork
Avoca Weaver, Dublin
Letterfrack, Co. Galway
The Old School Gallery
Marie Hennessey’s paintings have been incorporated into book cover designs and will form the illustrations in a forthcoming book on Ireland.
Collections Include: Cheeverstown House, The Office of Public Works, The Vintner’s Association/ St. Patrick’s College, Carlow, The O’Brien Press. Dome Telecom, Ltd. And private collections in Europe, America and Australia