Terry Coyle

  • Storm in the Distance, Oil 12"x10" $800.

I was born in Derry in 1972, one of a family of seven boys and six girls. My early education was at Slievemore Primary School and then at St. Brigid's High School. I begin painting at High School and was encouraged to do an 'A' level in Art at the N.W.I.F.H.E. It was at the North West College that I began to think that I could possibly make a career for myself by selling my paintings. During this period the help and assistance of Benny McCormack was invaluable. I am extremely appreciative for his support and guidance. It was at this time that I sold my first paintings in an art gallery. In 1993 I traveled to Newcastle upon Tyne to do a foundation course but all that this achieved was to leave me with doubts as to whether art was really for me. I eventually came back to Derry and worked at various jobs before deciding to have another go at Art. I applied for a place at the University of Ulster to do an Applied Arts Degree. I was accepted and have spent two happy years on the course.

Last year I took a year out and fulfilled a lifetime ambition by traveling around Europe. The stimulation I got from visiting places like Florence and Prague has been extraordinary and hopefully has given my paintings a new dimension. I return to Belfast this autumn to finish my course and I then intend to get my teaching qualification.

My painting is mainly concerned with the Irish landscape although from time to time I like to introduce a figurative element into my work. I prefer to paint on a large scale but I am well aware of the constraints of gallery space. I started exhibiting paintings in 1993 at The McGilloway Gallery and I am grateful for their constant support and enthusiasm.

At this moment in time, I feel that traveling has been a great experience and makes me all the more aware of how much I have to learn.