A Tulllamore artist who has painted portraits of many of Ireland's greatest musical talents is exhibiting her work in her home town this month.
In the last few years Claire Guinan has painted the portraits of some of Ireland's best loved musicians including Imelda May, Paul Brady, Damien Dempsey and John Sheehan as part of what she sees as ongoing project. The fruits of her labours so far will be featured in her exhibition, 'Heart and Soul – Portraits of Irish Musicians', which opens in Aras an Chontae this evening, Friday November 9 and runs until December 7.
An avid fan of Irish and a musician when she was younger, Claire says that painting some of the country's best known artists has been a memorable experience.
“I love all the artists that I painted and I was very excited meeting them. I was very nervous meeting them as I was supposed to be professional.”
While starting the project took a bit of time due to the busy schedules of many of her subjects, as word began to spread in musical circles it became a lot easier. Claire has also received a lot of positive feedback from the musicians and those closest to them.
Offaly singer songwriter Mundy is included in the exhibition. “Imelda May's manager sent a photo of the painting to her. She [Imelda] said that it's the most honest portrait of her that she's seen, which was nice.
I also painted Christy Duignam from Aslan and the fellow band members said it was the best portrait of him that they've seen.”
Claire, who also teaches art and designs jewellery, says that she is deeply inspired by music and says that she plans to carry on the project indefinitely.
“I love how powerful a song can be. They [the musician] might not know how much a song means to a person. They also all have great face and each face tells a story.”