It was while working in fashion, prior to becoming a mum, that Clare O’Donoghue’s painting became more than just a hobby.
“It started with my colleagues ordering pieces and then their friends,” explains Clare. “After the birth of my first baby 18 years ago, it become more and more busy and now in the last three years, ridiculously busy, with three more children added and doing a lot of work for interior designers and stylists.”
Now working as a full-time artist, whilst juggling her other role as mum of four, Clare has had a life-long love affair with art. “I am a self-taught artist, although I have always loved art… in primary school I would sneak into the art room at lunchtime! I did a super short-term fine arts school stint, but in the end I just wanted to do my own thing.”
[contextly_sidebar id=”WieQtPojRNbJE7wPAKQnU6ojd81FGHsj”]And clearly that approach worked, with Clare’s artworks proving so popular, she was offered the opportunity to turn them into homewares. “I was approached by Nerdia Hansen about 18 months ago, regarding them using my paintings to create soft textiles. So we selected some portions of my paintings, which were then printed on gorgeous textured linen and turned into cushions. I have also started to create lights, which are combining my paintings with lighting and fabric to create table lamps, wall lamps and pendants.”
With her homewares and prints available via her online shop and a range of bricks and mortar stockists, Clare also makes one-of-a-kind mixed media commissions. “I use inks, pastels, perspex, acrylic, collage and paper, as I love using different mediums to create different textures and looks and creating layers. When it comes to creating art I cannot say I have a particular formula I follow. If it’s a piece for a client I usually have a brief which may require some concepts, but all my other work just leaps almost uncontrollably onto the canvas tweaking the entire way with lots of standing back in between!”
With no grand plans for the future, Clare just hopes she can continue doing what she loves; making clients’ spaces feel good and most importantly, creating colourful, functional artworks that can positively affect the world. “It’s tricky to pick my proudest moment, but the feeling that comes with donating pieces to charity and someone admiring my work enough to bid, and then that money actually making a difference to someone’s life or foundation. Well that makes me feel really proud.”
Photography by Nikole Ramsay | Styling by Emma O’Meara