Niki Purcell – Irish Landscapes

       Niki graduated from NCAD with an honours degree in 1995 in Fine Art and has  worked as an artist ever since, exhibiting extensively both internationally & nationally – the Hugh Lane Gallery, The Guinness Hopstore, The Douglas Hyde gallery and the RHA Gallery among others and my work can be found in many important collections including the Office of Public Works (OPW).

       Niki was recently asked to design a new colour for the people behind Colour Trend Paints for their new upmarket range of paints called CURATOR.  This range of Paints is inspired by the colours that inspire the creatives of Ireland, this range is intended for the domestic, Uk and mostly USA market.

The colour she designed ‘Rolling Harvest’ will soon be taking the USA by storm.

       In Niki’s work she attempts to depict not objective reality but rather the subjective emotions and responses that my surroundings or subject arouse in me.

     For her paint and the act of painting…creating a world or story on a canvas that can live and grow both in her head or the viewer’s imagination is the magic and purpose of her work.

    Purcell’s Landscape paintings evolve from her fascination with the interactions between the light, wind, sea and the landscape. Some of the paintings portray the effects of wind on the landscape(in particular trees) and the rushing restless cloudscapes of the sky, while others focus on moments of sheer stillness and the quiet calm a of a summer’s day .

        In each work she tries to capture the magic relationships that occur between these elements  so that an ordinary scene  can be transformed in so many different ways depending on the play of light,wind etc..

Niki wants to catch and immortalise these moments of wonder and beauty that may otherwise fade and be lost in a fleeting moment…….


A Questions & Answers with Niki Purcell Artist


Where did you grow up?

I grew up beside the Sea in Greystones Co.Wicklow, with views of the Sugarloaf Mountain, Bray Head and the distant Wicklow Mountains


When did you first become interested in art?

I have always drawn and loved Art, as a young child I would draw on the title page of my books than sign and date the drawings just incase I was ever famous!


How did you pursue your desire to be a painter?

I painted and painted and than went to Art college, I studied at NCAD, Dublin and left with an Hons Degree in Fine Art


What is the artistic lifestyle like?

Take us through a typical day. Every day is slightly different but each one has painting in it.. I live in an old Coastguard station and the living area is open plan with my painting space at one end(Where the big window is), so while I am getting breakfast for my daughter or waiting for the kettle to boil I will always check out my space and look at what is on the easel and maybe get side tracked and start painting until I get calls of hunger! I paint or draw on and off during the day and usually I will work on more than one piece at a time, I find this keeps my work fresh and filled with energy..

As I live on a cliff top, I go walking a lot and will bring a small sketchbook and I might do a series of quick 1 or 2 minute sketches to help me remember a view or a particular cloud…whatever catches my eye really!


Do you paint every day, or only when the inspiration hits you?

I paint almost everyday and If I am not painting I am framing or doing something related to my painting, my Art is a central part of me and every day is connected to it


Where is your favourite place to paint?

On a sunny day in the Cove below where I live – I can see up the coast to Wicklow Head and inland across the fields I can see The Slopes of Croghan Mountain.. And sometimes the odd seal and porpoise appears too


Which artists have most inspired you and why?

Ivon Hitchens-  an English landscape painter who abstracted his landscape and simpliced his shapes and palettes yet his paintings were beautiful atmospheric and recognizable landscapes

Van Goch – for his strong use of Paint and bold colour

Turner –  for his sense of Atmosphere and dreamlike paintings that seem to draw you into their mystery


What are you working on at the moment?

I am working on a large canvas 100 x 140 cm with my Palette knifes of Dalkey island with an storm clouds on the horizon


At which location (or who) would you love the opportunity to paint?

Oh that’s a hard one! I think maybe Van Goch for his energy and bold paint, I would also be drawn to WB Yeats for the same reasons…

South of France would be nice!

Her works are in a number of collections. A full list of exhibitions can be found here.


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