Wild Atlantic Colours: How the West of Ireland Inspires Lorraine

Currently based in Galway, with opportune access to some of Ireland’s most pristine natural beauty, Lorraine Fletcher approaches nature and wildlife painting with a distinct and insightful twist – portraying a human connection to the natural world which serves to remind us all how connected we truly are.

From Armagh to Galway.

With her earlier youth spent in the Irish countryside of Co Armagh, Lorraine was naturally drawn to wildlife and to, well… drawing. Naturally. “There were cows next door looking over the gate into our garden and we used to watch the pheasants, foxes, and hares hide among the wind bushes in the fields opposite our house as kids.” While her love for nature and wildlife was strong, her more creative inclinations to art couldn’t be ignored. “I was always painting and drawing. When I was younger, it was no question what to get me for birthdays and Christmas. Art sets were always a firm favourite.” 

 

After relocating to Galway, pre-pandemic life provided for frequent weekend road trips to family and friends across western Ireland and regular visits up to Armagh. “Nothing better than packing up the car and going off for the day – always with my sketchbook and camera.” Taking inspiration from expansive nature reserves near her home in Loughrea, forests and fields will always provide material, while parks like Coole Park and Connemara are regular haunts for trees, greenery, and pastoral calmness to  reconnect with the surroundings.

The Human Connection.

What stands out in Lorraine’s paintings is an insightful sense of humanity in her wildlife subjects. This human connection is something that the artist has a natural eye for. As she puts it, “When I paint animals I see the connection between us.” Her piece titled Together We Stand depicts two stags together glancing back at attention – that instinctive look of awareness and protection. “They’ve got each other’s back and this is an important trait in human nature – especially with family and friends. We would all like to think that someone has our back.”

Her works are presented on a base of block colour – typically a neutral concrete grey – allowing the artist’s palette of bright tones to make an unadulterated impact. With no shadow-casting light source, the eye is absorbed into the imaginatively honest colour and texture of the subject matter. The colours cast by their would-be shadows are represented in their true-to-the-eye hues. Feathery whites, coral pastels, brilliant citrus and oceanic turquoise and blues – all in their own light.  

 

Her collections all take inspiration from the natural surroundings across Ireland, conveying a deep fondness and humanising insight into local wildlife, their mannerisms, habits, and quirks. The very first painting from Lorraine’s wildlife collection is still a poignant testament to the artist’s utterly unique ability to render a modern take in a classic medium and niche. The piece, appropriately titled Retrospect, depicts a fox looking back with a forward-facing stance to the future. In the artist’s words, “It’s okay to reminisce. But keep moving forward.”

It’s precisely this mentality that sets Lorraine Fletcher apart from artists in the proverbial field who opt for a more conventional approach bound by objective realism. Her use of vibrant warm colours and coral pastels create pairings that capture something more ethereal than any photograph ever could – adding a modest impressionist twist that highlights the dynamic human connection to nature and wildlife. In this way, her paintings are less an observation than a contemporary understanding of the subject matter – an aesthetic means to reconnect to the natural world through a distinctly modern lens.

Visit Lorraine’s website to view more of her work, gather info about commissions, order your own prints, and find out about upcoming exhibitions.

 

 

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Showcase 2019

January 2019 is our third year of exhibiting at Showcase...