It was in 1996 I decided to enrol in Ballyfermot Art College this was to prepare a portfolio that would hopefully get me into third level .
The course was very good and informative. I personally learnt a lot. Part of the course was to go on location. This mainly involved sitting at well known Dublin landmarks, and yes it was mainly in the winter, I observed the landscape and movement of people, sometimes people would become uneasy when they knew they were being observed for art reasons. It wasn’t practical to use acrylics as they would take longer to dry, so I would use pencil or ink and sometimes pastels to get the subject down on paper.
I remember on location in Christ church crypts, sketching the statues there and to get in to the mood listening to “Bach’s The Toccata and Fugue in D minor”. I think at the time I was drawing stars leading down from the church to the crypts.
It was in the same year 1996 that I decided to apply for NCAD (National College of Art and Design in Thomas Street Dublin, I also applied for Dun Laoghaire Art College as a backup. I was called for interview in Dun Laoghaire, I remember a guy with a beard and glasses interviewing me. He seemed to be interested in my art work I was very happy that day.
NCAD didn’t do interviews at that time, they just looked at your portfolio, if your work was strong you got in. A few months passed and I felt that maybe I wasn’t successful in obtaining a place in both NCAD and Dun Laoghaire college.
Then two letters came and I was offered two places Dun Laoghaire college or NCAD, I choose NCAD over Dun Laoghaire.
The first year in NCAD was the core year, this was to give us time to choose what specially chosen department we wanted to enter, the first one was print.
In print we learned different kinds of techniques and styles to improve the craft. I didn’t find it interesting and when the four weeks were up we went to the next module, which was fine art. I really enjoyed being there because we mainly draw and painted. I think it was there that I developed my distinctive painting style which I still use today.
The next module was sculpture.Sculpture was great and again like printing was in fact very interesting to do. It was one of the modules I wanted to get into but at the end I didn’t.
I ended up doing ceramics as my third choice subject, ceramics was ok. In fact I ended up enjoying it, and because it was very new to me learnt a great deal of new and exciting techniques. These included firing, glaze and making pots and cups. the good thing about this course is we still did life drawing and drawing. I spent three years there and finished in the spring of 2001.
Role on 2004 I decided to do art in the local Tallaght arts studio, this was more like a social thing than anything else. I also helped out other people and showed them useful techniques that may improve their pictures. In 2006 Eoin O’Neill a person from Wicklow was thinking of starting up a local art group. I went to the meeting and decided to join the group. It was great to be with my own kind, (artists). We went through everyone and asked what do they like to paint, I said boats and ships another person said making wooden objects. We also decided on the name “CRUTHU” which means “create”. We move on towards 2013 we have our own premises in Russborough House and it is there you can see my art work on display. Please visit www.alanbrady.eu