What brought you to the Newport Beach area?
The sunshine. I am a native Oregonian, and I got tired of the grey skies and rain. A number of my friends and collectors recommended the move, and I am thankful I did.
Describe your art.
I call it “Romantic Abstract Expressionism.” I create from my imagination and emotion, usually to amazing music. My art is a melding of the genre “Romanticism,” a period of art during the late 18th century, and abstract expressionism, a movement around the time of my birth. My paintings feature very thick impasto oil paint and pigments, sometimes using semiprecious stones, including lapis, diamond dust and gold leaf. I am most passionate these days about creating large paintings. Currently, my favorite size is about 80’x60.’ Perhaps, it is a nod to the masters before me – most of the work I admire in museums are large works.
What inspires you?
The great masters before me are my inspiration. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to see some of the greatest art in museums all around the world. I have spent countless hours with a notebook in hand dissecting details, layers of paint, glazes, and compositions of Monet, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, German Expressionism, and many others.
Where did you study art?
Living in a small town in Oregon I studied privately with teachers, as well as at many workshops with national artists. I consider myself autodidactic and, even with nearly 30 years as a professional artist, I continue to study.
Where can people view your art?
I have a show right now at Fingerhut Gallery in Laguna Beach and Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery in La Jolla. I am represented by eight galleries across the U.S. A list is on my website: GeorgeanaIreland.com.
When is your next showing or exhibit?
I will be painting live at my show at Fingerhut Gallery on June 4 (First Thursdays Art Walk, Laguna Beach). I am also painting right now for a show in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the Bill Hester Gallery.
What are some exciting moments in your career as an artist?
Recently, I painted live with master Mexican artist Vladimir Cora at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach. We started with a blank canvas and neither of us spoke the other’s language. We had to use the universal language of paint. The painting was then auctioned off at the museum’s annual gala. Marlene Alvarado made a short documentary of my experience that can be seen on YouTube. YouTube.com
One of my greatest opportunities came about when a mutual friend introduced me to Pierre Matisse, grandson of Henri Matisse. I was shocked to get a call from him letting me know he really liked my art and offered to paint with me. Not long after, I had the most amazing opportunity to hang out with him and his lovely wife in Florida. We painted together and he shared many of his secrets, as well as tales of Salvador Dali and Picasso. I was honored later to join him and his wife in Moscow, Russia, for a large installation and show of his work. I forgot to mention he is 85 years young, and paints up a storm every day.