Artist Michelle Duffy of Camlake Canvas
I first met Michelle Duffy of Camlake Canvas when Patrick and I were visiting Fermanagh in December 2015. As part of a press trip we were introduced to Michelle who welcomed us into her home to have a chat, and of course to see her work.
Michelle’s welcome was warm. The chat was effortless, you know that enjoyable kind where twenty minutes could have turned into two hours. And her work, well her work was inspiring. Inspiring in the sense that I wanted to witness in person the scenes she paints.
You see although Michelle expresses her creations in both traditional and contemporary style, to me Michelle’s true speciality is finding the beauty in the colours of the everyday scenes and changing seasons of the world around her. These scenes stretch the length of and breadth of the Island of Ireland, from land to sea. From sunrises over lakes to sunsets over sea shores. However much of her focus is on her homeland of Fermanagh, a county that deserves to be explored, and Michelle helps inspire me to do so.
Since meeting Michelle I’ve been following her (not literally, that’s just creepy) on her social media accounts – keeping up to date with the new work she creates and the new ventures she’s involved in.
And speaking of new ventures, as a lover of art and interior design, I have to say I was delighted to see Michelle take her creativity to another level with her own collection of Camlake Canvas Cushions. Absolutely gorgeous … I’ll have one of each please!
Like to know more about Michelle, and her work? Then you’ll enjoy the following:
Q&A’s with Irish Artist Michelle Duffy
1. What was your inspiration to become an Artist?
I have always been quite creative and as a child I was always sketching and doodling. I studied Art right through school to university, becoming an interior designer after college for 14 years. My inspiration to become an artist came when my Dad who suffered COPD got very ill and then passed away. I painted to help me get through the tough times, it was almost my therapy and still continues to be.
2. How did you officially become an Artist?
Think I would say I’ve always been an artist but being a Mum to three boys, my art work took a major back seat for a few years! but as they are a little bit older now art works well in our family life. At 10, nine and five my boys sit and draw with me at the kitchen table. After my Dads death I suppose I concentrated a lot on painting so I could say I found my inner artist again.
3. Where do you take creative inspiration from for your work?
Living in Fermanagh and close to Donegal and Sligo I’m very lucky to have access to fantastic scenery on a daily basis. I live five minutes from Lough Melvin in Garrison and spend a lot of time in Rusheen Park, sitting taking in the views of the lake and the Leitrim Mountains. The West Coast of Ireland have some stunning sunsets and I try to capture as many as I can with my camera so I can hopefully paint them all some day.
Inspiration can also come from social media too, there are so many fantastic images of Ireland on Facebook etc and at times if I really like a photo I get a photographers permission to paint it.
4. What’s the wackiest request you’ve had to date for commission work?
I think the wackiest request I have had so far was to turn an old wardrobe into a Tardis for a Doctor Who Fan! This was great fun along with a nice challenge, not my usual landscape options!
5. What would be your ultimate design commission?
That’s a good question, but at this stage I am just happy capturing sunsets and stunning scenery in Ireland knowing they will bring joy to the homes they go to.
6. Where would you love to exhibit your work – the dream?
At the moment any exhibition is a bit of a dream. As an Artist it is always your hope that people will connect with what you have created so seeing a full gallery opening at any venue would be “The Dream”. But I suppose my ultimate aim is to have my own studio and gallery space, and nice list of collectors of my work.
Images featured are courtesy of Michelle Duffy.
For more of Michelle’s works of art, to purchase or enquire about commissioning a piece, or to find out where she’ll be exhibiting next, visit the Camlake Canvas social media accounts here: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram