Commission a portrait
Ideally live sittings are best, but when painting children,
pets, or a posthumous portrait, a selection of good, clear photographs is perfectly
fine to work....
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View a selection of other artwork by Jenny O'Brien including landscapes,
commissioned work and the "Little Old Men" series...
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Portraiture in history
For centuries the role of a portrait artist was
highly regarded, fulfilling the requirement for image preservation
that photography later...
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Galway Tribune Life Supplement Feature, September 2006
Excerpts from interview by Michelle McDonagh
It was reading an article about the vital work of the Rape Crisis Centre that inspired
local artist Jenny O’Brien to come up with the idea of producing a unique calendar
to raise much needed funds for the service.
Orignally from Wexford, Jenny, who is a very young looking 30 years old, has been
living in Galway since 1995 when she came here to study Fine Art in GMIT. Although
her intention was only to stay two years, she fell in love with the city and has been
“I had been involved with the Wexford Opera Festival through my music and I loved
the atmosphere in the town during that week with shows and exhibitions on all the time.
It’s like that all the year round in Galway.”
Since the age of 14 years, all Jenny wanted to do was be a painter and after her
leaving cert, she started a degree in teaching secondary school art in Dublin.
However, having learnt nothing about painting at the end of her first year there,
she decided to transfer to Fine Art in Galway.
“Fine Art is a very traditional form of art, it’s the most academic of the art disciplines.
I was interested painting mainly, and in printmaking.”...
Having been interested in doing something for charity for some time, and “not being
brave enough to jump out of a plane”, Jenny contacted the Rape Crisis Centre with
her idea for the calendar after reading an article about the need for funding to continue
with their vital work in Galway.
The Rape Crisis Centre decided on twelve subjects who are all inspiring women
who shine in some way in their own lives and Jenny got to work on the portraits.
While she met many of the women, she had to rely on publicity photos for Pauline
McLynn and Garry Hynes but is hoping to meet all of her subjects in the flesh at the
opening next week.
“It’s strange being in the house without all the portraits, I had them all lined up
together in my studio for ages because I wanted to see them all as a group as
well as working on an individual basis. I nearly felt like I knew them, I became so
familiar with their faces but hopefully they will all be coming to the exhibition opening.”
Jenny O’Brien also takes commissions for portraits and for caricatures which have
become quite popular at weddings. If anybody wants to contact her they can do so
through the Kenny Gallery.
“I don’t have any big dramatic artistic statement to make.....
I just like painting peoples faces,” she remarks.
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