David Nowlan

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"A traditional approach to composition with a modern touch hopefully makes me a true 'contemporary Impressionist’”
 
The Irish portraitist David Nowlan exemplifies much of the European or 'cosmopolitan' tradition in Irish art.
Exceptionally gifted in still life and landscape painting, as well as portraiture, many of his works are an object lesson in the use of particular shades of colour in order to capture the mood or moment of the subject. A traditional approach to composition with his modern touch makes him a true 'contemporary Impressionist.'
Born in Dublin, he studied Visual Arts at the Dublin college of Marketing and Design, before moving to Los Angeles USA where he worked as an artist in Disney's. On returning to Dublin he continues doing commercial art until 2004 where in moved to SW France and started painting the local landscapes in oils.
Returning early 2007 with his family to Dublin he started painting portraits with his first being the Rev, Ian Paisley which is hanging in the Stormont Assembly and influenced by the likes of Lucian Freud and John Singer Sargent. Nowlan's approach to portraiture provides an interesting insight into his artistic philosophy. He is strongly drawn to the historical and literary figures preceding the modern Celtic Tiger: the heroes of the Celtic Dawn, the Irish Literary Renaissance of W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, and painters like Jack Butler Yeats and Sir John Lavery.
Using his acute powers of observation, his flair for drawing and the tonal language of Impressionism, he seeks to recapture the ability of his predecessors to transmit the legacy of their literature, lore and art, which underpins so much of present-day Irish culture. As he says: "It is an honour to bring to canvas the images of these great writers, poets, musicians and thinkers..."
At the same time, Nowlan clearly enjoys holding up his mirror to contemporary figures like Paisley, Morrison and Bono. His acute study of Rev Ian Paisley is a masterful snapshot of ageing doubt, while his Van Morrison work captures a marvellous moment of wistful distraction. One could look at any of these works for hours. As well as portraits, Nowlan has painted a range of plein-air landscapes, cityscapes, his series of Venice compositions and some beautiful still life’s.
Although heavily involved in commissions, Nowlan has shown works in several solo and numerous group exhibitions, in Ireland and France. His paintings are represented in numerous private collection including UK’s public art collections (two paintings) David Barclay of Barclays Bank, Martin and Celine Naughton, Anne Heraty of CPL, Stauntons On The Green,  and many corporate collections.

 

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