Debi O’Hehir

Horses by Debi O'Hehir


This year saw the passing of Debi O’Hehir, a friend and artist who exhibited in our gallery for over a decade. We continue to sell Debi’s paintings at the Lavelle Art Gallery and proceeds of these sales will go towards the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, County Monaghan, in accordance with Debi’s wishes. This is a residential workplace where artists can find peace and quiet to develop their work, together with the stimulation of working alongside artists from a variety of disciplines.


Debi O'Hehir - photo by Reg Gordon

Debi O’Hehir – photo by Reg Gordon


Born in England, Debi grew up in Kinvara, County Clare. She studied fine art painting at the Galway College of Art, graduating in 1988. Debi worked for a time in England where she developed an interest in sculpture and began exhibiting her work in London’s Northcote Gallery. Debi returned to Ireland in 2001 to work at the Leitrim Sculpture Centre and she set up her home and studio in County Leitrim where she remained for the rest of her short life.

Debi’s great passion was horses which she realised in a large body of work. Her paintings are made primarily in ink on Arches or Fabriano artists paper. Each piece is infused with vitality and energy, demonstrating her mastery of these materials. Debi was a prolific worker and she divided her time between painting and sculpture, the latter comprising mainly of horses, intuitively formed in wire or plaster.

We were introduced to Debi in 2005 and over a ten year period, we came to know her as an artist and a friend. We are proud to show her work and she is greatly missed.

December Paintings

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about my painting and this is largely because I haven’t done a lot of studio work since September. This combined with the fact that our computer hard drive broke down, so I can’t process my photos as I normally would. Life has been been demanding in all sorts of ways since September that I could not have predicted. I have found myself embroiled in a variety of matters associated with a number of committees and other groups that have taken up far too much of my time and energy. My resolution for the new year is clear – I’m not going to take on any more battles and I am going to spend a lot more time painting. How wonderfully simple is that?

Getting back to being creative after an intensive period of work is always difficult and I think that there is a natural cycle of creativity – a time for industry and inventiveness and a time to slow down and prepare for the next busy period. I feel like I am somewhere in between at the moment as I am thinking about my next body of work but also keen to finish some pieces before Christmas.  We sold the last of my seascapes a couple of weeks ago in our gallery and this has forced me to focus my attention in this direction. I wanted to make some winter seascapes, dark brooding ones that reflect the weather at the moment which is stormy and unpredictable. I imagine myself out at sea reaching back towards a shadow of land in the distance and in another piece, the sky is the dominant feature, broiling and curling over the waves beneath. Here’s a few photos – the quality isn’t great as I took them with my phone.



Wild Sea

I’ve kept this image small as it is slightly out of focus and this is accentuated when it is reproduced larger – insert another pledge for the new year – sort out my computer!



Seascape with wild sky



Both of these pieces were worked over a relatively short period. I find that the work improves as I gain confidence with my ability to express a mood as freely as possible and this often happens during short energetic bursts of work. If I get bogged down in technicalities, the paintings lose this energy. I need to give myself permission  to be in the landscape ( or seascape ) while I am working and to feel what it is like to be there. This might sound like fancy, but it is simply where I am at the moment with this work.

Of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness

Photography by Mark Furniss

I’ve been away from this blog for a while, caught up in catching up since my exhibition in September. Fortunately I have the Connemara Journal to bring me back to writing and this piece is in the the current November edition. It reflects what we have been seeing here in Connemara for the past few weeks, although we have had some wintry moments since. Today I’m looking out at clear skies and cool sun and I’m glad of it. I will post about my painting soon.  Continue reading


Gavin with David Agnew

Gavin with David Agnew at the Toradh Gallery


Gavin travelled to Ashbourne in County Meath last Tuesday for the opening of his exhibition in the Toradh Gallery, operated by Meath county council. He delivered the paintings himself in a large car borrowed from one of our neighbours. Transportation of paintings is difficult at the best of times in Ireland and many courier companies refuse to take art at all, for a plethora of insurance reasons. Often the best and most cost efficient way is to do it yourself by hiring or borrowing a large car or van. Fortunately for us, we are surrounded by good neighbours on Main Street with generous hearts and excellent vehicles. Continue reading

Irish Blog Awards

Irish Blog Awards Logo

We were delighted to learn that this blog has been shortlisted in the Irish Blog Awards 2015 for the Best Blog in the Arts & Culture category.

The next stage in the voting process is a public vote and here’s where we need your help –

You can vote for us by clicking this link Public Vote – Irish Blog Awards.

Simply scroll down the list of companies till you find us and click the circle to cast your vote.


Thanks in advance!



Irish Blog Awards

I was delighted to get a notification recently that this blog had been long listed for the Irish Blog Awards for 2015.

A couple of days later, I learned that our gallery blog – The Lavelle Art Gallery has been shortlisted in the Arts & Culture category.


The next stage of the voting is a public vote and here’s where I need your help.. You can vote for our gallery blog with the click of a button at this link Public Vote – Blog Awards Ireland

Simply scroll down the list of companies till you find us and click the circle to cast your vote.


Thank you in advance!


Gallery Studios and September Exhibitions

Debbie's Studio

My Studio on the top floor of the gallery


As our season reaches something of a lull during the back to school period, Gavin and myself are busy making work for two forthcoming exhibitions. Gavin is finishing some large paintings for an exhibition to be opened shortly in the Toradh Gallery in County Meath. Collectively, it is the largest body of work that he has produced since he developed his collage/painting technique about six years ago. Continue reading

Exhibition – Clifden Arts Week

My studio has been slowly filling up with paintings for my forthcoming exhibition for Clifden Arts week 2015. There’s nothing quite like a deadline to focus the mind and I’ve been taking advantage of any free time available to get some work done. Continue reading


It’s been a busy few weeks and I am looking forward to having more time very soon – school starts in about two weeks and I will soon finish my part time job which will have lasted almost eight weeks. In the meantime, I’ve been burning the midnight oil at the studio in an effort to get some work together for my next series of paintings. Continue reading

Irish Times Best Shops in Ireland

This year is the first year that we are entering the Irish Times Best Shops in Ireland award 2015 and here is where you dear readers, can help – we would love to have your nomination!

All you have to do is click this link Best Shops in Ireland and fill in the nomination form.

Here’s the information you will need:

The Lavelle Art Gallery

Best Specialist Shop

County Galway


The rest is up to you 🙂


Post Script

Thanks to everyone who nominated us – we were delighted to have our photo featured in the Irish Times Magazine on Saturday 8th of August. Sadly, we did not make the shortlist but the competition was very stiff – over 3000 entries for a shortlist of just 100. All to play for again next year!