Cover image ‘Tommy of Connemara’ by Jon Crocker
Just a couple of notes on this piece – I wrote it for the August issue of the Connemara Journal which will be available soon. Also, we are working on a new website for our gallery which will go live in the next week or so – I will signpost this when it happens on this blog.
We are fortunate to meet artists from all around the world who find their way into our gallery (Lavelle Art Gallery) in Clifden for one reason or another. Each year we look at new creations, talk to artists and decide whether or not we can work together and whether the paintings or drawings will compliment the art that we already have. Occasionally the artwork is of such a high caliber that a decision scarcely needs to be made. This happened recently when Jon Crocker brought his water colours into us. Originally from Colorado, Jon relocated to Dublin after losing his wife and daughter to illness. He now divides his time between the United States and Ireland, which has become a second home.
Figurative work of a high standard is notoriously difficult to find and it must have a degree of technical sufficiency in order for it to work on any level. Jon’s portraits in water colour are not only technically brilliant and sensitively handled, they reach towards that intangible quality that makes each human being an individual. The likenesses that Jon creates are more than physical, he captures something else – an insight into identity that might be described as a spark or as Jon himself explains ‘the true essence’ or ‘soul’ of a person.
Jon has two paintings that stand out straight away – the first entitled ‘Tommy of Connemara’ and the second of a well known man from Dublin city called ‘Shamus.’
‘Shamus’ by Jon Crocker
These portraits are both of well known characters, people that we have come to associate with a place, perhaps without even knowing that person by name. This led me to think about what it is that makes up the fabric of a town – it’s people yes but who are these people? Are they the leaders, organisers, business people? Are they simply inhabitants? Or is a place also defined by those who are just out of sight – the characters that we might see every day or once a week, perhaps on the same street or outside a certain building. We might have spoken or we might just have shared a nod or a smile. Tommy is one such character and we felt a small measure of how well this man is regarded when we posted an image of this portrait on our gallery facebook page. It was ‘liked’ instantly, warmly commented on multiple times and shared in a manner that we have not witnessed since we set up the page several years ago. This unprecedented reaction is also credit to Jon’s talent and we are more than delighted to be representing his work at the Lavelle Gallery. Jon produces prints of his original water colours at affordable prices as well as his one of a kind paintings, so people may enjoy his work with minimum investment.
It is worth noting that Jon is also a very fine landscape painter as exemplified by his painting of the old curragh at the shore ‘Molly Sea.’
‘Molly Sea’ by Jon Crocker
You can read more about Jon and his work on his website at crockerfinearts.com or at the gallery website lavelleartgallery.ie or drop into the gallery to see them for yourself.
We join Jon in taking the opportunity to send Tommy Heffernan our good wishes as he is unwell at the moment.