Jon Crocker – Soul Paintings

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

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

‘Molly Sea’ by Jon Crocker



You can read more about Jon and his work on his website at or at the gallery website 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.

Favourite Blog

'I Love Blog' image


I have taken this idea from Elettrarossa, a follower of this blog, a jeweler, creative person, ‘Etsian’ and blogger herself. The idea is to promote blogs with less than 200 followers and spread the word!

It has not been an easy task but here are my top five – click on the titles to go straight to these blogs.

1. Geninne’s Art Blog

I discovered this blog recently and enjoy reading about Geninne’s latest projects and also her inspiration, which is drawn from her surroundings in Sunny Mexico. The sunlight and colour that breathe through her photographs and imagery make me want to visit this beautiful country.


Art by Geninne



2. Catherine Ryan Paintings

I met Catherine several times before I discovered that she is a fellow blogger. She spent some time here in Clifden with a mutual friend and taught a series of very successful art classes to local children, mine among them! Catherine also exhibited her paintings while she was in Clifden and we are now the proud owners of two of her wonderful pieces which we all enjoy very much. I am delighted to follow Catherine’s blog and would recommend it to anyone interested in contemporary Irish Art.


Canvas: Jackpot Jesus, by Catherine Ryan



3. Koukla House

This blog is written by my sister in law who is living in Brisbane, Australia. It is about her latest project which is the furnishing and decoration of her new house. Tina is Greek Australian and she has taken the Greek word ‘Koukla’ or pretty thing as a goal for her new home. Following Tina’s blog is a way of staying in touch with family and I find her journey an interesting one as a keen home maker myself. Plus we girls like to support each other!


Photograph by Tina



4. Vitrified Studio Work

I have just discovered this blog through Shelley Martin is the artist/potter and she was the featured seller on etsy’s front page recently which is how I connected with her blog. I love her simple clean style and the purity of her work. It is a great pleasure for me to read about a potter’s life as I too made pots for many years.


Pottery by Shelley Martin



5. Bridget Farmer

This is another beautiful blog that I have stumbled upon. Bridget is an artist/printmaker who is originally from Northern Ireland but now lives near Melbourne in Australia. I admire her blog for it’s style and the interesting way that she talks about her processes. I especially like her bird prints and the way that she uses line in such a loose and expressive way.


Prints by Bridget Farmer



So, that’s my list. I hope you enjoy it and thanks again to Elettrarossa for sharing the idea and also for her support. Now it’s over to you to play the game if you like. Just download the banner, nominate your own top five bloggers (with under 200 followers) and notify them of their inclusion in your list via a comment in their blog.