Galway painter talks about how a Painting a Day became a way of life

A Galway-based painter who bought her first computer in the early noughties, discovered the Painting A Day movement - and kickstarted her professional career as an artist.

Now, Portumna resident Diana Marshall not only makes a living selling her work but also buys and sells the vintage props that she uses for her still life pieces.

Diana is one of 160 Irish and international artists whose work will be on display at Ireland’s premier art fair, Art Source, at the RDS from November 11-13.

When she first went online, Diana discovered an American movement called ‘Painting a Day,’ where an artist was painting one small painting every day, which they were then selling on eBay.

“I decided to try to do the same and I got so hooked that I began painting every single day,” said Diana.

In the space of a few years, what had begun as a fun activity with a new friend while living in Spain had quickly turned into a way of life for Diana.

“I fell in love with painting. I couldn’t believe it the first time someone bought my work,” she said.

“I was so excited but when you start out, you also feel like every painting is precious and it sort of hurts you to let them go. Eventually, it gets to the point where you don’t mind at all because you start looking forward to the next painting.”

She finds her antique and vintage still life subject pieces in auctions across the country and also scours the net for items that have sufficient character to provide artistic inspiration.

Those interested in her work can now not only purchase one of her paintings, but they can also buy the items Diana paints.

In the interest of giving her subjects a new lease of life, and of alleviating the strain on her “heaving shelving units full of beautiful stuff”, she has set up an Etsy page to resell her treasures, called Diana Vintage Emporium.

Financial crash

The UK-born artist and her family moved from Spain to Ireland following the financial crash and the closure of a business “virtually overnight.”

Although the move was under difficult circumstances, Diana found a warm community among the artists involved in the People’s Art exhibit, near St Stephen’s Green in Dublin.

“Everyone was so friendly and helpful and they were happy to give advice on framing and things like that, it was just a lovely community.

“One of my daughters came with us when we moved and, eventually, my eldest daughter moved over from America, as well. We’ve managed to bring the whole family to Ireland, it has become home. We’re very happy here,” she said.

An exhibition by Damien Hirst, the English artist who recently burned hundreds of his artworks, will be the centrepiece of Art Source.

The fair will also play host to a unique sculpture garden featuring over 40 top Irish and international artists featuring works by renowned sculptors such as Patrick O’Reilly, Salvador Dali, Giacinto Bosco, Ian Pollock, Eamonn Ceannt, Bob Quinn, Anthony Scott and Sandra Bell.

Over 15,000 people are expected to attend the year’s biggest and most exciting art show, which will feature 160 of the best contemporary Irish and international artists and galleries.

Irish art lovers also have the unique chance to get their hands on 100 pieces of original artwork for €100 each on a first-come, first-served basis on the opening morning of the show on Friday, November 11.


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