The eyes may well be the windows of the soul, but the chin is the front door.
The idea of The Irrational Portrait Gallery came about after a visit to the British Museum in 1997 to see an exhibition of Egyptian Funerary Art from 2000 years ago. The striking thing was that it looked as though I had done some of the portraits - which was unlikely as I’m pretty bloody hopeless at getting big commissions like that.
In 2005 I produced two paintings for an exhibition at this gallery and found the style I had been searching for. The paintings of Maude Gonne and Patrick Kavanagh had, to me, the right mix of mad staring eyes, complete unbelievability and very bright colours. Two years later I completed the Marie Rua painting for the exhibition Not What You'd Expect.
I've carried on in this vein with my two latest IPG paintings - a portrait of the country singer Emmylou Harris, and a scary self portrait.