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 Carmel Madigan  (1961 - )

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Lived/Active: Ireland      Known for: abstract botanic and landscape form painting, graphic design

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from Auction House Records.
Veiled Landscape at Dusk
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Carmel Madigan (b.1961)

Irish artist Carmel Madigan is known for paintings saturated with the colours, textures, light and movement of the Loophead Peninsula, mid-way between Dingle and the Cliffs of Moher, Her subjects range from exotic summer blooms, to weather-beaten winter gardens; from calm rock pools and silken breezes to roaring surf and spray-soaked winds reflecting the power of nature, on the edge of the Atlantic.

Her paintings combine strong colours - lemons, deep lavenders, crimsons, bronzes, spring greens and lots more in between - with a variety of textures, from thin washes to sculptured impasto.

She was born on the Loophead Peninsula, County Clare, the youngest of seven children, and developed an early interest in colour and shape, drawing inspiration from the unstructured beauty of naturally formed rocks, caves and beaches, as well as the flowers and foliage of the family's fields and garden.  After taking an honours degree in business from the University of Limerick, she worked in a number of different industries, before starting her own Graphic Design company.

After seven years of hard work, Madigan transferred her attentions to fine art and a full-time career as an artist.  Now based at her studio at Ballyalla, County Clare, she has participated in a number of successful solo and group exhibitions across Ireland, and her works are represented in a variety of collections, both in Ireland and overseas.  Included are a 2nd solo exhibition at Dromoland Castle, Co Clare, in November 2009, and her participation at the Florence Bienniale at Fortezza Da Basso, in December 2009.  Her longer term plans include the establishment of a summer art gallery, either on the North West Clare coast, or in Killarney.

Madigan's main painting medium is acrylics, often used in combination with inks, on a paper support.  She works without prepared sketches, typically on a flat surface using copious amounts of water, sometimes allowing the painting to unfold as it will, according to the movement of paint and water. An avid explorer of differing textures, she often applies multiple layers of paint in a process which can take anything between 2-6 weeks to complete. When creating certain types of landscapes, hedgerows or flower-scapes, she uses a combination of washes, impasto palette knife-work, and vibrant colours in order to achieve a greater sense of energy.

As well as her regular paintings, Madigan also produces a range of mixed media collages, in which the materials are embedded in heavy impasto paint. By using differing combinations of materials - such as hand-dyed yarns, Japanese papers, hand-rolled paper beads cut from comic strips, sand, painted buttons, fragments of heavy watercolour paper for rock effects, as well as a host of 'found' items - she conjures up heavily textured environments, depicting carved rocks and stony beaches, and other subjects.

Careful to preserve her innate independence, itself a reflection of the wild environment she seeks to present, Madigan strives not to be influenced by other artists, although she admits a liking for the work of Donald Teskey and John Kingerlee, and their individual representation of the natural world.

A relatively prolific painter, Madigan has completed several series of works on themes as diverse as landscape, flowers, the sea, Zion National Park in Utah, Celtic jewellery and ancient China.

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