RTE’s Nationwide recently featured Connemara based artist Deborah Watkins in their programme. Here’s a clip from the programme above that aired last month. It features Deborah’s work and her studio and also the Lavelle Art Gallery in Clifden where herself and her husband, painter Gavin Lavelle make a living.
She studied craft design at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. Her chosen speciality was ceramics and graduated with a first class honours degree (B.Des.) in 1991 and a diploma in Art Education (H.Dip.Ed.) two years later.
She moved to Connemara after graduation for what was to be a Summer job and twenty plus years later, she’s still there! During this time she has worked as a potter and a teacher and has subsequently ran her own business making decorative raku pots and selling them around Ireland.
She took a long break after this to have her family of three daughters but kept up her drawing and painting skills as much as she could. In 2008, she started to paint more or less full-time. Deborah wanted to return to a creative way of living but one which allowed her to manage a young family as well. Painting seemed to fit the bill and it was also a welcome departure into new territory for Deborah. The directness of the act of painting was something that struck her immediately as being very rewarding.
I think that my paintings are informed by what I have learned as a potter, particularly my work with raku. I choose rich, metallic colour to depict the Connemara landscape which often brings me back to the lustrous glazes of my former career.