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Inventory – asset or liability?

My former students (Business not Art) will tell you that the issue of inventory featured heavily in my lectures. ‘What is the single biggest issue facing business today?’ I would ask – ‘inventory’ was always the answer. An often quoted view is that ‘it’s better to be looking at it, than to be looking for it’. That way of thinking does not really help – inventory has a cost. Usually the problem is too much inventory and probably in the wrong place. Not well understood is that, having too much inventory prevents you from moving on (like baggage!). You can’t bring in the new model until you clear the pipeline.

For the artist a certain amount of inventory is necessary, though. It is necessary to have a ‘body of work’ before you launch yourself on the market, and lets face it – you cant have an exhibition unless you have a selection of work to show. However your body of work does have a cost and especially so if it is framed up. It can be a big investment. And as I said, too much inventory prevents you from moving on. The artist needs to be constantly moving on.

Whats the solution then? The same as for any retail enterprise – the Studio Sale.

It’s easy to be precious about your work. I wouldn’t show any painting that I wasn’t happy with. I actually get quite attached to many of them, and I am sad sometimes to see them go, but go they must.

I have developed a pricing model for my paintings, it seems to work well enough. Initially I set very modest prices, the paintings sold, so I increased the prices and now I find that I have come to a balance point where I sell enough and have few complaints about prices. (I had previously received complaints about low prices from some other artisits!)

I have come to the opinion that if someone likes your painting they wont argue about the price, and conversely if you drop the prices people wont necessarily buy more paintings. So, on balance, my advice would be – once you reach the balance point – hold firm on prices.

But then there’s the inventory issue. And the studio sale to clear the inventory. Its a tricky balancing act.

For the month of December (2022) then, if you should call to my studio, you will find that I am working ahead on new work, with a view to next years exhibitions – and – also trying to clear some inventory. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, up to Christmas, I will be having a half price sale. I will have work on display that I have shown in the past couple of years and older work, some prints and if that doesn’t suit, I have a few cards. You will find me on the Norelands Road, in Stoneyford, Co Kilkenny (R95R704). (087 6695635) gallery

But never mind the sale, come along for a chat, especially if you are interested in watercolour painting. Painting is very therapeutic, it is restful and rewarding, when you finish a piece that you are happy with. I’ve being doing it now for about eight years (before that – oils). I’ll make a coffee, and we can talk about the process and so on, and I can answer any questions you might have.

That’s another thing my former students will tell you, I love to talk about the things I love.

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Coming Home ….. to the studio

My WATERSIDES collection of watercolour paintings, first exhibited in Thomastown during Arts week (TCAF22), and recently in Tramore, is now back in my studio (those that didn’t go to new homes, that is). Next year 2023, I will be showing my newer work, some already completed and lots more planned. So …. I have a good number of framed paintings, ready to go, and at a bit of a discount, as I don’t have to pay commission. Buy direct and save. Prices from €150 to €500.

Original Irish Art, Watercolour, Coastal Landscapes

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October Exhibition in Tramore

I am delighted to be exhibiting my watercolour paintings in the Cafe Gallery, at the Coastguard Cultural Centre in Tramore for the month of October 2022. Why not plan a visit to Tramore for a walk on the beach (or a swim at Newtown Cove) and head up to the coastguard for a coffee afterwards. I am constantly amazed at the number of people who swim all year round. Hardy souls.

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Working on a beach ….

The past few weeks have been hectic in our house, but I’m finally getting to spend some time in my studio. When I am at a loss as to what to paint, I return to the sea. So I am working on some beach scenes. These ones have big breaking waves. White foam.

White presents a challenge in watercolour as there is no white watercolour paint. You can use white goache or even acrylic, but the clearest white is the white of the paper itself. There are various ways of preserving it, but for a large painting like this I use masking fluid. I paint the white coloured masking fluid onto the white paper, where the foam is to be! Thats a bit tricky, as its difficult to see what you’re doing! Once done, I then have total freedom to splash on the blues and greens, with long strokes, blending the colours to achieve the feel of flowing water. When I peel off the masking fluid I have beautiful chrisp foam (as in this image).

I’m not finished yet though. The fact is … foam is not white. The foam on the beach casts a small shadow, I will put that in, and it also reflects the colours around it (especially the sky). I’ll spend most of the day tomorrow adding these touches, and also touching up the water itself, adding ripples and swirls.

See my waves at my next exhibition, in Tramore. It runs for all of October … more on that later.

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Arts Week, Thomastown. 2022.

My 2022 Arts Week exhibition is 5th to 14th August at the Concert Hall, Thomastown. A lovely venue. This old historical building has great charm and character. On each of the two Saturday evenings there will be a performance of a play based on the life of one of Thomastown’s great ambassadors – Berkeley. If you come to see the play you can also view my paintings. I will be there most days from 11 to 5, but probably not when the markets are on. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings I share to the place with the normal weekly markets, so if you don’t want to buy a painting you can pick up some veg.

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Arts Week 2022

I am delighted to be exhibiting my new work this Arts Week coming, in the Concert Hall, Thomastown. My exhibition is titled ‘Watersides’. Thomastown is the new Kilkenny and the TCAF committee have been working very hard, with the support of the AKA to make this years art trail a great day out for everyone, who comes to visit.

Here is some blurb from the brochure – Exhibition of watercolour paintings. Constantly drawn to the subject of water, Micheál continues to create serene waterside landscapes in watercolour, guaranteed to bring a sense of peace to any home.  Themes include local rivers, familiar beaches and coastal features. New this year is a series of wave studies, large and small, created to bring the song of the sea right into your living room. The style is representational, however the wave studies provide the freedom to blend realism with a more abstract approach. Watercolour is a great medium for splashing about.

I hope you can make it. This is my third time to exhibit at TCAF, and it is, for me, the highlight of my artistic year. All of the paintings hanging on the walls will be new, mostly painted in the last years or so. A big thank you to Claire for the wonderful work in framing them. I will also have a selection of unframed paintings with me (in my haggle box) – you might find something nice in there.

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Exhibition Season

The first exhibition of 2022 for me is the June Bank Holiday weekend – at the Clancy Brothers Festival in Carrick-on-Suir. The venue is the Brewery Lane Theatre, and I will be there Friday to Monday. There will be others there too, indeed the Art Trail takes you all around the town, there are many exhibitions, also concerts, plays and other activities. Fancy a day out?

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Studio Visits

My website has a small selection of unframed paintings, but I have a big selection of framed paintings, ready to go, hanging in my studio. You might consider one of my watercolours as a gift for a friend or a family member, perhaps a special occasion or house warming. If you are local or in the area, I would be pleased to show you what I have. Visits by appointment only. Please email me ( or phone (087 6695635) to arrange.