Photo Credit: Lola Donoghue
Two words. Lola Donoghue. Let that sink in, because if you haven't heard of Lola Donoghue by now, today is your lucky day! Lola Donoghue is an Irish artist who hails from Galway in the West of Ireland, and creates visually stunning compositions of abstract and contemporary art - her work is held in private collections all over the world.
Photo Credit: Lola Donoghue, Aperture of Distinction iii
I have personally been an avid fan since first laying eyes on a limited edition archival print titled “Aperture of Distinction iii.” To my surprise and great honor, I was fortunate enough to land an interview with the in-demand artist this month, whose contemporary works sell out in record time.
In fact, she’s garnered so much global attention from art aficionados, interior design studios, and celebrities alike, that Hollywood came calling – well, the new Hollywood, currently known as Netflix. Marvel showcased Lola’s artwork in Iron Fist – an American web television series created for Netflix by Scott Buck, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name - as well as in the hit series Jessica Jones by Melissa Rosenberg.
So, what is it that has people clamoring to get their hands on an original Lola Donoghue work? Lola’s paintings are deeply personal, often reflections or interpretations of what surrounds and inspires her. Best of all, she embraces accidents and lets them dictate the painting as the artwork evolves. Through an alluring subtractive process, the work begins with a lot of colour and bold vigorous brushstrokes, then works itself backward. Intrigued yet?
Photo Credit: Lola Donoghue, Lead Lined Diamond
Perhaps her personal biography describes it best: Imbued with a painterly, ethereal quality, her work is characterized by a predominantly white-on-white palette, layered with a mix of muted colors and splashes of bright neon. Her work is light and fresh and the compositions are a delicate balance of intricate linear forms and concentrated layers of colour… Her work makes a statement on the social milieu, an interpretation and exploration of everyday contemporary culture and society, representing the unseen internal emotions without the distraction of meaningful images. Hidden in the subtle, delicate washes are details, renderings that draw the eye and hint at the exploration of the unconscious, clashing narratives and the tension and balance that exist therein.
Photo Credit: Lola Donoghue
“I tend to draw inspiration from everyday life, magazines, fashion, an Instagram feed, a conversation or even the way someone is sitting in a chair,” says Lola. “Sometimes I use a sketchpad and do some colour studies on smaller sheets of paper, testing colour combinations and playing with variations of composition. I save a lot of photos that I like to my phone and I print those out and pin them around my studio. Something will resonate with me and I would research the topic until I happen to start painting. The photos and colour studies are all part of my process, once I get painting I could end up going in a very different direction, but the initial work and research helps me to focus, especially at the beginning of a collection. I firmly believe that productivity is the key to success so it’s head down and get to work once I start.”
Photo Credit: Lola Donoghue, Blue Landscape
There hasn’t been an ounce of time in Lola’s busy schedule to exhibit. “I have lots of interest from Galleries but timing hasn’t really suited yet. I sell everything online; it sells out very quickly so I never have work to exhibit. I would hope to exhibit in the future once the timing and the fit is right,” she says. “I tend to work on 15-20 canvases at once and generally finish the body of work at the same time. Before I had children, I would complete a collection in a couple of months, but now they tend to dictate my hours!”
The hardworking mother and creative powerhouse does find the time though, and when she does, it’s magical. “I love using glazes and washes,” she says. “I start with lots of color and vigorous brushstrokes and then work backwards using thick and transparent layers of paint to allow the under painting to shine through. For me, working on a large canvas is very freeing. There are less constraints, more room to be expressive and I feel less inhibited by them. Once I have stretched a canvas and primed it ready for painting, I am itching to get at it. It’s my favourite part of the process where anything can happen, I might have a plan but I tend to let instinct take over. I suppose you could say that my pieces are part plan, part creative accident! Abstract work lends itself well to this.”
As a former teacher and admirer of art, she’s kept a close eye on up-and-coming artists and greats like Berning and Craighead. “There are so many artists I admire throughout art history, but a few contemporary’s whose work I am loving at the moment are Tina Berning, Brooke Wandall, Tine Isachsen, Dorris Vooijs, Lisa Brannichfeld, Daisy Patton, Danny Fox, and Jason Craighead.”
Lola’s artwork starts at €400 and goes up to €5K – roughly $472 to $5,899 in American dollars. When prodded to name a celebrity who has purchased her work, she shares, “Sia has bought four of my paintings. She is probably the most famous person to buy my work and she didn’t mind going on the waiting list either!”
Photo Credit: Lola Donoghue
You’ll be as befuddled as I to know, that Lola didn’t intend to become an artist at all. Art was always her favorite subject in school, but she never thought it was possible to make a living at it. A podcast by Danielle Krysa aka the Jealous Curator offers an in-depth look at the elusive yet gracious artist many of us have come to adore. Here is an excerpt from the 50th episode titled “lola, don’t be precious”.
“I always knew I had a desire to paint but as the years went by, I just, I suppose I lost my confidence. I was drained creatively from teaching, you know, it’s such a rewarding job but it’s difficult...and then as the years went by I just lost it, I lost my mojo. And I just thought, it was too late then, really, I had kind of resigned to the fact that I’m not really, I can’t call myself an artist anymore…just life kind of happened, and I don’t know why I stayed away from painting so long, but I did. I was coming up to ten years teaching, and it was still niggling in the back of my mind ya know that I hadn’t… I came out of college with a first-class honours degree in both my degree year and the post graduate diploma, and I literally just didn’t do any of it then, I taught and didn’t have my own practice or anything like that…so we were out one night and Trevor, there was two paintings, well they were more drawings ya know at our table in the restaurant, and Trevor said to me ‘Could you draw that?’ and I said ‘Yeah I could I suppose' and he said ‘I’ve never ever seen you drawing or painting or doing any kind of art in all the time that we’ve been together. And I said yeah. And that just struck a chord with me ya know…and I said oh my god, I just haven’t done it, it’s just gone, and then he said, ‘You know, you have a gift and you’re just not using it’ and so the subject changed, and we continued on our conversation, but the next day the seeds were sewn so to speak, and I picked up a pencil and just started sketching…That seemed to ignite the fire again, and that’s where it all started.”
Photo Credit: Lola Donoghue
Just a few short years later, Lola’s work has evolved into a sensational collection of acrylics, oils on canvas, and dramatic prints. We are told she is finishing up maternity leave and ready to get back in the studio, so keep your eyes peeled for her new collection. You can follow Lola’s work on Instagram @loladonoghue, see it on display in the Fancy Schmancy online gallery – which is by the way an Amy Puchaty Communications favorite - or purchase it online at loladonoghue.com.
Cheers and happy viewing,
Amy Puchaty is a luxury real estate writer and communications specialist whose marketing campaigns and copywriting work has appeared in numerous print and digital publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Inman News, The Denver Post, and Dallas Business Journal. Why Amy Puchaty? Because it’s selling season. Follow Amy at www.amypuchaty.com #AtHomeWithAmy #AmyPuchaty #LuxuryRealEstateWriter
From the latest interior design trends, to real estate news, fashion finds, and more, At Home With Amy offers a fresh take on all things home and lifestyle. Thanks for stopping by!