Paul Donaghy was born in 1964. After studying at the University of Ulster, Belfast, he established a successful career in graphic design before later devoting himself to painting.
Donaghy’s subjects and variations on themes are classical in nature and refer to masters such as Cézanne, Morandi, De Stael and Matisse while acknowledging the work of the Scottish Colourists. Working much with palette knife, his paintings are characterised by vigorous splashes of colour along with a concern for his medium, with highlights of heavy impasto on areas where pigment is otherwise barely staining the canvas. Donaghy’s roots as a designer are still visible in the strong shapes, lines and bold colour that embody his work.
Donaghy has exhibited widely in solo and group shows throughout Ireland including the RUA annual exhibition and his work can be found in many public and private collections throughout the world.
"My intention is to explore the boundary between representation and abstraction; to expand the possibilities of colour; to synthesis nature through analytical observation and reductive geometric form.
Working from observation and experience I draw and paint what I admire, enjoy or love in order to share my discoveries about the physical nature of paint itself. I hope to share also the moments that are necessary to everyone to reflect, to meditate and to think intensely.
To translate feelings into paint is always a challenge and something of a mystery. Colour, mood and simplification are important to me. I often feel unsure of what I’m working towards. It’s an act of faith, accompanied by bouts of anxiety. I wonder at the ways in which differences of surface in a painting of a white bouquet against a white background for example, can hold emotions and that is what keeps me painting.”