We Are Randox | Randox Artist-in-Residence Joe McGuinness on his passion for art, his love of drawing and his plans to release a second novel
Through our We Are Randox stories we aim to showcase all our employees’ skills and talents and with a dedicated workforce of over 1400 people we are always spoilt for choice!
This week we sat down with artist Joe McGuinness, who joined our team only six weeks ago, to hear all about his passion for art, his love of drawing and his plans to release a second novel.
“I was about seven years old when I first realised that I was going to be an artist. I remember my mother was pregnant with my baby brother, she was unwell and I found her curled up on our sofa. So I went and got some paper and a pencil and decided that I was going to draw a portrait of her. To this day I can still remember the expression on her face when I showed her the finished piece. It was her reaction and the look in her eyes that kicked me off and I knew in that exact moment that art was going to be a big part of my life.”
As Joe went on to study Art and Design for three years at the Rupert Stanley College located in Belfast he found himself more interested in learning about the history of artists’ lives and what inspired them to produce art.
“I love the works of Paul Gauguin, Paul Cezanne and Vincent Van Gogh and I am fascinated by his life. There has been many an afternoon where I have just sat down and looked up as many channels as I can to find out more about him and how he lived. Similarly to Van Gough I tell a story or a personal journey that I have been on through my art. I do have an emotional connection to some of my art, they mean a lot to me and I wouldn’t part with them.
“My favourite piece is a piece called “Lock and Key.” There is a lock and a key hidden in the picture and I will only reveal where it is to the person that I pass it on to.”
“It’s great when I get to barter with my art.”
“I was once asked to do a painting of a friend’s house up in Donegal. So I said I would if they gave me the keys of the house so I could go up and stay in it for a week in August with my wife. There was another occasion when I was asked from a friend of a fella originally from County Antrim if I could reconstruct an old dwelling that he grew up in. It turned out he was a multi-millionaire who is now about 90 years of age living out in New Zealand. Sometime after I had sent the painting to New Zealand I received a letter back from his wife. She said when he first saw the picture he cried. It’s now his pride and joy, and has been placed in his study where he sits and looks at it. I find that incredible and that’s what makes me glad that I am an artist.
“I like to draw while I’m away on holidays, I find that I can relax in the good weather and just sit and draw. I remember back when I was in Milan, there was this little fountain spouting water. It wasn’t famous or of much interest to the passers-by but I thought it would make a beautiful picture. So I sat down and started to draw it when a gentleman came and asked could he join me. It turned out that he was a professional photographer from Paris and loved my art work. It’s great when you can make friends out of something that you love. “
“Through my art I have met a range of friends all over the globe, from France, to Rome, Sicily, Milan, Australia, it just goes on.”
“Most Saturdays you can find me downstairs in the Conway Mill. I sit and draw next to where my artwork is displayed and people sometimes like to look on and watch while I’m drawing. My favourite type of medium to paint with is acrylics but I can teach a range of different techniques. Wax etching is a beautiful technique which I learnt whilst I was studying art. Sometimes people stop and ask me questions about my pictures or about certain techniques and I would invite them back the following week to join me.”
“In my first ever exhibition I sold about 90% of my work.”
“It feels incredible to say that my art has been bought by people all over the world from New York, Europe and as far as Australia. The great-great niece of the famous Ned Kelly has some of my work. I have also donated work to Autism New York to help raise money for autism which is a cause I am very passionate about.
“In the future I would like to get more involved in the design aspect of art. I have been asked if my drawings could be used for prints for duvets covers and also for pottery and vases which would be great so I’m going to start looking into that. I’m also currently looking at property in Alvor in Portugal- that’s where I want to be in nine years’ time. My hope is that I can retire there and open up my own art academy. There is nothing greater than a group of artists sitting together and talking art and learning from each other. I’m also working on some illustrations for my second book that is based on events that have happened throughout my life. I think it will be a much deeper Joe than what you got to read about in my first book, ‘Rainbow over the Black Mountain’.
“My wish for the future, when I’m gone is for museums across Ireland – north and south – to have their pick of my art collection. In some of my paintings that I sold I have hidden letters inside the frame explaining the inspiration behind the painting, just to add that little extra personal touch to them. Sure you never know, in a hundred years’ time someone might find some of my letters… now wouldn’t that be a story worth telling!”
**Joe would like to offer a special thanks to Maureen Shields (Supervisor) and Cathy Hurrell (HR) and to the rest of Randox staff and employees. Following Joe’s time with us he added “You’re a great bunch of people.” **
Thank you Joe for spending the time to discuss your art work with us. We can’t wait to read your second novel and see all the wonderful images that will come with it.
For more information about our wonderful mulit-talented team here at Randox, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org