Portrait of Joe Sweeney Easter Rising 1916

Joe Sweeney, from Burtonport, Co. Donegal, was my uncle’s father. He was in the GPO in 1916. I wanted to contribute to the 2016 commemorations in a meaningful way – I’m very thankful my uncle and cousins gave me his photo to enable me to paint this portrait – happy too they approve the result.

Portrait of Joe Sweeney
Joseph Aloysius Sweeney (13 June 1897 – 25 November 1980). Oil on paper, laid on board. Artist, Catherine Considine, 2016
Palette for Joe Sweeney portrait
Palette for Joe Sweeney portrait

I knew his skin tone and hair was like my cousin’s, and they tell me his eyes were blue. There is a previous portrait which was enormously helpful too.

As it was a black & white photo I was working from, I chose the colour palette for the clothes.

With green tie, gold collar button & white shirt, he is wearing the tricolour.

The tie was smaller in reality as was the fashion, I’ve made it larger for dramatic effect. I chose to depict the suit more chunky than it was too, to give the appearance of thick Donegal tweed.

The photo I worked from was taken around the time of the first Dáil, he would have been in his early twenties.

Here’s a link to the Donegal Daily with more information (0pens in a new window). http://www.donegaldaily.com/2016/03/09/rosses-community-school-to-honour-easter-rising-hero-joe-sweeney/

My aunt gave me this when I was young.
My aunt gave me this when I was young.

Author: Catherine Considine

I’m a contemporary artist. I’m a colourist. I create funky organic oil paintings using the traditional themes & techniques. You can buy my pictures here, or prints at http://pixels.com/artists/catherine+considine