Blue Heavan

Q & A with…Rine Philbin


Where did you grow up?

Between Lough Corrib and Lough Mask, scenic Clonbur, Co. Galway.

When did you first become interested in art?

As a child, teachers would ask me to paint the background for the school photos or when the school
inspector came etc. I was always an artist.

How did you pursue your desire to be a painter?

I made the big decision to give up a permanent job to pursue my first love, art. I studied in Trinity
College, Dublin, and followed that science path for years. Although I loved that too,  I wasn’t fulfilled so I made the change. Art is my soul food.

What is the artistic lifestyle like? Take us through a typical day.

My husband built a studio in my back garden so most mornings I go there with my cup of coffee and decide, depending on mood and energy levels, what
medium calls me most on that day. I then, paint what’s in my mind’s eye. I prefer not to have music on as outdoor garden birdsong is enough.

Do you paint every day, or only when the inspiration hits you?

I paint almost every day when I’m home. I feel I have to make up for lost years of my
life. The subjects call me and I feel I have so much catching up to do
before I die.

Choose one of your paintings and explain your inspiration behind it.

I have lived close to the sea all my life. Coastlines are important to me and for as long as I can remember it was never more than
half an hour away. Lakes and rivers as a constant in my life also. I could never see myself move too far away from them.

Even now, although I’m embedded in a beautiful landscape of Headford, it’s on the northern edge
of Lough Corrib, Salthill, Galway city is to the south, Connemara to the West and Lough Mask to the North.

There are beautiful green lands to the east. So, it is easy to paint a waterscape ( be it lough or sea) overhung by
a vibrant emotional skyscape.

Where is your favourite place to paint?

In my studio, purpose built with large windows overlooking my garden and Connemara mountains in the

Which artists have most inspired you and why?

I’m inspired by many artists over the centuries and it mainly for technique, originality, colour choice or
sheer simplicity of the piece. Margaret Clarke, Walter Osborne, Turner,
Monet, Manet, The Colourists, Louis le Brocquy, Constable, Paul Costello,
Francis Bacon, Eileen Gray, John Lavery, Sir William Orpen, Pollack, Kline
and many more.

What are you working on at the moment?

Florals and figurative art in either watercolour and acrylic. I usually have a few paintings on the go at

Do you have any current or upcoming exhibitions?

Yes, Paris Contemporary Art Fair and The Homeplace café and restaurant, Co. Galway, but these are
postponed due to Covid_19

At which location (or who) would you love the opportunity to paint?

South of France.


Check our Rine’s gallery page HERE

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