Abbey Art Group

Member Profiles

Our Artists

This is an area we could add more details on how to become a member etc, with a link to the membership enquiry form

A small paragraph, perhaps a quote from an active member regarding the benefits of joining and working with the Abbey Art Group

Click each artists name below to view their profile

Lucy Monaghan has lived in Celbridge for the past 43 years.
Originally from Dunsany, Co. Meath where her mother and father were teachers in the local school.
She was surrounded by art in her home and in in nearby Dunsany Castle where she saw paintings by the old masters, and original illustrations that Lord Dunsany did for his 90 plus books. Growing up in the country she was fascinated by nature, trees, leaves and bark, the different birds, the nests and the coloured eggs.

She joined Sharon Dunne’s art class and enjoyed painting. She was attracted to botanical art and worked with Holly Somerville. “I think I have passed my love of nature to my family and now see the results in my grandchildren.”

Dave Hussey has lived in Celbridge for the last 25 years. He was a member of Aileen Skelton’s Art Group in Clondalkin where he developed an interest in watercolour painting. Dave believes that watercolour can be the most difficult medium to paint with. Its fresh and spontaneous nature suits his style of loose impressionistic painting.

He paints mostly landscapes and streetscapes and ocassionally he works in the marine area. Dave also writes poetry and this complements his artistic work.

Ena Fitzpatrick, a former primary school teacher living in Celbridge for over 30 years, was always interested in colour, pattern and texture. Working with former Abbey Art Group member Nina Patterson she developed a love for painting 25 years ago. She prefers to paint in oils as it allows her to blend, layer and add texture, especially with a palette knife, which suits her painting style. She also makes fused glass and needle felted wool artworks.

She draws inspiration from the beauty, colours and textures of the natural environment, especially from the ever changing views of the parklands of Castletown House. Her works featuring birds, landscapes, old stone buildings, seascapes and flowers tend to tell stories. She is a teacher turned student, learning from fellow Abbey Art Group members and other artists while participating in workshops and en plein air painting days. She is constantly challenged to do better and always open to experimenting and expanding her creative experiences.

Eamon Burke’s background is in education, teaching at various times History, Politics, Outdoor Education, Canoeing and Special Education. He has many passions, local history, painting, canoeing, gardening and writing. In 1986 he and his wife Ann undertook the restoration of the seventeenth century Simmonstown House and Gardens, which became a life long project and has opened up avenues of experiences that could never be imagined.

He was introduced to painting by local artist Martin Campion and the Abbey Art Group thirty odd years ago. In later years he studied watercolour at National College of Art under Susanne Mahon. The Abbey Art Group honoured him in 2000 with Life Long Membership of the Group. He believes that one of the duties of a writer and painter is to record in word and paint the soul of the place.

Ray Walsh, a retired civil servant, divides his time between Sligo and Celbridge, and is particularly drawn to urban and rural townscapes, with their formal civic buildings and churches and a great variety of residential and commercial buildings. His style of pen and watercolour drawing and painting is particularly suited to this subject matter.

Ray and his late wife Gerardine used to enjoy taking a pitch in St Stephen’s Green, Dublin at the many People’s Art exhibitions over the years…. “This was as much a picnic and social outing as an opportunity to exhibit and sell artwork”. Since Gerardine passed away, Ray has been spending most of his time in Sligo where his maternal roots can be found and where his late uncle was the well known artist Bernard McDonagh, whose work adorns many a Sligo home.

Apart from his artwork, Ray enjoys walking and photographing nature, playing traditional Irish and folk music in Sligo’s vibrant music scene and as a licenced pilot and member of Sligo Aero Club, likes nothing more than a spin around the mountains and lakes that adorn the western seaboard.

Bea O’Connell, originally from Tishinny, County Longford and now lives in Celbridge. She began painting pictures from her children’s storybooks, later she painted local birds for her grandchildren. Through her friendship with Madeline McGuire and Ita Doyle she joined the Abbey Art Group.

Focusing on the popular mediums watercolour, acrylics and oils she explores a range of painting subjects using vibrant colours to convey atmosphere. She takes you on an Artistic journey and adds adventure by painting Notre Dame on the banks of the Seine Paris to the Mall in Westport and home to the Newbridge, Celbridge. More recently she discovered a passion for painting flowers and birds, bringing these to life through watercolour, from her favourite corner of her kitchen.

She organised many art exhibitions and with her numerous contacts helped publicise the events. She is noted for her charity work and involved the art members in many good causes.

Sharon Kavanagh-Dunne is Chairperson of the Abbey Art Group for a number of years following on from Louis Darlington. She is a wife and a mother of two boys.

She paints in all mediums but is particularly drawn to Acrylics, for their versatility and Soft Pastels because their colours are so vibrant. Her favourite painting style is still life and people.

Sharon taught Art with Rachael Malone, to 6th class boys in Scoil Na Mainistreach, for 10 years. She also did classes with St Raphaels, The Central Remedial Clinic, Kildare Libraries and recently the Celbridge Woman’s Shed. 

“Art has always been a big part of my life. It gives me great joy.”

Michael Molloy has lived in Celbridge for thirty two years, a semi-retired accountant, he paints in oils. His pre- ferred subjects include landscapes, still life and birds.

His interest in painting stems from fortnightly visits to the Hugh Lane Gallery from around the age of twelve on, when paying his father’s vintners union dues in Parnell Square. It was there he first encountered the paintings of Camille Corot and the Barbizon School. The American tonal tradition, which concentrated on mood and sentiment rather than topographical accuracy, has also proved to be a rich source of inspiration.

In his own landscape paintings, which are mainly of trees and meadows, he endeavours to capture a similar mood or sentiment shown by the great tonal painters of the past. Over the years Castletown Demesne has been a favourite haunt.

His bird paintings are of the more common garden birds rather than the exotic species. They are attempts to capture the ordinary in a natural and sympathetic light. His still life paintings, while contemporary, are influenced by the chiaroscuro style of still life painters of the past.


Heather Ferguson from Celbridge is an artist and activist. She has painted all her life and studied Mixed Media, Art and Design in Ballyfermot Senior College. After college she joined the Castle Keep Art group in Maynooth and helped run art exhibitions.

She became a member of the Abbey Art Group in 2019. She works with ink and paints in a style similar to tattoo artists. Her interest in photography helps inform her work. She works with a range of fine line pens, ink and watercolour on cotton paper and is drawn to detail and colour.

She has branched out lately and is adding oils to her work. Outside of the world of painting, she has a wide range of interests including music and walking and is drawn to old buildings and woods.


Geraldine Nohilly from Enfield, County Meath. She worked in the well known local firm, Casey’s of Leixlip. It was there she met her soulmate Bobby, and has spent the rest of her life in the area. She was self taught and introduced to painting by Martin Campion and joined the Abbey Art Group.

She is an avid painter specialising in people, animals, and birds. She excels in acrylics and watercolour. Her artistic side also blossomed though music, which she began with no formal training but reached a distinguished level.

Despite suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, she not only painted but played the
button accordion and keyboards.
“Painting and music helped me live with the disease.”

As a team, herself and Bobby hosted many a great day painting in her house, set in the Kildare countryside.


Peter McCluskey is a watercolour artist from Celbridge, County Kildare. His love of watercolour painting started in his teens, and he is an active member of The Abbey Art group. He has exhibited his work in many art exhibitions nationally and regularly raises funds for The Blanchardstown Hospice through paid painting commissions.
Peter is also a contemporary fiction writer and has published four novels to date and has also just finished his debut poetry collection, “The Flickering Tide”. Over the past twenty years he has contributed articles, reports and photographs to a variety of Irish and UK newspapers and magazines, including Hotpress, In Dublin, New Musical Express, Sounds Magazine, Leinster Leader, Liffey Champion and RTE Guide.
In 2020, Peter was commissioned by multi-award winning Irish poet/writer, Brian Kirk to create, produce and narrate a series (seven in total) of videos to compliment Brian’s Covid Pandemic poetry cycle (funded for the Arts Council of Ireland). One of the videos for a poem “Staying Home” was shortlisted for the Ó Bhéal Poetry Film Competition 2020 in September.
Peter is a very active songwriter and music composer and in 2022 was commissioned by Kildare County Council Arts Department to write and record ten new pieces of traditional Irish music and songs. This collection was released as his debut album, “Little Star”.
Peter’s website is

Christina Kearney has lived in Celbridge for the past 20 years. She grew up in Co Clare before moving to London for many years. Christina always loved drawing as a teenager but didn’t take up art for many years as life just got in the way! She bought many art sets and even booked some courses but never managed to complete any of them.
Last Christmas, her friend Simone bought the Abbey Art group’s book, “Celbridge – The Artist’s Vision” as a Christmas present and suggested she join the group which she did.

Since joining the Abbey Art Group she paints mostly landscapes in acrylics but is also trying watercolours as some of the group members are very experienced watercolour artists. She found the group to be very welcoming to new members and describes them as “so supportive and happy to share their knowledge.” She has gained so much experience and looks forward to their Tuesday night sessions. “They even have our own playlist!”

Jessica Casey. I am a native of Celbridge whose first memory of drawing something from my own imagination was when I was ten years of age. I designed ball gowns and was happy to flip them upside down into ornate wine glasses if they didn’t meet with my satisfaction.

I have always been drawn to colours and textures and the madness and mess that can be created when expressing an emotion or feeling through art.
It brings me great joy when playing with a different medium for the first time and finding out how it behaves. How mediums speak and interact with each other and how they react to mixed media is always an interesting journey. In saying that, crayons on the hot radiators never went down a treat.
I prefer to create one picture, where only you know what you’ve said, rather than say a thousand misunderstood words.
I love getting lost in a picture, finally stepping back and realising my tea went cold hours ago, while managing to get paint and charcoal on my face, arms, elbows and in my hair too. Not to mention that I seem to wipe my hands on my jeans a lot and all while being blissfully unaware. It’s my meditation and definitely one of my happy places.


Carolyn O’Gorman.
My journey into art began in primary school, when my teacher brought us outside with paper and crayons to do bark rubbings. I was hooked. From that time on I spent many hours in my bedroom painting and drawing. My mediums then were poster paints and pencil but since then I’ve moved onto mainly oils or acrylics.
The subjects I am drawn to are mostly of nature, animals, the seaside and people at work outdoors. I work from photographs which works for most subjects apart from portraits where I have found that they are much successful of people I know.
Following on from my interest and enjoyment in painting from nature I have also painted some murals in children’s bedrooms, starting with my own children and more recently for my grandson.


Norah Blount
I first started painting while I was working in science and quality control. I took lessons with artist Nina Patterson and workshops with various artists. I took early retirement and went to the National College of Art and Design part-time where I completed a Certificate in Visual Arts. My favourite medium is watercolour as I love its resistance to control but I also work in acrylics, oils and mixed media. I prefer to paint outdoors whenever possible. I also work at home from sketches and photos or from found objects, including my husband. I joined the Abbey Art Group in 2023 and am enjoying meeting other artists and learning from each other.

I am inspired by all that flows, the river, the sea, ripples on the water, turbulent waves, the intertwining brambles of wild roses blowing in the wind and the watercolour on my brushes.
I try to capture these moments in my paintings – the watery medium capturing their imperfections, the chemical and visual transformation of painterly mixtures on paper. My paintings have hard and soft edges that are lost between light and dark passages – detail in their planning but not always in their execution.

Frank Mooney

Originally from Dublin I have lived in Maynooth for the last 35 years. I am a widower and retired businessman.

I began painting 5 years ago with a wonderful artist and former Abbey Art Group member, Rachael Malone. My preferred medium is acrylic paint, and all my art is abstract, coming from my head, my imagination.
I paint from a small studio at my home.

My other interests are theatre and classic music.


Helena James
Originally from Celbridge, now living Co. Meath, I always had a great love of art but only tried painting after the birth of my first child. Working mostly in acrylics I found freedom and peace and I try to impart a sense of serenity and calmness in my work for others to enjoy. In my paintings, which are mostly landscapes, I try to capture the wonders of nature through the changing seasons. One of my favourite subjects is water and how it reflects light, shape and texture.

My other interests are theatre and classic music.