John Cooney

I am an artist living in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. I was born in Newry, Co. Down but have lived most of my life close to Belfast. I went to art college in Belfast and Manchester, achieving a first class honours degree in illustration.

While at college, I won first prize at the North West Artists exhibition sponsored by BP. After college I began exhibiting my paintings with Tom Caldwell Galleries and won awards at the Royal Ulster Academy (best painting as voted by the public and UTV award). Despite my success in painting, I began working in advertising which left no time for my own art.

 

After further career moves in graphic design using IT, I began teaching various art classes. I also began teaching in local primary schools. I have now stopped teaching in order to devote myself entirely to painting. I paint in both oil and watercolours, depending on the subject and have no preference. I paint ordinary people in their environments and always try to make the commonplace interesting.

 My work has recently been featured in Artists and Illustrators and The Artist magazines and last year, I exhibited at The Royal Society of Portrait Painters at the Mall galleries, London. I am currently exhibiting at this year's Royal Ulster Academy at the Ulster Museum, Belfast and have been awarded the watercolour prize. I have also won two other prizes at the 2017 Ulster Watercolour Society exhibition.

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