Turning inward to find creativity

Oil on board by Emma Connolly

I’ve been working on a new collection since the new year, to say its been all consuming is an understatement. I have approached this latest series in a very different way. Instead of sourcing inspiration from the land or sky I’ve turned inward to paint from my own emotions and how a landscape can play on the mind and have a feeling- not just a view. How I felt when I walked over the fields near my home in the cold and misty mornings. I felt many emotions as I walked each day, calm, melancholy, free…

Oil on board by Emma Connolly

I spent the first five years of my life growing up in a caravan with both my parents, I had freedom. Freedom is and will always be the most important thing to me. I had sheer joy! I would ride and create, life was good. It’s when you grow up that life gets tricky…

Oil on board by Emma Connolly

By my early twenties I was a single mother of two and fearlessly going at life, or was that for dear life. I was successful! I had a business and my own home and I could look after my own (although not always easy), but underneath, I had been broken. One can forgive but the scars that are left behind mean you never forget. However, scars can give you strength, they can make you. Scars are the underpainting- the crucial part!

Oil on board by Emma Connolly

Beautiful – messy – complex – free – spirited – vulnerable – mercurial

I’m older, most definitely wise. Still successful and highly spirited. I find joy in the most simple of things… trees barely visible through the fog on a sunny morning in winter, a fire lit and a cup of tea, time spent in my studio just looking at work, my daughters having a good chat in the kitchen- the fits of laughter.

I’ve been enjoying the process of painting with emotions from within, from picking back over my life as I walk through the fields, discovering my own sense of depth…

Now I just need to name this latest collection.

If you’d like to see more of my work you can catch up with me regularly by visiting www.emmalouiseconnolly.art

New abstract

Latest oil painting, just finished and yet to be named. Inspired by my recent trip to Suffolk

Building layers in oils

A photo heavy post today. Sharing some layers of a new painting that I’m working on right now. It took a while to get the direction of this one right, it’s been on my easel since July- I think I’m getting there.

Blue and white china


I love old blue and white china! Ever since i was a little girl I’ve been drawn to cabinets full of the stuff, sourcing old willow pattern teacups from boxes of china on the floor at car boots. Hence my latest collection and the inspiration behind it. It sold out in record time so I must be doing something right! My modern take is hand built in porcelain showing the marks of the process in which it was made. The shapes are more rustic with a bit of French influence thrown in too.

I’ve also just started to make artists palettes too which went down a storm, i did keep a couple back for myself though.

My next collection of similar will be coming soon!

Emma x

Watercolour Sketches


I’m off on a solo painting trip to Suffolk in October, I’ve found a cute little barn to stay in and I’m just going to walk and paint. I want to travel light so instead of packing big canvases and my oils I’m going to be taking a limited watercolour palette and paper. My aim is to record the light and tones so when I get home I can transfer them into impressionistic works in oils.

It’s been an age since I last used watercolours so I thought I’d practice a painting a day of places I’d visited in the past couple of months. Just some loose works with watercolour and ink.

A quiet beauty | Flowers in oils

Hello, I’ve been working on something quite different this week. I was asked by a client a few weeks ago if I could paint some florals. It’s not something I’ve done for a while so it was a really nice change and I thoroughly enjoyed the process.

So far I’ve created two small paintings in oil, one on canvas board and the other on handmade paper.

The palette I’ve used also inspired me to paint a little landscape. When I stand back to look at them I see quiet beauty. Understated, relaxed and well… quiet.

I’m keeping this palette a little longer to see what else transpires.

Contemporary Oil Painting

I’ve been blending oil paints onto this canvas for the past week now and I’m finally starting to like the direction it’s going in. I’m trying to keep it light as I’m well aware that all my paintings have a tendency to be on the dark side… I just can’t seem to help myself. But this one has a lot of white layered up. I’ve ditched my brushes completely now (about a year ago) and prefer to just paint using my fingers, I feel like I have better control that way.

It’s also been a sweet release to paint purely abstract and just lay down some marks however they come, a practice I’m going to be working more on this week on some smaller boards, I’ll share them with you as I do them.

Latest Work In Progress- Oil On Canvas

I have lots of unfinished paintings in the studio right now, I kinda like it that way. I always love a work in progress don’t you? Building up layers, blending in, scraping back and uncovering something deep within the soul of the artist. My daughter laughs at me as my work is always so dark yet she observes that I am always so light. So maybe in oil is where I hide my dark side… Well actually I think it has more to do with spending half my time in Suffolk with big skies and muddy nature reserves, tall grasses and broads. But I just love people to see their own picture when they look into one of my pieces.

This latest is in oil and I’ve lost count of the layers it’s had and it’s still not quite finished.

I’m not sure what I’m going to call this particular piece but it’s part of my latest collection called Letting Go. I’ll share it again when it’s in its next process.

Always Comes Light

Just about finished. It’s been a while since I last painted a mixed media abstract. I’d prepared a dark base for another painting (see it in my last post) then woke up yesterday and thought nah, I fancy doing something free. So hence this new piece… Always Comes Light. Completely out of the darkness.

The base is acrylic with patches of emulsion. Then I’ve blended a white oil over the top with some linseed oil and finished off with my favourite oil pastels by Sennelier.

I haven’t decided if it’s finished yet, I’ll need to sleep on it… not literally. That would be messy.

Base layers

Painting up base layers today in prep for a botanical scene. Quite tempted to leave as is…

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