Art Scene

Zara McDaid

Art Scene: Lisa returns to painting after two decades

Lisa McGill MAIN

AS A young girl, Lisa McGill spent several carefree summers on Rutland Island, the island of her forbears, so it is no surprise that when it comes to choosing subjects to paint, Lisa is very much inspired by the sea.

Living in Rathmullan also has a huge influence on her art. “Every day, almost every moment of every day, the sea changes. Then depending on the time of day, or the weather, or the light in the sky…the sea takes on a different mood,” said Lisa.

Lisa only resumed painting within the past year, having put aside her easel for over twenty years. “I was living in America in the mid 1980’s and used to paint Irish scenes, such as landscapes and thatched cottages, to sell at Irish festivals. Various stalls sold these types of rolled canvases and people would buy them and then have them framed.”


However, it was on her return from a visit to New York in the middle of last year, that the impulse to gather up her paintbrushes again, hit her with force.

Lisa, who is also a published author (as Lisa Burkitt), said that she is not quite sure why the desire to paint again hit her so strongly in this way.

“Whether it was the cold, grey streets of New York that suddenly made me look again at my own surroundings – I’m not sure, but for some reason, there was nothing for it but to begin stocking up on art supplies.”

Lisa has been painting prolifically since, as evidenced by her first Irish exhibition, which is being held in Café Blend in Letterkenny, through until the end of February.

Lisa McGill 2

She paints large canvasses, which, she says, just seems to be appropriate for her subject matter. “I do want to try and give you the sense that the sea is rolling towards you.”

Some of her work is more surreal, while still using the sea as its theme. One of her paintings, Catch of the Day, is based on an old photograph she saw of a shawl-wearing woman, selling her fish at a market.

“I really do want to explore more stories of coastal living – both in print and on canvass. I may have lived many land-locked years, but there must be something of my Rutland Island grandmother coursing through me,” said Lisa.


At Sea, a collection of Lisa McGill’s paintings can be viewed in Café Blend, High Road, Letterkenny from now until the end of February. This is an exhibition not to be missed.

Contact Lisa on or e-mail

A photo by Alan McLaughlin.

A photo by Alan McLaughlin.

‘Speed of Glass’ is an exciting exhibition which is running at An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny until Friday, February 13.
This exhibition features some stunning new work by freelance photographers Alan McLaughlin, Declan Devlin, Sarah Cullen and videographer Barry Daly.

Alan works in both photography and video and is also the creator of Goof’s Gaff, a free music promotion service.

Declan is a wedding photographer based in the North West and in this exhibition he will be displaying his personal side through his scenic photographs.

Barry is currently studying creative design at the University of Ulster and works in film, animation, graphic design and digital compositing.

Sarah Cullen is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter from Carrigart. This is her first step into the world of photography and she is showing great potential. I highly recommend a visit to this exhibition, you will not be disappointed.

A photo by Sarah Cullen.

A photo by Sarah Cullen.

Zara McDaid can be contacted on Facebook, search ‘Zara Mc Daid Art’, or e-mail is

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