Declan Rua

As a mature artist, writing a short autobiography can seem like quite the endeavour. I began painting at secondary school and will never forget the rush I felt when exhibiting my works in the old DIT buildings in Kevin Street Dublin as part of a young adult’s art show. 

Unfortunately growing up in inner city Dublin in the late 1960s did not allow much room for exploring a career as an artist, however even as I embarked on other career paths throughout my life, my passion for art and in particular painting, always remained at the forefront of my mind. 

Back in the eighties, I enjoyed attending NCA Dublin studying Portraiture and I also recall always been told to ‘clean your brushes’! My career paths varied from repairing motorcycles to painting houses, managing courier companies to accountancy rolls.

In the past 6 years, I have finally been allowed the time to dedicate the next chapter of my life to art. Whilst my appreciation for the old masters I learned about in school still applies, I also appreciate more recent realist like John Singer Sargent and Edward Hooper. But one cannot ignore the equally impressive emotion created by the abstract works of Piet Mondrian, our own Louis Le Brocquy and Gerhard Richter (who never has to clean a brush!).


Growing up in inner city Dublin in the 1960's did not allow much room for exploring a career as an artist. However, my passion for art and in particular painting always remained on the forefront of my mind.


I believe that there are very few artists that wish to have their “style” classified as one particular “style type”. On occasion I like to place a sharply defined figure or focal point of a painting against an impressionistically brushed background. Impressionism was revolutionary in the late 19th century and 140 years later the style is still loved and admired.

My personal favourite artist is the masterful Diego Velázquez (1599-1660). Many speak of him as the painter’s painter and rate his painting ‘Las Meninas’ (1656) as the greatest painting of all time. He worked during the Spanish Golden Age for King Philip IV. However, I am even more impressed by his portrait of Pope Innocent X as it displays tremendous character and presence.