These days I tour my music a lot less, and spend most of my time painting in my peaceful studio on a small lake on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
After more than 30 years leading the Irish Rovers around the world I am happy with this new success as an artist. The mad life, touring endlessly with the Irish Music machine, wore me down and now I have time to meditate on my art, hike the nearby mountains with my dogs, and I feel fitter that I did 25 years ago. Here’s a blurb I wrote about where it all began.
My love of painting started when I was 10 in Northern Ireland. Money was scarce in those days and when my mother won a large box of watercolours at an annual Fair I spent a lot of time painting on everything I could find- including my mother’s only tablecloth! The Ireland that I grew up in has changed so much and I return every year with a kind of longing for the past. I wander the streets of my old town remembering all the scenes and characters that were part of my life. So nowadays I try to capture those memories on canvas with oil paints. I daydream, and out come scenes of my Grannies country kitchen and her old friends, gossiping over a few ‘cups of Tay’ with that old ‘Brown Betty tea pot always ready to pour.
I can feel the heat from the fire and taste the new bread with creamery butter. I can almost hear their laughter as some old ‘yarn’ is shared. On my canvas you will find Irish Tinkers and moonshine men (the wee still) along with many of the great pubs that occupied almost every corner of Ireland. There were delivery horses on our street and great plough horses in my Grandfather’s fields. There were many home spun scenes to remember and fill canvas with colour and nostalgia. I hope there is quite a bit of humour in my work for I look back on that poor childhood with a smile. we might have been poor but by God we were rich in music and art and laughter. I hope you get a chance to share in some of these happy memories.
With this re-kindled web site I hope you will check my blog now and then. I will fill yer head full of Celtic lore, good old Irish Jokes , stories and homespun foolosophies -and post my latest paintings and Pix of my travels. As the old Irish sage once said” May them that love us ,love us- and them that don’t May God turn their heart- and if he can’t turn their heart may he turn their ankle- so we’ll know them by their limping!”
Check out my latest Art Book at: https://irishroverwill.shutterfly.com/pictures