Featured Artist – Les Donaghy

Les Donaghy
Remembering John
34" x 28" (86 x 71 cm)
Oil on linen.
This was a moment I wanted to capture of my wife sitting, looking out over Prestwick Golf Course. Her dad, John had been a member there, and we had gone down to mark our respect for him.
34" x 28" (86 x 71 cm)
Oil on Linen
A Fish... Out of Water?
30 x 30 inches
Oil on panel
A Tender Touch
30 x 20 inches
Oil on panel
The Laffin' Coo
20 x 20 inches
Oil on canvas



Rev Dr Les Donaghy

Les began his art education at Clydebank High School, under the great printmaker Willie Rodger, who took great delight in telling Les that he'd missed an 'A' in his Higher Art by one mark (Les had 'crashed' the Higher in a year)! After this, art was put on hold for a while until Les took what is now the folio prep course (then Painting and Drawing) at Glasgow School of Art.

However, things took another turn, and Les was called to the ministry of the Church of Scotland, which meant six years at University. Two parishes and five years in teaching later, Les is medically retired. It takes seven years before he is diagnosed with acromegaly, which leads to brain surgery. During his recovery from the operation, he has the chance to join a painting and drawing class at the local Arts Centre in East Kilbride, and his passion is rekindled.

After a couple of years' catching up on old skills, Les tries his hand at oil painting for the first time, specialising in portraits, to develop the fine skills required. What is almost an obsession with detail ensues, possibly picked up from his days as a concert mandolinist. Following a trusted route, Les enters two local exhibitions, and over the space of a couple of years, wins ALL the prizes in both. He decides he needs to try swimming in a bigger pond.

Les's work has been long-listed for both the BP Portrait Award, and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters' Annual Exhibition. He has had work shown in the Royal Glasgow Institute, the Mall Galleries, the Royal Ulster Academy and the Royal Scottish Academy. Awards have been given to work shown in the Scottish Portrait Awards (Fine Art), and the Scottish Awards in Fine Art.

Les's work hangs in homes around the world. Publicly, work is owned by the City of Glasgow College, Glasgow life, and recently a large piece was commissioned by 602 (Glasgow) Squadron that is on display in Glasgow's City Halls.

Whilst continuing his work in portraiture, Les has turned his hand to other subjects too, most notably a series of paintings of hands, and recent paintings that have a surreal twist. Wait and see!


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