More about William Ireland's process

More about William Ireland's process

Discover the creative process of William Ireland's artwork in this article. Bridgeman Editions had the pleasure of interviewing Cindy Ireland, William Ireland's daughter, who shared a valuable insights on how he created his exciting artworks. 

Learn more about William Ireland's collection here.


1. Did his practice respond to any specific themes?

Light and colour are the dominant themes in his paintings. He aimed to create an atmosphere which invited people into the painting, particularly in his interior/exterior subjects and people have often commented how much they would like to step into the scene he depicted. A comfortable light filled room, a beautiful outdoor setting are amongst his most popular works.

2. What mediums did he use to create this work?

Al Fresco and Gemini would have been painted on board with acrylics. In the end, this was his preferred medium.

Al Fresco would have been inspired by Dad’s love of colour and pattern, and a constant desire to experiment with light, to explore an evening setting and add atmosphere to a table which would invite the viewer to imagine taking a seat, or wait for the guests to arrive. That moment, when everything is perfect just before the party begins. Dad absolutely loved a party and he and my mother were amazing hosts.

Gemini is a playful depiction of shape and colour. Dad was June 6thand I am June 5th and he often joked I was nearly a birthday present! He was an incredibly positive and optimistic person with a tremendous sense of humour. He would have taken a huge amount of pleasure in creating this piece and would have worked quickly, a bit of fun, a pop of colour with the intention of bringing vibrancy and joy into whatever setting it might occupy. He remained a very fun and youthful person throughout his long life, as if following Voltaire’s advice: “To enjoy life, we must touch much of it lightly.”

3. Who were his biggest artistic influences?

"I have a great admiration for Bonnard's daring in delving into colour and pattern with a marvellous disregard for draughtmanship" - William Ireland reflected on his artistic influences during an interview with Laura Gascoigne

William had great admiration for Bonnard, as he mentions in an interview in ‘Artists & Illustrators’ in 1995. He admired his ‘daring in delving into colour and pattern with a marvellous disregard for draughtsmanship’.
He also admired Vuillard and Gaugin ‘for their strong sense of colour and pattern’.
He named Tissot, Orchardson and Munnings as inspiration with regards representational brilliance.

4. How do he find new inspiration?

William was a prolific painter who never tired of the process and found it utterly absorbing. When asked (by Maeve Binchy) he said, ‘Where I see beauty, I paint it’. It was all about beauty which he found in nature and in the many beautiful places and houses he visited and lived in. My mother was an interior designer and we moved a lot. My parents would buy a wreck of a house and turn it into something really beautiful. They both loved antiques, although they had an avant-garde and adventurous approach to design and colour. Dad was also incredibly handy, a fine carpenter and could do pretty much anything around a house.


Bridgeman Editions are so excited to be working with William Ireland in showcasing his fine art prints, 'Al Fresco' and 'Gemini, 2005', produced on Archival digital print on Hahnemühle German etching paper. Both prints are available both framed and unframed and come attached with a certificate of authenticity. 

Discover William Ireland's collection today!

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