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RTE’s Painting the Nation artists will take on the beautiful sights of the Burren this Sunday as this week’s episode comes from North Clare.

And who better to welcome presenter Pauline McLynn back to the Burren (where she found fame at Fr Ted’s House in the 90s) than Ballynacally native Elaine Gavin.

Multi-talented artist Elaine, who is also heavily involved in the Ennis Musical Society, impressed the judges to make it through the first round last Sunday when she battled it out with seven finalists — despite having only painted 10 pictures before making it to the final stages of the competition.

Artist Elaine Gavin’s painting of Poulnabrone dolmen in The Burren

Elaine and her adorable dog Tayto charmed viewers with a cameo appearance from her home in Ennis as she was introduced to thousands of viewers.

“I’m so delighted with how I got on. I was actually shocked at the level of ability and I was like ‘Why am I here?’ I just felt that I was amongst the giants that they were so good and I’ve just learned so much from them,” said Elaine, who teaches first class in Lisseycasey.

Elaine explained that the Painting The Nation finalists have become such good friends, they decided to organise an exhibition together in aid of Pieta House.

“It’s a really good cause. It’s a theme that affects a lot of artists. Everyone knows that artists are renowned for their connection to depression and creativity is often linked with it,” Elaine said.

The exhibition, entitled ‘Darkness into Light’, will be hosted at the Zozamus Gallery in Dublin from Wednesday, November 1.

Elaine’s stunning portrait of her own puppy Tayto

Aside from her beautiful landscape paintings, Elaine has built up a name for herself by painting pet portraits.

Check out Elaine’s Facebook page here:

RTE’s Painting the Nation will air from North Clare this Sunday on RTE 1 at 6.30pm.


By Elaine Tubridy

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