Portrait of TP Flanagan by Tom Carr

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Fermanagh artist TP Flanagan has been an admirer of the late Tom
Carr’s work all his life. He especially respected Carr as a
watercolourist. The former Slade artist once told me “good art will
always find it’s own level.” Carr held to view that his real
contribution to art was in watercolour. “I think I turned a page in
the Irish watercolour” he once remarked to me. For some reason
ultimately the watercolours didn’t give me enough. I found myself
pulled towards the best of Carr’s oils, particularly some the
paintings from the period in which he lived in Newcastle Co Down with
Stella his wife and his young family. He had a particular faculty and
facility for painting little girls and the female. He was always
drawing, at the tea-table, in the drawing room, in the studio and
outdoors as well. Stella and Carr’s three girls Ann, Veronica( both
deceased now,) and Jemma who lives in England were ever available
subject matter for Carr. He knew Terry Flanagan very well and painted
Sheelagh his wife as well. This particular portrait of Flanagan by
Carr appears to me to fit into that ‘new English school’ of painting.
The image portrays an empathy and softness synonymous with the
personalities of the sitter and the painter.

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I am a regular contributor to discussion programmes on TV and radio both at home and abroad. An experienced political editor and author specialising in Politics, Security and 20th Century Art.

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