“Many many layers of built up paint and texture

add a history to each paining of mine.

Delicacy and rawness combined.”





I’m an Irish artist and I work mainly in acrylic and water soluble drawing materials. I’ve studied art at Fermanagh College in Northern Ireland, classical portraiture and figure painting and drawing at the private art school and international arts colony Studio Escalier in France and plein air painting with David Mynett in Majorca and is an alumni of the intensive Creative Visionary Program with Nicholas Wilton along with many years of self directed study and experimentation. 

That which can’t be seen is so intriguing for me, be it mystical, internal or injustice in the world.  I think that is why I love to paint, there is a magic in being able to create worlds, memories and emotions into being from nothing and from having another person connect to it too.  Through my artwork I try to make some sense of it through painting and researching but it only takes me further down the rabbit hole.

The idea of control frequently occurs in my work; who is controlling us, spiritually, politically and emotionally, with my regular conclusion being that many times the only person stifling us is ourselves. This theme of internal mental battles between who we feel we are and what the world around us makes us, subconsciously feeds into much of my work as I don’t usually plan my paintings in advance. These subjects are not handed to you on a plate in my paintings, instead I prefer meaning to develop over time for you the viewer. Layers of bright colours, cute animals and childlike imagery are regularly used as an inroad to darker mental thoughts and world affairs.  

I am also very interested in bringing stories, legends and folklore from the past to the forefront to be remembered by those who once knew them and introduced to new people so they are passed down to future generations. This searching into the past also becomes a way to try and make sense of who we have become today and for me to try and find a personal connection of contentment with who I am.  

For me art is created by the viewer, their connection with the piece. The person who looks at a piece of art connects the dots themselves even if those dots might signify more mystery that they need to ponder on. I like the mystery of art. No two people look at it the same. Your personal experiences and memory will give you a totally different connection with a painting regardless if the style is realist or abstract. For example one person might look at a painting of a cottage in the countryside and just think it’s a traditional twee type painting that doesn’t make them feel anything, for someone else that painting could bring up wonderful childhood memories of the freedom and happy times of living in a little cottage in the countryside, for someone else this little cottage could be their goal in life, for them to have it on their wall it’s like a vision board for the future and for someone else it could be a spooky place where something bad happened. This is what I love about art. We can never fully know the full extent of how someone is connecting with a painting inside. And the same can be said about the artist, we can never fully know what the artist was thinking when they painted it and for me I feel like I have to just let the painting flow through me without questioning it too much in the beginning. I have to follow where it takes me and that’s where I get most of the excitement, through the process.  I start in a very abstract way and work the painting until it starts to unveil images to me. As well as brushes I like to use unconventional tools to create new effects. 

Irish abstract landscape artist

When I look at a blank canvas I know that many beings and lands hide within. They are locked behind a door that only paint can open. After I build up layers I feel like my work is to unearth these hidden images from the painting, to release them from the painted land they hide within and let them tell their story. I do not always know at first who they are or where they come from, but more often than not they have a message for me or for someone who connects with the piece. When a viewer tells me something about a painting that I had not thought about, I understand that painting had a specific job and that I was merely the channel, as that painting was waiting to talk to someone else.

My current work includes an exploration into creating mystical dreamworlds for introspective art collectors as a place to escape to and meditate in to revive their spirit. Many can be hung in two directions allowing one painting to become two. They are landscapes from a lucid dreamworld and the imagined wildflowers that grow there. Some show glimpses of a contemporary colourful take on the bucolic scenes of Ireland and other countries I’ve had the pleasure to live in such as Vietnam and Peru. My work is dotted with a recurring personal dictionary of symbols which is constantly evolving with every painting.




The Mystical Lands Project
June 20th – Aug 9th 2022 – “The Mystical Lands Project”.  My third interactive art buying project which consisted of me creating a painting a day of mystical landscapes for 3 weeks.  Buyers had to be the first to comment under a painting when it was posted to purchase and all paintings sold out. 

May 16th 2020 – February 20th 2021 – For The STOP PAINTING Project I handed the age long question of when is a painting finished over to the art buyer.  I created a collection of 30 paintings that I filmed the process of and shared along with videos on Instagram and Facebook.  Art collectors had an opportunity to buy one of the pieces at any stage of the process by telling me to “STOP PAINTING”. It was very interesting to see how some people prefer my work in it’s more abstracted state and others as more figurative work. I continued to paint over each piece until all 30 paintings were sold.  

The Mystery Art Sale
Nov 1st – 30th 2019, “The Mystery Art Sale”.  In November 2019 I launched a 30 day interactive art buying experience on Instagram and Facebook pre-selling 37 paintings in 30 days to collectors who bought without knowing what their painting would look like.  Each new painting was created daily then posted online where pre-purchasers had to be the fastest to “claim” the painting they wanted. This created a great daily auction-like atmosphere on my social media platforms.



Start Art Fair Saatchi Gallery


May 2nd – August 2024, “Bucolica”, Group Exhibition, Mount Congreve, Waterford

Apr 11 – 15th 2024, Contemporary Irish Art Society Group Exhibition, BDO Ireland, Dublin   

Mar 22 – Apr 19th 2024, Solas Art Gallery, Group Exhibition. Island Theatre, Ballinamore, Leitrim 

Jan 13th – Feb 28th 2024, “The Irish Palette”, Group Exhibition, Millennium Court, Portadown, N.I

Sept 27th – Oct 29th 2023, “Lands and Legends” Solo Exhibition, Asti Hotel, Busan, South Korea

Sept – Oct 2023, Cocktail Inspiration Exhibition, The Grand InterContinental Hotel Parnas, Seoul, South Korea

Sept 9th – Oct 22nd 2023, “Life In Nature”, Group Exhibition, Klamp Gallery, Dogok, Seoul, South Korea

July 19th – August 13th 2023, “Lands and Legends” Solo Exhibition, Gallery Chaman, Seoul, South Korea

Nov 2022 – June 2023, “Luxury Through Art”, The Grand InterContinental Hotel Parnas, Seoul, South Korea

Mar 23rd – May 28th 2023, “The Land Of Gemini” Solo Exhibition, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, Belfast

Dec 2nd 2022 – Jan 27th 2023, Winter Gathering, Louise Cherry Gallery, Wicklow

Dec 3rd – 22nd 2022, The Art Bazaar, Townhall Theatre, Cavan

Nov 10th – 13th 2022, Art Source, RDS, Dublin

Aug 31st – Sept 6th 2022, StART Art Fair, The Seoulitium,Galleria Forêt, Seoul, South Korea

Aug 18th – 27th 2022, Arts Fest, Arts For All, Belfast, Co. Antrim

Feb 4th – March 5th 2022, Art In Your Pocket Group Exhibition, Ardhowen Theatre Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh

Nov 29th – Dec 5th 2021, Online solo exhibition, Hambly and Hambly, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh 

Dec 2nd – Dec 31st 2021, Art In Your Pocket Group Exhibition, Strule Arts Centre, Omagh, Co.Tyrone

Nov 14th – 28th 2021, John Richardson French Residency Award Finalists Exhibition, Hambly and Hambly, Enniskillen, Co.Fermanagh

Oct 31st – Nov 1st 2021, Soul Noir Festival, Group Exhibition, Dublin Castle

13th-17th October 2021 – START Art Fair, The Saatchi Gallery, London.  

Aug – 4th-16th 2020, 8th Annual Signal Open, Signal Arts Centre, Bray, Co.Wicklow

Oct 15th – 25th 2019, “Layers”, a solo exhibition at Arklow Visual Arts Centre, Co. Wicklow

Sept 20th – Oct 26th 2019, “A House Of Pomegranates”, a solo exhibition based on “The Fairy Stories Of Oscar Wilde”, Johnston Central Library, Cavan

Dec 7th – 23rd 2018 – Joint exhibition with Siobhan Harton, The Teacher’s Centre, Cavan

July 28th – 29th 2018 – Kilnaleck Arts Festival, Kilnaleck, Co.Cavan

April 27th 2018, The Co Club, Oldcastle, Co.Meath

July 1st – 9th 2017, Samhradh, Four Woman Exhibition, Kilnaleck, Co.Cavan

Nov 25th – 29th 2015, Group Art Exhibition, The Teachers Centre, Cavan

Nov 29th – Dec 7th 2014, ‘The Hollow’, The Teachers Centre, Cavan

Nov 15th – 22nd 2014, ‘The Hollow’, Ballyjamesduff Museum, Co.Cavan

Dec 2013 – Open Season Group Exhibition, The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co.Leitrim

May 24th – June 4th 2012, An Tostal Festival Group Exhibition, Drumshanbo, Co.Leitrim

May 11th – 21st 2012, Group Exhibition, Higher Bridges Gallery, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh



Irish arts funding









2024 – Townhall Arts Centre Scholarship Award – 3 month artist studio and bursary awarded by Townhall Cavan and Cavan County Council

2022 – TAME Grant, Local Enterprise Office Cavan

2021 – Agility Award from The Arts Council, Ireland

2021 – Professional Artist Award from Cavan County Council

2020 – Fingal Artist Support Scheme Award from Fingal County Council, Dublin towards creating a body of work for START at The Saatchi Gallery, London

2019 – Recipient of an Arts Award from Johnston Central Library, Cavan, Creative Ireland and Cavan Arts office to create “A House Of Pomegranates”, a solo exhibition based on the works of Oscar Wilde

2018 – Received Artist Support Award from Cavan Arts Office towards joint exhibition

2015 – Arts Development Award to research and visually respond to the ghost stories and folklore of my home town Cavan in an exhibition called ‘The Hollow’, awarded by Cavan County Council Arts Office

2012 – The Tommy McLoughlin Arts Award, awarded by Cavan County Council Arts Office and The McLoughlin Family



Nov 2022 – Cill Rialaig Artist Residency, Co. Kerry, Ireland




irish art collections

“Waiting For The Sparrows”, acquired by the Irish Embassy in Korea, August 2023.

“Legends Of Land” acquired by Cavan County Council Collection for permanent display in the Townhall Theatre, Cavan.

“Hunting For Home” acquired by Cavan County Council Collection in December 2018.  This painting was inspired by the housing crisis in Ireland.











Article in the Wicklow News in print and online launching “Layers” at the Arklow Visual Arts Gallery, Co.Wicklow


The Anglo Celt, 2 full page spread September 18th – INSIDE STORY: Harton lets her imagination run Wilde by Damian McCarney


Michelle Harton Art


Female artist photo