Jenny Cleary is an artist and illustrator based in Dublin, Ireland.

She is originally from Norway but has travelled and lived in many countries which has influenced her work. She is inspired by people around her and always on the lookout for interesting characters which she can use in her art. Colour plays a major role in all her work and she uses a variety of techniques.

Her illustrations are mostly painted with acrylic on board. She has illustrated for, among others, The National Museum of Scotland, The Sunday Times and Scotland on Sunday and the book Ceol na Nollag (Irish Christmas Songs).

She was educated at Edinburgh College of Art and since graduation in 2000 has been a practising artist and teacher.

picture of Jenny Cleary
Stalin McGregor Oil on canvas

The human face and body have always fascinated her with their intensity of colours, structure, light and shadow. She chooses subjects based on features that captivate her. She also wants to re-create human skin and flesh using the multitude of colours she sees when looking at a subject and uses mark-making to communicate the way a body behaves.

The landscape paintings that she creates usually focus on the sky with all its colours and cloud shapes. She tries to capture the light that is forever changing in the sky by using paint and glazes. The pictures are based on skies and landscapes that she has observed in Ireland, Scotland and Norway and they are usually rural settings with no buildings or traffic to obstruct the view. 

Isle of Skye Oil on canvas

Further information

Exhibitions

2010 - present

Solo show – Bokbyen, Norway, 2014

Group show – Drammen Museum, Norway, 2012

Summer show – Gallery Athene, Norway, 2011

Solo show – The Helix, Dublin, 2011

Christmas show – The Bad Art Gallery, Dublin, 2010

Group show – Drammen Museum, Norway, 2010

Group show- The Bad Art Gallery, Dublin, Dublin, 2010

Group show – The Teacher’s Club, Dublin, 2010

Group show – Drammen Illustrated, Norway, 2010

Small works show – The Crow Gallery, Dublin, Ireland, 2010

2000 - 2009

Christmas show – The Bad Art Gallery, Dublin, Ireland, 2009

Group show – The Bad Art Gallery, Dublin, Ireland 2009

Group show – St. Clarenden, Dublin, Ireland 2007

Two person show – Powerscourt Townhouse, Dublin, Ireland 2006

Christmas show – The Crow Gallery, Dublin,Ireland 2005

Group show – The Crow Gallery, Dublin, Ireland 2005

Group show – Powerscourt Townhouse, Dublin, Ireland 2005

Group show – NCAD, Dublin, Ireland 2005

Group show – United Arts Club, Dublin, Ireland 2004

Two person show – Signal Arts Centre, Bray, Ireland 2004

Red Bull show – RHA Gallery, Dublin, Ireland 2003

Illustrators Annual Awards – Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, Ireland 2003

Mural exhibition – Special Olympics, Dublin, Ireland 2003

Group show – Drammen Museum, Norway, 2001

Degree show – Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland 2001

1990s

Group show – Kaoshung College, Taiwan 1998

Group show – Bower Asthon, Bristol, England 1997

Solo show – Seljord Art Hall, Norway 1996

Education

Teacher Training Certificate, The Arts Programme, Northern Ireland Open College Network (2004)

BA Hons, Visual Communication – Edinburgh College of Art (1997-2000)

Foundation Degree in Art&Design – University of the West of England, Bristol (1996-97)

Diploma in Arts and Crafts – Seljord Folkehogskule, Norway (1995-96)

Bibliography

Unselected but not forgotten, A.Dunne, The Irish Times 22/6-09

Signal Art Centre hosts Figures and Portraits, Bray People, 26/8 –04

Exhibition Opening, Bray People, 9/9 –04

November exhibition, Bjorn Zarbell-Engh, Drammens Tidende, 2/11 –04

On tour with the three degrees, JMcL, The Herald, 23/6 –00