Donegal teenager wins Texaco Children’s Art Competition for portrait with father

PJ Doherty (16) receives prize of €1,500 for his coloured pencil artwork

PJ Doherty with his winning piece Me And My Dad. Photograph: Clive Wasson/Mac Innes Photography

PJ Doherty with his winning piece Me And My Dad. Photograph: Clive Wasson/Mac Innes Photography

 

A 16-year-old from Donegal has been declared the winner of the Texaco Children’s Art competition.

PJ Doherty, a student at St Eunan’s College in Letterkenny, also took first prize in the 16-18 years age category.

His winning artwork is entitled Me And My Dad, and is a portrait study in coloured pencil of the artist and his father, Patrick.

PJ will receive a prize of €1,500.

PJ Doherty with his father Patrick. Photograph: Clive Wasson/Mac Innes Photography
PJ Doherty with his father Patrick. Photograph: Clive Wasson/Mac Innes Photography

Final adjudicator and chairman of the judging panel, Prof Declan McGonagle, said that PJ’s piece is “a powerful double portrait, achieved using a dramatic lighting effect.”

PJ’s technical skill enabled him to depict the two personalities and their relationship, according to Prof McGonagle.

PJ said the inspiration for his winning portrait came to him when he noticed his father sitting by a lamp.

He was attracted to the diverse range of light sources coming from it, which gave him the opportunity to work with warm yellow and orange hues, combined with blue and purple tones.

Last year, PJ won first prize in the 14-15 years age category for his self-portrait.

The Donegal teenager hails from an artistic family and is the youngest of four children.

He thanked his mother Martina for encouraging his passion. “She has always been creative, both with painting and working with pottery,” he said.

PJ has just started fifth year, and he plans to become an artist when he finishes school.

The competition is now in its 76th year, and Texaco’s sponsorship is the longest-running sponsorship of any arts competition in Ireland.

Winners in other categories included Kerry student Clodagh McCluskey, who took first prize in the 14-15 years age category. The student from Presentation Secondary School Tralee won for her work Feathers.

Clodagh McCluskey’s (15) work Feathers
Clodagh McCluskey’s (15) work Feathers

In the 12-13 years age category, first prize was won by Philippa Dunlop from St Andrew’s National School, Malahide for My Self Portrait.

Philippa Dunlop’s ( 12) My Self Portrait
Philippa Dunlop’s ( 12) My Self Portrait

Mae Cowper-Gray, a pupil at Scoil Bhríde, Kilcullen, won the 9-11 years age category, for her piece Missing Ella (Lockdown Loneliness).

Missing Ella (Lockdown Loneliness) by Mae Cowper-Gray (11)
Missing Ella (Lockdown Loneliness) by Mae Cowper-Gray (11)

First prize in the 7-8 years age category went to Ella Kelly from Saints Michael and Peter Junior School, Arklow, for her work Red Apple.

Red Apple by Ella Kelly (8)
Red Apple by Ella Kelly (8)

Muhammad Hadi Qureshi (4), from Parish Community Woman Centre, Mullingar, won in the 6 years and under age category, for a work Dog (Finger Print Art).

Muhammad Hadi Qureshi (4) won in his category for Dog (Finger Print Art)
Muhammad Hadi Qureshi (4) won in his category for Dog (Finger Print Art)

First prize in Category G, which is reserved for entries from young artists of all ages with special needs, was won by 16-years old James Moonan, a pupil at The Arthouse, Drogheda.

Heron On The River Boyne by James Moonan (16)
Heron On The River Boyne by James Moonan (16)

This is James’s third year taking first place in this category. This year he won for his work entitled Heron On The River Boyne.