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Coleraine Chronicle Interview

Artist gives up the rat race to paint

Gerald Maguire, now residing in Castlerock, was walking back to his house from Belfast City Centre where he worked, something he had done many times from leaving school. Only this day, now 10 years ago, Gerald felt apprehensive and unsure of why he was being overcome by a feeling of restlessness; after all he had a good job, a reasonable wage and owned his own house. However, for many years he had been fleeing the city on his days off and at weekends to paint coastal scenes in and around Northern Ireland's coastline.

That day he must have subconsciously made up his mind to vacate the big smoke because in the following weeks he put his house on the market, handed in his notice at work and relocated to Castlerock, where he bought a small house and turned one room into a studio, all in an attempt to earn a living by becoming a professional painter. That was nine years ago and he has never looked back.

Gerald has had no Art college experience which means he learned to paint in the university of life by trial and error, now he can be seen out and about with his canvas perched on his easel capturing breathtaking scenes that will adorn walls world wide. He sells his work in local art galleries and exhibits at church bazaars or where ever he can. Gerald has fulfilled his dream for he has been a professional painter now for many years. Of course he has taken a cut in living standards compared to the wage packet he collected every month in Belfast but the issue was never about money but the urge to take control and change his life for the better of his inner self.

A picture of a picture within a picture sees Gerald Maguire at work, obviously this black and white photograph does not convey
the vibrant colour of the painter's landscape
but the scene is familiar enough.

Gerald has not only earned a reputation as a prolific painter but has managed to earn a living as well, so we wish him good luck.

It must have been a big decision for anyone to undertake, imagine giving up a secure way of life to indulge in what was after all a hobby. I am sure many of us can empathise with Gerald as a winner, because that must be part of he reason why a lot of us slip into the shop on a Wednesday or Saturday afternoon and play the lotto.

That win would allow us to; you know, sail off into the blue and indulge in our wildest fantasies, which reminds me what day it is!

Interview by W 'Speedy' Moore, as featured in his 'People and Places' Column

From the 'Coleraine Chronicle' 21st August 2004

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