Portraits of an artist

October 03, 2021

Jaime McGlinn’s work has had a transformative effect on his life as an artist

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The pandemic has caused incredible havoc around the globe. Its impact on human life is overwhelming, till date. The anxiety it creates (usually when the graph is on the rise) cripples every aspect of human life as one has to cope with uncertainty, income losses and, above all, a human, economic and social crisis. The community in general has to observe the frozen, scary, and unstable state of things and to try to help, whenever possible.

The world of art also faces immense challenges, to name but a few: gallery closures, exhibition cancelations and a massive shift towards visual media that has now become a vital link to the world globally. Art companies are trying to take their programs online. There is a rise in virtual gallery trips and online art sales due to social distancing and quarantine. As an art critic, one sees a marked shift towards a contemporary palette, a wide array of media and materials to convey a similar wide array of concepts, themes and subject matters. Artists are using protective masks as a contemporary subject matter of their work. In some instances during the lockdown, artists remained confined to their specific homes or studios and some even expressed their concern of limited art stock/ supplies to vent out their bottled up feelings and emotions.

Powerless and stuck at home, some even supervising their children who struggled with slow internet and extended hours’ learning through computers. All of this had a psychological impact on artists.

Jaime McGlinn, whose work is on display at the World of Crete under the title: ‘Night of contemporary’, faced a similar situation. It is a private villa group exhibition in Greece, held from September 20 to 27 with participating artists from 15 countries.

McGlinn’s works have had a transformative effect on his life as an artist. Originally from Omagh in Northern Ireland, he has a bachelor’s in arts degree from Belfast. A father of two, the pandemic compelled McGlinn to vent out his feelings through colors.

A full time painter, he switched from his sales job to the world of colours during the pandemic. His art creates a transformative effect and brings happiness and hope when the morale is generally low. There is a certain kind of flow in his canvases; the ever-infinite sky, the depth of field, calmness, tranquility, beauty and life. One finds movement in his strokes and can feel the clouds moving with the dappled light sparkling and peeping through – symbolising growth from rough conditions. His music-inspired canvases reveal vivid colors: blues and orange. In the canvas titled: Magika, one finds water flowing amidst the abstract imagery of flowers. The ever-infinite sky dominates the canvas. Clasping onto the beauty of music, the artist promotes hope in the last remaining string and daring strokes. The canvas titled Daliah also reveals moving clouds with abstract strokes that symbolise flowers emerging with more strength, ready to face the new challenges that lie ahead.

In his personal ‘conscious effort’, he wants to delve into the sea of calmness, hope, serenity and beauty. The prominent colors of the whole canvas are green, blues, touches of purple and whites. “Every painting is a song or a piece of music that inspired it. The colours, brush strokes and depth are not something I plan, I let the feeling from the music dictate every piece,” he says.

McGlinn has also worked with SKT gallery, London; the Van Gogh Gallery Madrid, Monet Gallery, Madrid; the MAD Gallery, Milan and Saatchi Gallery London.


The writer is an art critic and artist based in Lahore



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