Enriching lives with art and musical creativity

Artist, tutor and musician John Jermyn who lives in Fennells Bay talks about his life, loves and latest exhibition
Enriching lives with art and musical creativity
Artist John Jermyn at his studio in the Framemaker, Carrigaline. Picture Joleen Cronin

TELL us about yourself;

Blessed with the gift of a creative mind, this has enabled me to live a life as both an artist and a musician, particularly in the latter years. Realising the importance of nurturing the creative channel, and of the positive impact it has on wellbeing, I am now engaged as an art tutor.

Art should not possess pressures or boundaries, but that of a manageable challenge and to be free to see things through interpretation. A part of my role as a tutor, and one that gives me satisfaction and fulfilment, is in guiding other artists to become unstuck from rigid and formal approaches to painting. Many artists suffer from this blockage and hence have difficulty in progressing and developing their skills as painters.

I offer tuition, to anyone interested in painting, suitable for both beginner and the more experienced artist. The classes are located at The Framemaker in Carrigaline. These are small group classes. I also provide one to one tuition on request. The painting mediums that are used are mainly oil and acrylic.

Please visit my website for further information. See www.johnjermyn.com and www.facebook.com/JohnJermynArtistAndArtTutor/

I currently have an exhibition of recent oil paintings on show at Cronin’s, in Crosshaven. This runs until August 5. All are welcome so please come, look and enjoy the show!

Where were you born?


Where do you live?

Fennells Bay, Crosshaven, Co. Cork.


Married to Susan Brooks. We have a collective of sons and daughter, Sam, Peter, Pam and Jeff, granddaughter Saiobh and the brand new Joey.

Best friend?

My best friend is the connection I have to the conscious side of my brain. Not always connected, like almost everyone else. So when it visits I am very pleased to see it.

Earliest childhood memory?

Drawing headlands in County Kerry with coloured pencils, while on holidays with my parents when I was small, perhaps four years old, with the smell and whistles of the old Primus stove in the background, as my mother prepared meals in the dunes. Camping in an old army canvas tent. A fantastic memory.

Person you most admire?

Harold Good for his untiring services to mankind and of humanity and his contribution to help find a route for peace in Northern Ireland.

Person who most irritates you?

The ad guys on Irish radio stations who ridiculously read out ‘the regulator terms and conditions apply’. It goes on and on and on. It is such bad radio quality that no one knows what the ad is about. Dreadful radio standards and a gross invasion of the public headspace. I want to listen to good radio and should not have to turn it off because of bad radio. Some serious quality control required here please! Don’t get me started.

Who would you like to see as Minister for Finance and why?

I’d like to be Minister for Finance for one day only. You’ll never see me again!

Where was your most memorable holiday?

France in my beloved vintage 1973 orange VW Campervan. RIP.

Favourite TV programme?

The Meaning Of Life, with Gay Byrne.

Favourite radio show?

Blue Of The Night with Carl Corcoran.

Your signature dish if cooking?

Fish fingers with mashed spuds and runner beans with brown sauce. I’m a wizard.

Favourite restaurant?

Cafe Ole, Valle Gran Rey, La Gomera, Canary Islands.

Last book you read?

The Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris.

Best book you read?

The Secret Life Of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.

Last album/CD/download you bought?

Paranoid Android by Radiohead.

Favourite song?

Silver Blue by JD Souther.

One person you would like to see in concert?

David Sylvian.

Do you have a pet?

We lost Tara, our hugely loved black Labrador/ Staffie cross breed to a long illness in May. But oh that we could all pass over, when the time is right, with the caring and correct use of euthanasia. The day she died was a very special experience for all who were present at our home. Our vet, the veterinary nurse, my wife and myself and Tara shared the experience. A sad but beautiful day.

Morning person or night owl?

I do both!

Your proudest moment?

In 2003, an oil painting titled Looking Back was chosen as the flagship image to represent a joint effort project, named ‘Journey Towards Healing’, formed by a collective of faith-based groups throughout Northern Ireland. This project was funded by the Victims’ Unit, First Minister and Deputy First Minister, Stormont Castle, Belfast. The Victims’ Unit would work with a group representing faith communities to produce a resource that would support those working with victims and survivors of the troubles.

A proud moment when I was asked to address a large attendance in the Ramada Hotel, Belfast, about my work as an artist and about the painting itself. I addressed the packed ballroom which consisted of well-known politicians of the day, leaders and members of many religious faiths and others from the cross section of society. Not something that would normally be in my comfort zone, to say the least. My clear memory of this was of the courage and strength that engaged me, from the presence of the large power pointed image of the painting which was located close at my side. The power of creative spirit at work. I myself have not looked back since this.

The painting, Looking Back, has been used widely throughout the project. It has received a positive response by all, as it has reflected and captured, be it in a simple fashion, the effects of the troubles in Northern Ireland.

The image has since been used as a representative symbol at International Dialogue conferences around the world, relating to trauma and support, in other war-torn and troubled regions.

Spendthrift or saver?

I am conscious of money.

Name one thing you would improve in your area in which you live?

I would plead that the county council would build a very long flyover from Shannonpark Roundabout to Leary’s Cross on the Crosshaven road, so that Crosshaven folk don’t have the misery of trying to get through the congestion in Carrigaline.

What makes you happy?

When all the lights are green.

How would you like to be remembered?

As a person who may hopefully have opened a door in some way, for anyone, in finding a higher sense of ‘tuning in’ to their own being and creative awareness, hence to a greater enrichment of life.

Art and music are incredible channels for providing this bill of clean health.

What else are you up to at the moment?

Musically, I have been known to have penned a few songs in my time, doing this most of my life, with bands Volcanic Earth and Coaltraan and presently in a solo capacity.

In a search for new direction, I released an acoustic based solo album in 2013, title Bloodshot Eyes. See https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/johnjermyn

Presently, I am finalising a current recording project of new material, planned to be released by the end of this year. Featuring Johnny Scott (guitarist with Van Morrison), Pat Crowley (keyboard / accordian with Mary Black), Brian Calnan (drums/percussion) and under the watchful eye of my good friend Johnny Campbell (producer/bass guitarist).

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