My Weekend: I find either forest or water is my therapy

She first appeared on our TV screens back in 2016 on ‘Painting the Nation’, which catapulted her into working as a full-time artist. Now Sinead McCarthy works with Paintclub, which organises private and corporate painting tutorials, in person or online
My Weekend: I find either forest or water is my therapy

Sinead Mc Carthy of Paintclub with some of her work.

Tell us about yourself?

My name is Sinead Mc Carthy, originally Bishopstown, Corkonian born, bred and proud... well except for escaping to Australia to vow never to return again, but instead returned a year later with a souvenir in the form of a beautiful baby girl, no regrets.

Having graduated from Crawford art college, I decide to do a signwriting course and it was an unusual sight in the 90's to see a woman in overalls up a ladder painting with a baby in a buggy below (she survived!). 

Fast forward two more kids, many murals, signs and small commissions later, I was tagged in an upcoming program on RTÉ with Pauline Mc Glynn, a British Bake Off style programme with paint! and with the bravado a glass of wine can give I applied, successfully. Painting The Nation 2016 was the turning point of my life. 

I 'came out' as an artist, up to this point I was mother, housewife, childminder and 'I do a bit of Art'. 

A few successful exhibitions later and teaching I was put in touch with Aisling Burke from Paintclub and three years on, to say I love my job is an understatement. I get to paint all week long in the most positive environments, people having the craic and creating. 

We go to locations private or public and set up everything needed to create a masterpiece with step by step instruction. During the pandemic we were forced to go online where we couldn't have imagined the success and we spread across the globe doing public and corporate events online. 

I always wanted to do Art Therapy, now I am actually doing it with chats and laughs included.

How do you spend Friday nights?

Friday nights are wind down nights , I'm a foodie so it normally involves a nice meal. chats and Netflix. I am a morning person, Mary Poppins when I rise, Cruella by 7pm and I can often sneak up the stairs early with my youngest. 

BLANK CANVAS: Sinead taking part in Painting the Nation back in 2016, pictured second from right.
BLANK CANVAS: Sinead taking part in Painting the Nation back in 2016, pictured second from right.

Do you spend time with family and friends?

The weekend normally involves sport outings with the kids, Coachford Soccer for the 16 year old and Ahgahabolluge camogie for the nine year old. 

Family is hugely important to me, I am the youngest of eight and grew up with a lot of my nieces and nephews, I am gran aunt 10 times over so I'm always surrounded by beautiful children.

I am also blessed to have a large but really close circle of friends some for over 40 years and the most amazing in laws.

If money was no object where would you go for a weekend break and who would you bring?

it would have to be Edinburgh. My eldest daughter graduated from MGA Academy of Performing Arts so we have been a good few times. I have travelled a good bit but this city has my heart with it's cobble stones and fairy tale architecture. My family, sisters, my mother in law all have made a temporary booking with me for the next time I go but first in line would be my lubbly hubby Dave.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries? 

I find either forest or water is my therapy. Living in Dripsey now for 17 years I have the best of both worlds with the stunning lee valley, Mullinhassig and Farran woods. 

Many of my own works have been influenced by these areas. I love to read, walk, eat and Netflix binge. 

Entertain or be entertained?

I am an entertainer, I don't do it half as much as I would like because you can barely swing a cat in my kitchen but when I win the Lotto I will have a banquet hall! 

I make a mean curry, Indian mostly but when invited to parties I am always asked to bring my lasagne.

 Sinead Mc Carthy with her work.
 Sinead Mc Carthy with her work.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork - where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

Oh I don't get to eat out as much as I would like but comfort food local Blairs Inn, for nostaglic resasons I love Cafe Mexicana, Italian Il Padrino, Indian Gaylord Kerry Pike. Steak has to be Elbow lane and for varied choice Cornstore... to be fair, Cork has amazing restaurants.

How do you spend Sunday nights?

Sundays are for family, if not doing the whole roast we may venture out for little hikes and trips. I am known as the picnic queen, no ham sandwiches for me, its full platter of anything from cous cous salads, roast chicken, pastas. 

Does work creep into your weekends?

Work does seep into the weekend a bit as some of our in person social events are popular at weekend or Hen events especially on Saturday afternoons.

How do you spend Sunday night?

Despite popular opinion I love Mondays. 

I kinda feel it's like January 1 every week, a new start. 

Every Sunday evening I make my "New years resolution", make it to about Wednesday where all goes to pot but I reset repeat each week, god loves a trier!

What are you up to at the moment?

At the moment I am emerging slowing like a bear after hibernation, bit roundier, lazy and grisly. Covid decided to take over the Christmas holidays, getting us all in one, but thankfully we still like each other. Trying my best to get the creative juices going after sleeping for three weeks so I can try get more of my own art work done, have some wacky ideas in my brain. I need to get out and diet starts Monday... again.

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