KW: Do you think that painting and writing are two sides of the same project?

The only thing I’ve learned is that the hard work you have to put into the writing – I mean I’m working on a short story about New York at the moment and there is a tremendous amount of stress and energy that the brain has to channel in order to correct and rewrite and I turn to painting then as a more purely creative activity. And so I tried to switch from writing in the day to doing some painting or sketching in the evening but I found that both activities are exactly the same. I mean, you need just the same amount of intellectual concentration. You realise that once a line has appeared on the paper, then the next one confronts you. And it’s not that you are consciously thinking about the work, I mean, the whole point is not to. This is one of the reasons why I like to work quickly, get the thing down."
- From an interview "Karim White in Conversation With J.P. Donleavy"

"Self Portrait"
Drawing by Ferguson, from The Financial Times article "The Rebel with the taste for the high life," 2002.

JPD Compendium Editor's Notes:

1) Added to the site is a transcript of J.P. Donleavy's "Lobbing Hand Grenades: Remarks on Barry Flanagan" a speech first given to open Mr. Flanagan's sculpture exhibition June 27, 2006 at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, then repeated at the Mullingar Arts Centre, November 30, 2007 for the IMMA to video tape the talk for its archives. Many thanks to J.P. Donleavy for permission to post the transcript on the site and to Virginia
McGillycuddy, assistant to Mr. Donleavy, for her invaluable help in this endevour.

2) The profile of the painter J.P. Donleavy "Portrait of the Writer as an Artist", by his archivist Bill Dunn, is a much longer and revised version of the Introduction in the catalogue for J.P.’s art exhibition at The Molesworth Gallery, Dublin, February 2006, which was presented by Damien Matthews Fine Art. Special thanks to Bill for his permission to add this informative profile to the site.

"Lobbing Hand Grenades: Remarks on Barry Flanagan" by J.P. Donleavy
"Portrait of the Writer as an Artist" by Bill Dunn

Chronological Listing of J.P. Donleavy Art Exhibitions

7, St. Stephen's Green Gallery, Dublin, December 6-13, 1948
7, St. Stephen's Green Gallery, Dublin, March 15-26, 1950

7, St. Stephen's Green Gallery, Dublin, June 8-22, 1950
7, St. Stephen's Green Gallery, Dublin, January 11-25, 1951
Bronxville Library, New York, February 2-28, 1959
(joint show with brother T.J.)
Langton Gallery, London, September 30 - October 14, 1975
The Godolphin Art Gallery, Dublin, November, 1986
Tom Caldwell Gallery, Belfast, November 3-21, 1987
The Anna-Mei Chadwick Gallery, London, Feb. 22 - March 11, 1989
The Anna-Mei Chadwick Gallery, London, March 5 - 16, 1991 (joint show w/ daughter Karen Donleavy)

Alba Gallery, Surrey, England, July 16-28, 1991
The Anna-Mei Chadwick Gallery, London, June 17-18,1994
The Lounge, Dublin, October 29, 1995
Whyte's Fine Art Auction, RDS, Dublin, October, 2000
The Walton Gallery, London, March, 2002
Molesworth Gallery, Dublin, February, 2006

National Arts Club, New York, May 10 - May 23, 2007 (joint show w/ daughter
Karen Donleavy
Annebrook Hotel, Mullingar, March 15-17, 2008
Christies 2008 Irish Sale, London, May 8, 2008 (several works sold; researching titles)

Molesworth Gallery, Dublin, April 30 - May 9, 2008
Molesworth Gallery, Dublin, March 4 - 19, 2010
Menard Gallery, Cambridge, MA, April 15 - May 20, 2010

The Dollar Street Gallery, Brighton, November 1 - 31, 2010
Matthews Auction Rooms, Dublin, November 15 – December 1, 2012

"Lady With Pearls"
"Ted Hughes" - a portrait of the late Poet Laureate. Larger view.

To purchase books by J.P. Donleavy, go to the Buyers' Guide.

"Downtown Manhattan"
Christies 2008 Irish Sale Catalogue. Several JPD Lots auctioned.
Other Artists' Exhibitions Opened by J.P. Donleavy
L'Espirit Exhibition...

L'Espirit, the work of 12 Irish sculptors and 21 members of Sculpteaurs Bretagne, Brittany was officially opened June 3, 2000 at 8 p.m. at the Mullingar Arts Centre, Ireland by J.P. Donleavy, himself a talented painter as well as writer and whose brother T.J. Donleavy is an accomplished sculptor.
Portrait of JPD by Boris Chaliapin commissioned for a 1963 TIME Magazine cover but cancelled because of the Kennedy assassination.

Barry Flanagan at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

The IMMA show was officially opened by J.P. Donleavy on Tuesday 27 June 2006 at 6.00pm.

J.P. Donleavy's speech "Lobbing Hand Grenades: Remarks on Barry Flanagan" was repeated November 30, 2007 at the Mulingar Arts Centre for the Irish Museum of Modern Art to video tape it for their archives.
Transcript of the speech.

"Hiding from Skully" by Christopher Stone Field granite, direct carved, Inspired by the J P Donleavy novel "The Ginger man" complete with signed authorization from J P Donleavy.
Barry Flanagan
Irish Museum of Modern Art
"Hells bells" by Barry Flanagan 2005
JPD at the microphone

J.P. Donleavy in new book of writers who are also artists.

The Writer's Brush: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture by Writers

by Donald Friedman | Cloth | Mid-List Press, September 11, 2007 - ISBN 9780922811762

JPD included in a collection of writers who are also artists. Other author/artists in this collection include: Dostoevsky, Henry Miller, Joseph Conrad, W. B. Yeats, e. e. cummings, Kurt Vonnegut, D. H. Lawrence, Sylvia Plath, Goethe, Hermann Hesse, Vladamir Nabokov & John Updike

Available at
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