Burnell McKenna - Artist
My fascination with nature and the spontaneity of the beautiful medium of watercolour led me on a creative journey a few years ago. My creations are born out of a combination of nature inspiration, self learning and reflection, allowing my perspective as an artist to remain traditional yet contemporary. With a unique artistic voice and a playful exploration of nature’s colour palette, I strive to inspire through my vibrant botanicals and experimental abstract works.
Welcome to my website and watercolour world
My botanical pieces are larger than life sized and demand attention, rich in colour and often inspired by my nature adventures. I have a deep affinity for everything natural; all forms wildlife, including an array of flowers and birds which feature in my work; having spent my childhood in the Caribbean countryside where tropical wildlife abounds. My original abstracts are also influenced by colours and textures existing in nature expanding my dimensions as an artist. Both my botanical and abstract paintings will be available on the website; and may run in limited prints. My work has been purchased by private collectors in Europe, USA & Ireland. ‘Kerry Foxgloves’ was selected for The Society of Botanical Artists ‘Plantae 2020’ exhibition. My original paintings also featured in the British Botanical Artists Purely Botanical Exhinbition Edition I and II in 2020 and 2021. Explore my artwork below.
NEW COLLECTION - MENDING
I wanted to step back in my art and deliberate our human ability to heal and mend our brokenness. This collection is my contemplation, the embracing of our flaws, and the celebration of the beauty of our imperfections. In so doing we become stronger, more beautiful pieces of art.
I have long been fascinated by the ancient Japanese practice of Kintsugi, golden joinery, in which broken pottery is repaired with precious metals such as silver, platinum or gold disguising and elevating the flaw. Varied and wide-ranging in palette, this expanding collection is contemplative and asks us to challenge our perception of perfection.
Original Watercolour Abstract - 2021
Crushed fruit reminds of deeply ripened fruit, accidentally crushed. This triptych is warm and inviting, encompasses lost edges, bleeding colours and textures; lost but beautiful. These pieces are ready to hang and work well in any space
Ever More Beautiful
Whilst influenced by colours and textures existing in nature, this body of work is one that speaks about human healing, renewal and revival. It is my way of breaking the ideals within which we see ourselves, our lives, relationships and challenges. I seek the share the knowledge that our broken edges are a beautiful part of who we are, our history and our becoming.
THE STORY OF BURNELL MCKENNA ART
Beautiful Watercolour Art since 2017
Burnell Mckenna is a lauded and self-taught artist specialising in large scale, expressive botanical watercolour compositions that celebrate the wonder of nature. Watercolour encourages a bold and deliberate approach, yet is a delicate and unbridled medium. It is the medium of choice for her striking depictions of botanical specimen. In the artist’s own opinion, no other medium allows her such freedom and versatility to explore her creativity.
While watercolour remains her medium of practice, she allows herself the joy of artistic exploration in abstract work, landscapes and seascapes in graphite, gouache and inks. She is however perhaps best known for her larger than life, bold botanical paintings.
Born in Trinidad & Tobago, there is a telling character in her work that characterizes her Caribbean roots. Her paintings are rich in texture, bursting with intense, alluring colours suggestive of her preference to a warm primary palette. Burnell started her watercolour creations in 2017 and since then has amassed a vast body of work that has been publicly exhibited and purchased by collectors in Ireland, UK and USA. She has been living in Ireland since 2008 and has her home-based studio there. The natural world and the bucolic Irish countryside provides ample inspiration.
MY COLOURFUL CREATIONS
JOY OF THE GARDEN
Original watercolour 56x76cm - 2019
Joy of the Garden is one of my earliest works. I was very focused on capturing its texture and depth of colour of the petals of this delicate flower, and even individual pieces. Please get in touch in order to learn more about this piece.
Watercolour on Paper 56x76cm - 2019
Sweet Peas is a large scale painting of the Lathyrus odoratus often grown for their colour (usually in pastel shades of blue, pink, purple and white, including bi-colours) and unique fragrance for private enjoyment or exhibition. I am a great fan of sweet peas and this is an example of my appreciation for this climbing beauty.
Original watercolour 56x76cm - 2020
Scarlet is one of my recent watercolour works. It speaks to my Caribbean roots and bears elements of a tropical character that continues to fascinate me and pervades throughout my work. This painting has been featured in the Moscow State Biology Museum's International Animal & Botanical Painting and Illustration Exhibition - Tropic 20 Flora & Fauna 2020.
Original watercolour 56x76cm - 2019
A charming fruit, the cherry plum. I was drawn to the deep rich colour of this fruit mellowing in the evening sun, having spotted it on one of my jaunts. It is a popular ornamental tree for gardening or landscaping, grown for its very early flowering. Its enticing drupe and near purple foliage translated well on paper.
This painting has been featured in the British Botanical Artists Purely Botanical II Exhibition 2021
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MYERS - MCKENNA MULTIMEDIA EXHIBITION AT SANDYFORD BARISTA'S CAFE
'Things with Wings' display of watercolour butterflies - Depiction of metamorphosis of two major characters in Meyer's stage and multimedia productions. 'Things with Wings' worked hand in had with the journey of Meyer's characters.
LONG LISTED ARTIST - JACKSON'S PAINTING PRIZE 2019
My painting 'Joy of the garden' was long listed into 421 out of over 5000 entries in an art competition.
SOCIETY OF BOTANTICAL ARTISTS - PLANTAE EXHIBITION
MALL GALLERIES - LONDON
3rd -30th June 2020
My original watercolour 'Kerry Foxgloves' painting selected for the renowned Society of Botanical Artists prestigious Plantae exhibition among some of the finest works of botanical art from artists around the world.
PIELOWS RESTAURANT, DUBLIN
Dec 2019 - August 2020
8 month art display at Pielows Restaurant in Cabinteely, South Couny Dublin as part of support of local artists.
ASSOCIATION OF BRITISH BOTANICAL ARTISTS - PURELY BOTANICAL EXHIBITION
Inclusion of my original watercolour painting, Kerry Foxgloves in the Association of British Botanical Artists Purely Botanical Exhibition 2020 among the 69 internationally exhibiting artists from 18 countries.
Collections of paintings with forms and features, colours and patterns inspired by those occuring in nature