Wednesday 22 May 2019

From farm to Gorey art gallery

First time artist now has her work for sale and on display in Gorey gallery and art shop

Elaine Tobin
Elaine Tobin

Cathy Lee

Elaine Tobin is a farmer, horsing riding instructor and blogger, and now she is making waves selling local pieces of art, presented on cards which she is selling at The Gasslamp Gallery Gorey and she is also this month's featured artist at Different Strokes in Gorey.

'It's like a cheesy American movie how this has all happened, as I just walked into Gasslamp off the street with my son and now my cards are selling out there. Then my pictures get featured in Different Strokes, I nearly fainted then and there in the shop when I was told this,' said Elaine.

Elaine is a mother of three boys, Robert (23), Liam (21) and the youngest Sid who is nine, and she said that she really does not know how this happened, but she is grateful to be able to do business in Gorey.

'Gorey is a great town to help and encourage someone wanting to step outside their comfort zone, it's what makes it such a great place,' she said.

'My biggest thanks go to Claire in the Gaslamp Gallery for saying yes to my cards and to Sara in Different Strokes for giving me a month's space in her shop. Both of these have been so helpful and encouraging. I don't think I will ever be able to repay them,' said Elaine.

Elaine always had a love of art from a young age, and studied art for her Leaving Certificate at St Mary's College in Arklow.

Art was not a part of Elaine's daily life until she began to attend art classes at night time in Gorey Community School, something she has been doing for five years.

'Every year, I'd go back to the beginner class with my friend as it was just a hobby. It wasn't until the last few months that my teacher Mary suggested I put my work on cards and find a shop in Gorey to stock them,' said Elaine.

'My work never really fitted into the class and over the weeks she kept asking me about selling, and I was beginning to think she was politely telling me I wasn't up to the level of the class and maybe it's card making I should try and not art,' said Elaine.

After finishing school, Elaine started a family with her husband Paul, moving onto their family farm where they reared sheep and cattle, before creating Kish Riding Centre, where Elaine teaches horse riding.

'On our farm we have three dogs, 10 horses, and over 70 dairy cows. We recently converted from sheep and beef becoming dairy farmers,' she said.

It was around 2011 when Elaine Tobin discovered a love of lifestyle blogging, and created the blog 'My Slow Lifestyle,' where she writes about country living, farm life, home and family, and more recently, art.

She describes herself as a social media addict, and has been sharing and selling her work online through Twitter and Instagram.

'Other than horses the only real interests I had when I was growing up were art, photography and reading. I broke my parents' hearts getting all the photos I would take developed every weekend,' she said.

All of Elaine's art is a form of mixed media and she uses mixtures of watercolour, acrylic paint, pastels or pens and each piece is individual and can be adapted to any size.

Elaine will be selling her cards through Gasslamp Gallery, but she can be contacted directly on for cards or larger paintings.

Gorey Guardian