Originally conceived as a fun way to engage with friends and family during lockdown, Abigail Denniston and Audrey Gleeson had no idea their art would grow into the charming and hilarious WeirdWatercolours.
Indeed, lockdown also saw their own relationship flourish unexpectedly. As Abigail shared, “In March I had come home from the States for a visit. I had been a photography consultant for Glass Eye Studios in Seattle, Washington. I ended up stuck in Dublin and not being able to return or travel home to Waterford.
“Audrey and I knew each other from six years ago and lost touch completely until one evening I downloaded Tinder, and within ten minutes of having the app her face popped up! The morning after the night before our first date we were in lockdown together in an apartment in Dun Laoghaire. Unable to go anywhere and both of us starting to show symptoms of the virus.”
While the couple grew closer themselves, like many, they looked for ways to connect with their loved ones, little realising how a fun experiment would grow into something else. Abigail continued, “Audrey was trying to get her assignments in for a design degree and had bought some art supplies. We started thinking of ways to engage with friends and family through art and try something that we could all have fun with. We started hash tagging #drunkdrawing and doing live videos where we would take viewers’ requests and invite people to crack open a bottle and draw with us and share their art work.
“At the end of each session we would take photos of each piece we had drawn and I’d put them up for grabs on my Insta page and then we’d post them out for free to the people who wanted to hang them on their walls. We both started to practice drawing and painting every day from then on.”
Those fun sessions started to attract delighted attention from people who wanted a print of their own. “In April we started receiving paid requests and we both decided that we wanted to make something really unique happen out of this success. We spent so many mornings laughing our heads off trying to make puns out of anything we saw in the apartment.”
The result? The delightful WeirdWatercolours. “We now have over 70 puntastic card designs that are selling extremely well. Our cards can soon be purchased at The Gallery Cafe in Gort, MishMash Cafe in Dublin and The Gallery Cafe in Longford and at Cronin’s in Crosshaven, Cork. We also take weird and wonderful custom orders of which pet portraits seem to be the most popular.”
Abigail explained how delighted the couple have been from the unexpected results of those early lockdown art sessions. “The feedback we have received has been amazing. It truly goes to show that if you work hard enough at something you can make incredible things happen. We believe that laughter is something to be shared and art can really be anyone’s therapy.”
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