John Eagle: Artist~Photographer
I am the author of two published books on lighthouses. The first came out in 1999 and was published by Peter Williams in Wales and was called 'An Eagle's View of Irish Lighthouses'. The second is 'Ireland's Lighthouses, a Photo Essay by John Eagle' published by The Collins Press of Cork in May 2010
and reprinted April 2013. Click here to view them
I run photographic workshops at lighthouses, where small groups get together for the weekends, mostly during the winter, to photograph maritime subjects and later in the evening discuss what has been taken. I also conduct tours of the lighthouses of Ireland, two tours, one going north, and one south.
I view things from an artist viewpoint, and use what means are available to me to reach the end result. Sometimes with a brush, other times with a camera. Being an artist I am thinking about what I want to achieve, and setting about doing it regardless as to whether the finished product will sell or not. Of course it is nice if it sells as I need to survive, but it is not always my first train of thought which frustrates people who give me financial advice and assistance. For instance the Irish Lighthouse Series was a project I wanted to do, and do it in such a way that it would be accurate and simple. I did not sit down and try to figure out how much the venture would cost me. As the bills came in I tried to figure out ways to pay them off, often with great difficulty, but it didn't stop me continuing with the project. In the end it took me over twelve years to complete the project, and just recently I have gone back to taking further pictures of lighthouses. Why? Because I want to, no other reason. I designed this website, it is my creativity coming out. Sure, someone more skilled in the practise of making websites could probably do a better job but I would rather do it myself and have full control. With my oil painting I am constantly being told by people that I should paint in this way, or that, that my paintings are too dark, or they are too light, or there are too many landscapes, too many seascapes, that to be successful I should paint brighter boats. Do you think I listen? I paint what I want to paint and if it sells that's a bonus. I am very lucky with the number sales I have made, but it doesn't determine what I paint next. Cameras are a means to an end, to get the best image for whatever reason. I live out in the wilds of West Cork, far from town, because I want to and for no other reason. People ask me if I miss theatres, cinemas, pubs, and all that smoke and pollution. I have been known to take a spin to the city every once in awhile. And so that's my story, hope you enjoy what I do.
If there is a moral to my story, it is: If you want to be creative do it your way and don't pay heed to people who tell you it's wrong