Born Martin Hasson in 1950, (not 1947 as stated in some literature) in N. Ireland. I have always tried to develop my talent in art across many mediums, techniques, styles and genres. To me, this is the passion that belies my art. I have been painting and drawing since I was 3 years old. I was initially taught by my father and encouraged by many others. I sketched and painted my way through primary school and my education at St Columbs College, Derry. My path in art was firmly established from a very young age.
My work relates to the places and people I love from the past, the present, the dark days and the more often bright inspiring days. I started my profession in graphic design where I created and produced corporate imaging for many firms and companies. I have designed architectural perspectives for large worldwide companies & created interior design for many businesses. I have also produced a successful series of lithographic prints of my home town and am very proud to have designed and painted stage sets for community plays in my local area.
In my spare time, apart from my work as an in-house and freelance Graphic Designer, I painted and sold landscapes, portraits, abstracts and seascapes using oils, watercolours and pen and ink. (All commissioned work for private buyers.) My work has been purchased throughout the world and I even have copy my Prints of Derry, hanging in the Office of a Congressman in Washington.DC.
In the 80’s, while still working in graphic design I decided to stage my first one man show. This proved very successful and was quickly followed with two further shows of my work in watercolours, tempera and oils. This lead to a wider audience becoming interested in my work, galleries soon approached me and my work has been sold all over Ireland and the UK.
In the 90’s I began experimenting in mixed mediums. I started combining my love of the sea, landscape and most of all adding human interaction. The scenes created were a return to those I had painted many times before in watercolours and oils. My work was now portraying the darker and harsher side of life, in particular the struggles and sadness of times gone by and the endless battle for survival in the present day. The contrast of the light of my earlier work and the darker days of the same scene now, reflected the times we found ourselves in. With this marked change in style, my wife and I felt a new name would be beneficial to allow both styles to continue therefore J.P. Rooney was created. We chose the name Rooney after the very man who married us. He was a dear friend to both our families. This was a man who encouraged me to use my talent when I was in my teens. Little did I know then, that it would be the very name I would use to sign my work to this very day.
The strength of the Rooney name was quickly established and I was surprised by the reception it received both within and outside the art community. The demand increased rapidly, leading to a plethora of one man shows and the Rooney paintings becoming the sole representation of my work.
In my career as an artist, I realize that there have been many who have been instrumental in my success. Most of all the many hundreds of buyers who have bought my works throughout my career. Without them, I would not have had the inspiration and motivation for what I do. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all.
My late Father James finished his last painting at four o'clock on a December afternoon and passed away at seven that same evening. The man who nurtured and taught me Art from when I was three years old enjoyed his life and painted right up until the end. He is the person that continues to inspire me today.
Thank you for stopping by the website & I hope you enjoy your visit.
Martin Hasson (J.P. Rooney)