Paul Hanrahan’s keen observation of everyday life allows him to paint his animated subjects with confident impressionistic brushstrokes, full of flair. For two decades his demanding career put his painting ambitions on the backburner. His first solo exhibition in 1983 and his invited participation at the International Watercolor Biennale in Mexico in 1996 sparked a keen following, but it was not until 1998 that Hanrahan emerged as a full-time professional artist, cementing his place in the world of watercolour both here and overseas.
It is rare to find a work by Hanrahan that does not involve people in some way, whether they are dining in a street café or watching from the sidelines of a sports match. With a quick and skilled brush he executes paintings that are energetic and modern.
It is fair to say that in Hanrahan’s work, importance lies in what is left out of the image as well as what is put in. Unlike oil painting the white of the ground is used to accentuate highlights and reflections in a scene.