Painting helps me beat stress -- Joe
RTE presenter Joe Duffy has revealed the secret to keeping calm lies in his painting.
The popular Radio One star -- who tackles the problems of his listeners on his daily programme -- told the Herald how the calming influence of art helps him beat the stresses of his job.
He explained how he has been taking weekly art lessons from his friend and up and coming artist Brian McCarthy for the past seven years.
Joe even has one of his works, a painting of James Connolly, currently hanging in the window of Liberty Hall as part of his participation in RTE documentary series Ireland's Greatest.
The Dublin-born presenter made a programme focusing on the life and times of the Scottish-born socialist and trade unionist and is hoping to beat off stiff competition from four of his Montrose colleagues in order to see his idol voted Ireland's Greatest.
Joe will go head to head with Miriam O'Callaghan, who is flying the flag for John Hume, Dave Fanning who is hoping Bono will win, David McWilliams, who aims to do Mary Robinson justice and Michael McDowell, who is representing Michael Collins.
"Generally, my paintings are put over the mantelpiece to keep the children away from the fire," said Joe.
"It's very much just a hobby of mine. It's a great way of de-stressing and I do it to relax.
"Brian's studio is in the centre of Clontarf and there's about 16 of us each night," he added.
Joe was speaking last night at the launch of Brian's Boomtown exhibition at the Keeling Gallery on Clarendon Street, which he was on hand to officially open.
According to the Montrose star: "He's an unsung hero as far as I'm concerned. Some of the stuff he has done is absolutely superb.
"He's a brilliant technician and he has an amazing gift for working out a colour and mixing a colour.
The Boomtown painting depicts a vast shantytown bedecked in Irish tricolours with an unfinished Tower of Babel looming in the background.
Other paintings featured in the exhibition include Exodus, which illustrates the scramble to leave Ireland, with Irish boat people and Sword of Justice, illustrating the mood of the country in a dramatic night scene.