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BIO: William Mullan
William Mullan is a Causeway Coast local, born in Coleraine in the mid-1940s. In his formative years he became an amateur art enthusiast. Once he finished school he went to London to work in the commercial art world. Longing for home, he returned to Coleraine in the mid-1960s and became a working apprentice of Bobby Anderson, a renowned local painter, at his Long Commons workshop. For two years Anderson would serve as Mullan’s teacher and mentor. Anderson himself was taught by Frank Hargey, known for his old masters style of portraiture, and it was during Mullan’s apprenticeship that he recalled Anderson’s mentor visiting the studio.
Moving into the 1970s, Mullan began selling watercolours to the Walker Gallery in Coleraine. As a result of his association with this gallery he was able to meet notable artists such as Arthur Twells, Morris Wilks, and Wilfred Haughton receiving invaluable feedback regarding his paintings. During this period the Magee Gallery, which at the time was located in the Donegall Square area of Belfast City Centre, began purchasing Mullan's watercolours and years later put on an exhibition of his work. The gallery was quite popular with American collectors and subsequently many of Mullan's pieces from this era left Ireland. Creatively the artist’s interest in the medium was waining and his attention turned to oil painting.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s Mullan worked as a sign painter and an occasional painting restorer for local galleries in the Triangle Area while his true artistic endeavours were for himself and himself alone. Stylistically Mullan has been influenced by artists such as James Humbert Craig and Frank McKelvey. Through the years “Plein Air” oil paintings of the beloved landscapes Mullan has known since he was a child have continued to inspire him and are predominately the subjects of his oeuvre.
Biography by D.F. Partridge-Moore
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