story & photo
by Christopher Annino
Artist Carmel McEvoy Bourneuf, Mystic, grew up on the very beautiful green hills of Laois, Ireland, that are expressed in her paintings. In 1961, Carmel was the first and only member of her family to leave Ireland. During her journey she met her husband Gus Bourneuf, former marine surveyor for the Bureau of Shipping. The two lived very nomadically and traveled around the world many times.
“The further I was away from Ireland, the more Irish I became. I always found time to paint Irish landscapes of bygone days rendered in oil mostly done with a palette knife, though I must admit there’s so many lovely scenes to paint in Mystic,” said Carmel. Irish music also holds a special place in Carmel’s heart. Often times you can see her perform locally.
Carmel recently exhibited her artwork, and brought a touch of Ireland to downtown Mystic’s Bartleby’s Café. She displayed many of her critically acclaimed Irish landscapes. “The reason why many of my paintings have old castles or cottages in them is because they represent the past accomplishments of a hard working people. For example, the painting of St. Kevin’s Kitchen represents how something so simple can last forever,” said Carmel.
Many attended the event including published poet, and retired college professor Dr. Jean-Yves Solinga. “I love the concept of having an art exhibit in a Café, it makes a different audience more aware of the arts. And it truly shows how different cultures shape our society. Carmel is an amazing artist and a lot of her spirit shines from her paintings,” said Jean-Yves.