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Here in New England: Brendan Loughlin

Brendan is in his apartment at the south edge of the green. Canvases, some complete, others in progress, poke out from everywhere. He allows himself just a few square feet of kitchen space; everything else is for painting. I haven’t held a brush for nearly half a century, yet here I am. Brendan gives me a jar of B-I-N. He hands me pastels and small tubes of tints. I abhor my firsttentative attempt. I’m self-conscious. I paint over it with the white B-I-N, and my crude strokes vanish. I start again. This, I see, is Brendan’s finest gift to Guilford. So many people who own his paintings, who study with him, knew him when he lived on sardines from the food bank, when he curled up in his daughter’s car on frosty nights, when he was everyone’s eccentric local artist. He shows them every day that you can make your life a breathing canvas, and sometimes if the will is strong, you can wake up one day, paint a sunflower bursting with hope, and start over.

Many Guilford-area galleries show Brendan Loughlin’s work. His studio at 79 Whitfield Street is usually open, as well. “Just come in and holler,” he says. This winter, Pastac will reach a national audience: Pastac kits will be marketed by Sheffield Bronze (, and T.J. Maxx stores nationwide will feature a limited collection of Brendan’s art through January.

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Updated Thursday, December 20th, 2007

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4 Responses to Here in New England: Brendan Loughlin

  1. Kelly Schwark January 19, 2008 at 11:22 am #

    How inspiring! I too am at the point in my life where I want my art to be more than something that just sits in my closet. I appreciate his determination to pursue his desire. Without a degree behind me, I completely understand the intimidation and feeling of elitism of painting. BUT, as I will use his story to inspire me to never give up on my dream of creating a career from my art! Thank you for sharing this story with us! Sincerely,

  2. Marguerite Saunders February 12, 2008 at 8:56 am #

    I was sitting in my library in Middletown, NJ last Sunday, just hating the cold winter winds and snow squalls outside, and needed to rid myself of the cabin fever I was feeling. I am from New England ( Vermont ) and recently moved to NJ. so I am also in a new area trying to adapt to the new surroundings. I just wanted to read some fun stuff, so I chose Yankee Magazine for its familiar places inside its covers. I came across the article on Mr. Loughlin, and was totally inspired to pick up my favorite remedy for stress again, ART! His story was amazing, and had me welling up with tears with all his struggles of the past. I am thrilled he finally feels at home as an artist…I have had many of the same feelings…the feeling that I feel my art is trapped inside me, wanting to come out! I have been an ink artist for the most part, ( Very unforgiving medium ) so I was intrigued by this pastac combination as I read his article. I am going to buy the materials, and create something for the walls in my new house! Thank you Brendan…for sharing your incredible talents with us!

    Love & Light,

  3. P D February 20, 2008 at 12:58 pm #

    I can’t celebrate someone who doesn’t pay child support.

  4. Lucyna Karas April 7, 2008 at 10:32 am #

    A BIG WOW to Brendan. This is the type of person I would like to meet. Someone who has emerged from next to poverty to find himself and his trade and give back.

    Amen to you, Brother,

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