Cork mother's Kinsale Harbour painting turned into a jigsaw

It's all falling into place for a talented Irish artist who returned to painting after her children were raised.

Cork mother's Kinsale Harbour painting turned into a jigsaw

It's all falling into place for a talented Irish artist who returned to painting after her children were raised.

Mum-of-three, Helen Condon, from Cork city, has become the first Irish artists to be commissioned by one of the world's biggest jigsaw and puzzle companies to produce a painting to be turned into a jigsaw.

Helen's painting of Kinsale Harbour on the Wild Atlantic Way is now a 1,000-piece puzzle on sale in shops across Ireland, the UK and since today, in Australia, and online globally.

Helen said she was delighted to have been chosen, especially given how she only took up painting again just seven years ago.

"I've just been so overwhelmed with congratulations and goodwill since the new broke. Several people have told me that they've ordered the jigsaw already but I just haven't gotten around to doing that myself yet," she said.

Global giant, Ravensburger, said they had been searching for a number of months for an Irish artist for this project. They spotted Helen's work online.

"There were some fantastic ones but unfortunately not all beautiful pictures make great puzzles," Ravensburger's Sarah Stevens, said.

Helen's work, when examined closely at high resolution, worked well as a puzzle and so I approached her to discuss the project.

"Her work stood out as it is clean, crisp and colourful - ideal for puzzles.

"We talked about suitable locations in Ireland and Kinsale Harbour was discussed.

"It was a spot Helen knew and she was able to make a trip there to look for a great angle and perspective on the view."

Helen sent her finished acrylic painting to the company in the UK last September, where it was photographed and converted into a 1,000-piece 70 x 50cm jigsaw, for ages 12 and up.

Irish artist Helen Condon's art which has been made into a jigsaw by puzzle giant Ravensburger

Irish artist Helen Condon's art which has been made into a jigsaw by puzzle giant Ravensburger

Ms Stevens said: "Initially several thousand will be available, but further quantities will be produced if there is a demand for them.

Helen, who lives in Shanakiel with her husband, Colm, and their children, Aoife, 22, Darragh, 19, and Hannah, 1, won several poster competitions during her childhood and teenage years, and studied art for her leaving cert.

But put her artistic ambitions on hold until her children were reared. She took up painting again seven years ago and within months, she was selling work through her social media channels. She now accepts commissions.

Ravensburger said it hopes to work with other Irish artists on similar projects.

"We'll be watching carefully how well this one goes," Ms Stevens said.

You can view Helen's work on Facebook at Helen Condon Art or on her etsy.com page.

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