About Painted Clans

Mullen Village


My name is Brendan McCarey, I'm a designer & artist based in Mullen Village which is in a cosy quiet corner of north Monaghan, Ireland. I studied Design & Communication in Derry and Augsburg, Germany. I've always had a thirst for history, particularly my family history. Painted Clans has turned into a vehicle which has allowed me to explore who I am and where I came from.

Painted Clans

Painted Clans came about as a wedding gift for friends Finbar & Shona living in Australia; I wanted to gift them with something traditional, modern and sentimental.

However, Painted Clans beginning started with an anonymous heirloom, a family coat of arms plaque. The "McCarey & Lynch" plaque has hung in my parents hallway for as long as I can remember. It was easily identifiable with the family names under each crest but the meaning behind the crests held no interest with me. 

In 2011 my New Jersey cousin Mary Carlson came to Ireland to explore the history of our ancestors. Not wanting to disappoint, my family hurried to research how my two great uncles Hugh & Barney McCarey came to travel to America. My Dad and Aunt guided Mary through the Monaghan countryside reminisceing about the "old days". We did leave one stone unturned, the meaning behind the McCarey coat of arms. 

On deciding what to give Finbar & Shona as a wedding gift I thought back to my parents coat of arms plaque which hung in their front hallway. After doing some research into both family crests and sketching out a few ideas, Painted Clans was born.