McGuinness was an Irish painter and illustrator born in 1901 in Derry. From 1921 she studied at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. She obtained a commission ot illustrate Sterne’s ‘A Sentimental Journey’. She attended the Chelsea Polytechnic in London before spending the 1920s working in Dublin as a book illustrator and stage designer.
From 1937 – 1939 she lived in New York, returning to Ireland in 1939 settling in Dublin and concentrating on painting. Although her work remained figurative, she painted vivid, highly coloured landscapes: her work shows the cubist influence of L’hote and she was associated with the modern movement in Ireland.