Friday, December 2, 2016

Passing of Leonard Cohen

A wonderful singer, songwriter, poet ... very sad news. It was only hours later that I realised he died almost on my own father's anniversary.

Just going to potter around with my paints now, got YouTube on to watch old videos. This morning I got some amazing shots of the dawn today, and got the urge to work one of them up into a painting, and only later remembered about my Dad.

Eighteen years.

Although I can see him still,
The freckled man who goes
To a grey place on a hill
In grey Connemara clothes
At dawn to cast his flies,
It’s long since I began
To call up to the eyes
This wise and simple man.
All day I’d looked in the face
What I had hoped ‘twould be
To write for my own race
And the reality;

The living men that I hate,
The dead man that I loved,
The craven man in his seat,
The insolent unreproved,
And no knave brought to book
Who has won a drunken cheer,
The witty man and his joke
Aimed at the commonest ear,
The clever man who cries
The catch-cries of the clown,
The beating down of the wise
And great Art beaten down.

Maybe a twelvemonth since,
Suddenly I began,
In scorn of this audience,
Imagining a man,
And his sun-freckled face,
And grey Connemara cloth,
Climbing up to a place
Where stone is dark under froth,
And the down-turn of his wrist
When the flies drop in the stream;
A man who does not exist,
A man who is but a dream;
And cried, ‘Before I am old
I shall have written him one
Poem maybe as cold
And passionate as the dawn.

- The Fisherman, W.B. Yeats

Dawn, 2016 by Orla Clancy 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Still life with onions and sweet potato

I recently brought some still life pieces to the DraĆ­ocht Gallery in Adare, and a fairly well-known artist told me that he thought they were very 'organic'.

I've learned that my best work is in fact 'organic', in the sense that it's from real life in some way.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Day 12: Road Trip

Well, I took a few days off, and got paid work done, it was necessary.

Day 12 was a road trip to Glendalough in County Wicklow, Ireland, and it was just wonderful. We arrived there at a quarter to eight in the morning (having driven 2 and a half hours from Limerick!!) and it was empty. And so pretty, with all the autumn colours of the forest. Much of the valley is part of Wicklow National Park, and judging by the numbers of visitors that started to appear later in the morning, a very well-loved local amenity as well as popular tourist attraction. I saw a squirrel quite early in the morning, climbing up the hill into hiding among the trees, and was told that higher in the forest and away from the lakes there are deer, and quite a lot of them.

Did a lot of walking and was good and tired last night, slept very very well. I hope to do one road trip like this a month from now on, weather permitting of course.

Glendalough, the Lower Lake

Glendalough, the Upper Lake

Glendalough, the Round Tower in the trees

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Sixty-six days: 9 and 10, 11

These are Wednesday and Thursday of last week, respectively, and Monday of this week.

Blogs written, some photos taken, a few processed, and the last of the watercolours painted on Wednesday, then it was off to pilates.

Thursday I wanted to clean out the garden shed where I also work on oil paintings (the other half hates the smell of turpentine in the house; me, I'd wear it as perfume, but we all compromise and he buys me Chanel in the duty-free) and as it hadn't been cleared out in a couple of years it was a MESS, and I only got a section of it cleaned, but I did scrub off the flowerpots and threw away several broken ones. Will need to get back in there again during the week. The spiders in there are pretty big. Am not fond of spiders.

My art work on Thursday evening was processing photos, I got several done. And I've just realised that I've a few more to take, of the watercolours I did last week. Then this week, due to suddenly being very popular for the day job of freelance translating, I had to devote less time than I would have liked to actually making work. But I did get to do a couple of things on Monday: finish some watercolour nudes and go through a box of paper and discover MORE things to paint and use, see my Instagram page. (This should take you straight to the photo I took of the clutter that had been removed from the box to the table. Good times.)

I also found some illustrations I had started for a stream-of-consciousness bit of writing I started as an exercise, but which I had to put away when I found that I was thinking about it too much and actually planning what I would write next. That wasn't the object of the exercise at all. I'll have to get back to it.

Here are some nude studies, also from some Limerick Printmakers Life-drawing Sessions, very quickly drawn. Fun to do. I particularly like the one from the rear.

So it looks like I will be working this weekend again. and now that I'm more or less caught up, I'll get to go and make more art too. Yay.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Sixty-Six Days: Days 5, 6, 7 & 8

The Saturday was a day of tidying and relaxation, pretty much. Took it nice and handy, watched several films.

Sunday, we cleaned. And took it pretty easy again.

Monday I had a dental appointment and met with some friends, so only spent about half an hour on the watercolours. I also spent a good two hours going over photos of various Gay Pride festivals in Limerick over the past few years ... did I just reveal too much? Well, it has been 9 years since I donated two drawings for the Gay Pride Art Auction, so 2017 will make it 10 years. Am thinking of a new body of work ....

And Tuesday, finally sorted some very important administration (tax stuff) which needed to be finished and did a little bit more watercolour painting and a little bit more looking at photos, as well as wondering where my new sketchbooks are.

So as I've nothing really to post up here from all that, here is a nice photo instead.

White strand near Miltown Malbay, County Clare.