Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Three watercolour drawings from Siena

Texting on the Campo, Siena from 2008

Enjoying the sun on the Campo, Siena, from 2008

Father and Baby, full figure, Campo in Siena, from 2008

Not sure if I still have the actual drawings, but these scans do look nice. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Prague Sunday Afternoon

One from 2005: Prague Sunday Afternoon, oil on canvas, 90 x 60 cm.
For sale: €800 plus shipping costs.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Early Start ... Tralee to Dublin

 Never a good idea to fall asleep in the presence of an artist! But I got a lot of detail because this woman was comatose. Her scarf was very colourful. I'm not surprised she was asleep, I think the train left Tralee at around 7 am. This drawing is also in my www.flickr.com page.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Café Java, Catherine Street, Limerick

Café Java, Catherine Street, Limerick, watercolour drawing

Café Java, Catherine Street, the stairs, watercolour drawing

I cannot believe I forgot about these. I did these drawings in the last weeks Café Java was open, before it was demolished to make way for a new building. Java was a Limerick institution! Open late for food, or coffee, it was fun and quirky and one of a kind. Still missed several years on .... 

Also in celebration of seven and a half thousand unique visitors to this blog!!! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Absolutely delighted at this award!!!

The guys at www.IloveLimerick.ie have won an award, I heard it on the radio this morning:

To quote the Limerick's Live 95 news on the radio station's website:


25 October 2011
I Love Limerick- dot- com has won a national award for highlighting multicultural life in Limerick.

The website run by Richard Lynch scooped the online media award at the 2011 Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards in Dublin overnight.
The awards, which are in their 8th year recognise and celebrate individuals, groups and companies who promote diversity, cross-cultural understanding and co-operation."

These are the guys who did my film in Kilmallock.

I am so pleased for them, they have worked so hard. I am absolutely thrilled on their behalf. 

To see why this award is justified and likely to be the first of many, visit www.Ilovelimerick.ie.

Friday, September 30, 2011

A few more from the Sketchbook Project ...

Sketchbook project, number 37, oil pastel drawing.

Sketchbook project, number 32, line tracing over a photograph.

Sketchbook project, number 40, watercolour sketch. The chimney of the old forge

I no longer have any of these pieces, the Sketchbook was required to be sent to the USA and I won't be getting it back. But that's okay! I already have LOTS of artwork here in my house. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Company of Absence II from a poem by Michael Coady

Company of Absence II from a poem by Michael Coady, middle section of a triptych.

To celebrate 7000 unique visitors to this blog, 51 followers and 119 different countries. 

I'd also like to direct you to my Facebook page and to my Flickr page.

Thanks guys!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Oil paintings from life-drawing studies: Nudes

Study of Reclining Twisting Nude, Oil on Canvas, 70x50cm, 2011

Study of Standing Nude, Oil on Canvas, 70x50cm, 2011

Both of these pieces are on display in the upstairs bar in 31 Thomas Street, Limerick city, Ireland, for the Duration of the Limerick Gay Pride week. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pencil Drawing: Asleep ...

Full title: Asleep in the room with the 14th century ceiling, Florence.

Someone once said that you should never fall asleep in the presence of artists, as chances are they will draw you.

Heh heh heh ....

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Nude study in charcoal and conté crayon on blue paper.

I've only just realised that it's time to take more photos of paintings to be posting more up here. So I will have to get that new camera now. Soon.

Thanks again to Limerick Printmakers for providing the models. And I am very much looking forward to seeing the new place!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

My exhibition in Kilmallock - the film!


Serious thanks to Richard, Gary and Sean for the time and work they put into the editing. I love you guys.

And today they just launched their brand new website. It looks great. If for any reason the link doesn't work, the website is www.ilovelimerick.ie.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Book Review: The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano

According to the blurb on the back cover: "A prime number is a solitary thing: it can only be divided by itself, or by one; it never truly fits with another."

The story is about two people, Mattia and Alice, each with a personal tragedy. Alice's difficult relationship with her father drove her to a skiing accident as a child, causing her to be crippled, and later she develops anorexia. As a boy, Mattia left his mentally disabled twin sister in a local park by a river to go to a classmate's party, when he returned an hour later, she was gone and her body was never found.

They get to know each other as teenagers, and immediately identify something they can relate to in the other, and develop a deep bond. As adults Mattia takes a post as a professor of Mathematics in another country, while Alice marries a doctor and tries to pass off her eating disorder and the physical damage it does to her as normal, as she works as a photographer's assistant.

By chance, Alice sees a woman who reminds her so much of Mattia, that she is convinced that the woman is his sister. She tells him to return home immediately, and he does, and it seems that all that they have felt growing up will finally have an outlet.

A fantastic read, and beautifully translated from the original Italian La Solitudine Dei Numeria Primi by Shaun Whiteside.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

More from the 2011 Sketchbook Project ...

Apparently the organisers of this are taking the sketchbooks 'Out West'.

Here are are few more images from my Sketchbook which I submitted last January.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Strange poses - female nude

Courtesy of Limerick Printmakers Live-drawing sessions - and this was a 20-minute pose, I think. Good thing the models are very strong, because this must have been a bit uncomfortable to hold for any length of time.

I'm not sure how successful I was in getting the foreshortening on the body, but it was a good study and a good test - in different ways for everyone involved! 

Friday, May 20, 2011

"That's fine in practice, but will it work in theory?"

A great sentence, expressed the late Dr Garret FitzGerald, former Taoiseach or Prime Minister of Ireland, who died yesterday morning during the first visit to the Republic of Ireland of Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip.

Next week we welcome another state visitor, President Obama of the United States and his wife.

It's an expensive month for the Irish state, but well worth the expense in terms of goodwill. The last time a British monarch officially visited the Republic of Ireland (Prince Charles' visit during the 1990s was not an official state visit) was immediately before the treaty that divided the island into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland - so this visit this week is a major event.

During a state visit the Queen gave a speech that resonated with many. The Queen's Speech

Twenty years ago, such a visit would have been unthinkable, but Dr FitzGerald felt it was important to make peace with our nearest neighbour, and put steps in motion and brought about the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

I am very glad that he lived to see that his practice has indeed worked out in theory, even if it needed some time to come about about.

RIP Dr Garret FitzGerald. May he go well. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Decade, Friars Gate Theatre and Arts Centre, Killmallock, County Limerick

Well, the paintings are there, all hung, Maurice is off composing a brilliant speech about my art and artistic sensibilities, the price list and bio is being printed off, and people are texting me to ask me when it's on.

All very exciting.

The paintings I have decided to hang are:

Ballyneale 2002

The Wrenboys 
Knockfierna Rambling House
Two in a Crowd
Dún na Gréine: Italian and French
Family Constitutional

Plus a four other new ones that I haven't got a decent picture of yet, including a delightful oil pastel drawing of Knockfierna that I had completely forgotten about. I ended up hanging only two of the four landscapes I painted for the occasion, one still needs work, and the other one looks great but the bloody canvas went wonky on me, so I'll have to get it into a box frame. But they can go to my other galleries ... :-)

And to find out more about the venue, here's the website: www.friarsgate.ie

Monday, April 18, 2011

Feeling better ... And a drawing.

Have decided on what I want for my exhibition in Kilmallock which starts in 3 weeks, only trouble is the amount of painting I still have to do for it, ho hum .... But as the weather is so good, and the light so nice, I should get a lot done every day.

This particular sketch is a five-minute number, and the way the model had twisted her body was very interesting in terms of chiarascuro - light and shade. I would have loved it if this could have been a longer pose, but alas ... 

Monday, April 11, 2011

The joys of being sick ....

It's so fricking annoying when you get a seriously bad cold/borderline 'flu in good weather. You can't do anything - I wanted to work in my garden and on paintings for the next solo exhibition in May, but I just couldn't, I was too knackered from coughing so much that I couldn't sleep. But thankfully I'm feeling well enough to do some text work, and hopefully I'll feel up to doing some painting tomorrow, and maybe some weeding too.

That's the trouble with good weather - everything grows like mad, and you have to really keep up with the weeds or the bloody things will take over.

So nothing interesting to report today. What image? Let's see ....

This is an oil pastel drawing from 10 years ago, it's called Ballyquin Farmyard, and is hanging in my mother's house. The actual piece looks much nicer, I don't think it's possible to capture the vivid colours in oil pastel drawings very well.

The actual farmyard is near the town of Newcastle West, County Limerick.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Forest Floor in spring

Only one word for it - celandines, celandines, celandines!

Glorious spring flowers of the forest like little bits of sun lighting up the dark. Fab.

I love them.

And I particularly like the way they take over bits of my garden and remind me that it was once part of a forested area too.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

First really exciting painting of 2011

Occasionally I start out with an idea, and it works out very different to how I plan it - or, as is usually the case, the opposite of 'plan' it, whatever that is - and it transforms into something surprising and unexpected and rather beautiful.

This is the first large oil painting I've started and finished in 2011, and it worked out something like that:

It's called All Time, Everywhere, Anyone, and measures 100 cm by 100 cm. Funny how figurative and abstract can manage to straddle a fence, isn't it?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Crowdfunding - being a patron of the arts

I love this idea. It's also described as 'micro-philanthropy'.

Basically arts councils and governments don't have the means to fund art projects at the moment, but people do want to support artists, writers, musicians, actors, etc., so this idea of 'crowdfunding' was born.

I first came across it on the Irish 'Business to Arts' website, and subsequently on Facebook also, and now I'm thinking that it would be a marvellous way to both support friends in their endeavours and to get support for endeavours of my own.

The website is www.fundit.ie

I like the way that you give what you can - you're not asked to produce millions, you can give just €10 if that's all you've got. And there is often a reward system in place too.

So if you can, do. If you can't right now, that's okay too. Everyone is short these days. But when you can, please do. Be a patron of the arts.

Don't forget that such donations can also be tax-deductible.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

News of what's going on with my Sketchbook from the ArtHouse crowd in New York.

Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
2011 Sketchbook Project Tour

First stop: Austin!

March 12, 2011 / 12:00-6:00pm
Austin Museum of Art
823 Congress Ave
Austin, TX

March 13th, 2011 / 12:00-6:00pm
29th St Ballroom at Spider House
2906 Fruth St
Austin, TX

More dates here!
Hello Sketchbook crew!

The 2011 Sketchbook Project Tour kicks off this week! Thanks again to all of you for contributing such inspiring work – we can't wait to take it on the road.

Our first stop is Austin, TX. We'll be at the Austin Museum of Art on Saturday, March 12 and the 29th St Ballroom at Spider House on Sunday, March 13 from noon until 6pm each day. See you there!

For updated tour dates and to follow our diary from the road, check out the new 2011 Sketchbook Project page.

If you have any questions for us, please be patient as we'll be traveling for the next couple of weeks. The best way to get help with any issue is via our support board.

We're also busy cooking up all kinds of new ideas for 2012 – please take a moment to fill out our survey for members of the Art House community and help us to create next year's experience! We're using your feedback to build our new website, which will launch in late spring with a host of exciting new features.

Also, please note that we're still hard at work designing the virtual library and digitizing thousands of sketchbooks! We're bringing every book to every tour stop and digitizing each time we return to Brooklyn. We'll be uploading hi-res scans of every page and launching the complete digital archive later on this spring.

Finally, our thanks again to everyone who participated. We'll see you on tour!

All best,
Art House Co-op

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Daghdha Dance Company, Limerick

This morning I learned that, due to no funding whatsoever, the Daghdha Dance Company in Limerick will be forced to cease. This is a great pity. It is an institution that has brought great life and colour to the city, and which has influenced a huge number of artists in the area generally.

And not just dancers and choreographers - a fair number of performance artists, writers, painters, printmakers, singers, and people from so many other unexpected disciplines all came and experienced Daghdha events and performances. Their Mamuska Nights evoked many diverse reactions, and inspired many to think in different directions. Daghdha added a vital shot of something that stirred everything up, showed up new possibilities and interpretations, and made us look again.

We thought they were mad. But they made us laugh, wonder, and more importantly, made us think. I think it very likely that the institution will be reborn in some form, and I look forward to this new incarnation of the Daghdha Dance Company, wherever it is. It would be good if it was in Limerick, but the various people involved will have to go where the work takes them. Let's hope that it brings them back to Limerick from time to time.

And I would love to know what is going to happen with the Space?

Added 7 March: If you want to help save the organisation, sign the petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/daghdha/petition-sign.html

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Absolutely thrilled to report that I have had nearly 5000 unique visitors to my blog, and have 31 followers. This is a huge jump since the start of this year!

If you have shared the link with friends, thank you so much. And please keep on sharing ....

I'm painting up some lovely sketches I did on watercolour paper in Paris last September, and will put a few of those up in celebration. Can't help thinking of them as 21st-Century Impressionism!!!! Especially in consideration of Renoir and Degas.

I've also heard back from the Art Library in New York, the sketchbook has been received and will be going on tour in the US - yay! I wonder if there is such a project in Ireland, if not, what a pity - maybe there should be. Hm.

And have the most brilliant idea for a painting .... and a nice largeish canvas to do it on.

Orla is a happy camper today, despite not having sold any art for months.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More oil paintings

Alone in a Crowd, 90x60cm, 2005

Getting Change at the Bar, 90x60cm, 2005

Returned Speculation, 90x60cm, 2005

I'd forgotten about these. Amazing what you find when you go tidying! 

These are composites taken from sketches done in pubs in County Limerick during 2004/2005. I'm not so wild about them now, but it's good to see where I've moved on. 

For sale: €800 plus shipping costs each. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

More sketches .....

Oil pastel sketch, from the Sketchbook Project, which I posted off last Friday.

Pencil and watercolour

A tracing, using a fine-tipped pen. A way of redoing the line! This one is my favourite.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


26 followers and 107 different countries, and over 4000 individual visitors. Hugs to you all!

I have some new works I can insert here, from the Sketchbook Project I'm doing with that crowd out of New York. It's been good, and quite instructive, but I am looking forward to going back to big.

Pencil drawing, pastel drawing and watercolour, respectively. I don't have a large area to work in, which makes it hard, scaling down is not that easy - but as I said, it's been instructive. Plus I'm rethinking the line.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Man with Two Bellies - watercolour sketch.

Thrilled to now have 24 followers, welcome to you newbies!

And of course a very Happy and Prosperous 2011 to you all, particularly the prosperous part ....

Right now I'm working on a Sketchbook Project, and will be uploading some examples of that over the next few days.

And now for an image to post .... let's see .....

The fun of the live sketch - I could not throw this away simply because it wasn't 'perfect', but I did think it was kind of fun at the same time. I think it's another way of explore time and images, that's all - and it's not like this hasn't been done in the past. I seem to remember a Renaissance painting of a Goddess with more fingers than the average Goddess, and for some reason spiders and weaving come to mind .....