Saturday, September 24, 2016

Man Standing



I think this was a sketch I did in Lisbon, Portugal, and the man was mesmerised by a group of Cape Verde musicians playing and singing outside of CafĂ© Brasiliera. And they were wonderful musicians, it was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours and enjoy a few coffees. And get some sketching in. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

White Strand sprats


Kind of had to up the resolution in this one so that the sprats could be seen! I took this photo May 2016 during our mini road trip to White Strand near Spanish Point in County Clare, on what was probably the first day that really felt sort of summerish - for Ireland, all things being relative.

What is it about light on water that always affects you? Is is the movement of the light on the water, or how the colours are affected? Or does it have to do with us being mostly water, or perhaps with the notion that water can represent the subconscious? Or all of the above?

No matter. It was beautiful and restful and chilled on the warm rocks there. I think it will form some kind of annual pilgrimage, harking back to when we'd go to Spanish Point for a week in the summer for the Willie Clancy Summer School. 

Back in Petrin Park I, II & III, in Prague




This couple were sitting several metres away from me, and kept moving around on the grass and talking. It was a lovely warm and sunny afternoon, as I recall. Spending the afternoon in the park with your honey was the best thing, especially in a city as lovely as Prague. 

I found the pencil drawings again after many years during one of my Great Declutter Sessions, and decided to paint them up a little - I wanted to suggest a 'hook' in each image, something like what the late Susan Sontag wrote about photographs, that each photo has something that draws a viewer in, which she called a 'punctum'. So I ended up called these my Prague Punctum Pictures.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Still life study: Pears and clover flowers in oil pastel


I'd completely forgotten about this drawing until I was tidying things up to photograph them, I did it last summer.

It's always good to have fruit in the house, it's something to draw AND it's healthy - score! 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Cow's parsley on Valentia Island



Simply sharing this photo from the day trip a few weeks ago to Valentia Island. It's fertile but fairly exposed in places, so not a lot of trees grow away from the eastern end of the island, but it is lovely. And there's the light. Valentia is one of the few places in the Western World that ISN'T affected by light pollution, you get a very clear view of the night sky - if it isn't raining, of course. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Palermo Sea Front with 5 figures


I really liked Palermo. Particularly the boardwalk/park set-up near the harbour with the huge ceramic things that were more like beds than benches, and were half the city would come for the running in the early evening. Lots of people stretching, sitting, relaxing, moving. Many with their dogs and kids as well. 

What is it about some places that they take such a hold on your imagination? Many Italians from the north of the country told me that I shouldn't bother with Sicily, or anyplace south of Rome, but honestly, of the mainland cities I liked Naples the best, and if I were to return to Italy any time soon, I'd go to Sicily again. I've said it in previous blogs that Palermo has a particular energy, like it was built over a strongly beating black heart that vibrates up through the buildings. It has so many different architectural styles, you go around a corner and there's a fabulous Baroque church front, or a Norman castle, or you're into a souk-like warren of streets. 

I did like other parts of Sicily that we visited, there were some lovely places along the south coast that I'd like to visit again, and a few places that we missed, like Marsala, and Siracusa. And I wouldn't mind seeing more of the islands as well.