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.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Sixty-Six Days: Day Two, Tues 11 October

I seem to have hit a wall with the literary landscapes thingie, mainly because it looks like I will have to replace our printer. Annoying. I also need to learn a few more Photoshop skills for it. I was doodling some ideas because I want to add figures in there somehow, and it occurred to me that animals might be a good choice, for all kinds of reasons. Hm. I have some drawings and images of people that I thought I might like to use, but none of them are speaking to me. So I put those aside again. Can do nothing until I have the tech aspect of that sorted anyway.

So I ended up doing a quick coloured charcoal drawing of some clutter on the table in front of me, and again was reminded of what you can do with a limited palette. Sometimes impose that discipline in colour is refreshing, especially when done on coloured paper.




What kept going through my mind is a new painting project, and a name for it came to me. This morning I found myself looking for one of my sketchbooks so I could get started on some composites to make paintings. Group portraits, double portraits, two-faced [sic] portraits, scenes from the streets. I even came up with a list of people I'd like to portray. And do I ever have access to visual material ....

Sixty-Six Days: Days 3 and 4

This was a Wednesday and because I was going off to Pilates in the evening and had a pretty busy morning and early afternoon, I didn't get to do much artwork. So let's skip to Thursday, when I went and found some watercolour drawings I hadn't painted yet, and Friday, when I did a bit more of them.

I found five little sketches of people in Galway that I had made in 2013, when we went up to the city for a day out at the Arts Festival. Great, you might say, but unfortunately they are on 3 pieces of watercolour paper. So I have two double-sided drawings. But because they are on good paper, and the same size, I'm thinking that I will be able to frame them in such a way that they are double-sided pieces. Of course I have to finish painting the reverse sides now too. Watercolour paint needs to dry!

I also found some lovely pencil sketches from a life-drawing session in Limerick Printmakers a few years ago, when they were down on Sarsfield Street, and I have started painting some of them up too. I must get back into that, it was fun.


Bathroom mirrors can be so handy. 

Photo of three on the beach, Ballyheigue



2015 was the year that Ireland had a glorious summer, but everywhere else didn't. This photo was taken in April, and there were already some hardy souls out playing in the water - the cold North Atlantic - and enjoying the sun. We didn't realise it at the time, but the tide was starting to come back in and later on we would get caught at the far end of the beach, and our options were to risk breaking our ankles on the stones or climb over the dunes and find a way back to the village that way. We took the second option.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Sixty-six days: Day 1: the first Monday

The objective is to create a good habit, and according to research, it takes 66 days to cement a good habit into your life.

I might not do the entire 66 days one after the other, but what harm. I have other commitments too.

On Day 1 of 66, I finally finished a seascape in acrylic on paper to my satisfaction, and worked on another larger painting. The seascape was one of those that I'd put aside, in part due to other commitments not directly related to making art, but also because I couldn't see where the problem was and I have found that in such cases, it's good to put it away for a bit and when you see it with fresh eyes, it's much clearer what's not working.

What I did? Instead of beating myself up over not painting really early in the morning, I decided to take up the brush in the evening. I find I want and often need to do other things early in the day anyway, like meet deadlines for text work, sort out administration, run errands, do housework, gardening. And now that it's getting darker earlier, painting in the evening makes more sense when you need the daylight time to be outside.

I'm mulling over starting a new body of work, in addition to the literary landscapes thing.

Ballyheigue, seaweed and surf, 2016

Friday, October 14, 2016

Instagram, and a photo from 2014

A few weeks ago I started an Instagram account, and while it's fun, it's nowhere near as good as taking a photo with a proper camera, that you can edit.

My other half DigitalDolf thinks I should start taking photos as RAW files instead of JPG files because RAW files hold more visual information which makes for better images in the long run. He has a point, as anyone who has viewed his WordPress account will agree.

But in order to use Instagram, you need to be online all the time to shoot, edit and upload. It's great in many ways, but sometimes you might accidentally shoot and upload something first and regret it later .... while instant and online and globally shareable have their merits, there are times when it's wise to sit and wait.

And I haven't uploaded all the photos on my phone to Instagram, I will be keeping a few to use to make paintings. Am redisovering landscape ... and ways of using technology to make images.

Now all I need to do is find out how to replace the particular print head on my printer. Sigh.

Feel free to follow me on instagram.


The Skelligs in the Distance from Valentia Island, 2014

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Guy in Orange and Blue

Guy in Orange and Blue, 2014


I forgot about this one, I did it in late 2014 on a tiny little canvas for a group exhibition in Moneygall, along with a few others. It was cute.

The drawing it was from was included in a composite painting entitled Carrier Of This Reality which I made not long after I finished art college. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Biro drawing at An Seabhac, the wine bar in Rathkeale


An Seabhac - 26 October 2001

Another one found when I was having a declutter. Gosh, I have so much work that I've forgotten about ... but as this is in one of my hardback sketchbooks, it won't be sold on. 

A biro is a cheap ball-point pen, I'm not sure if the word is used widely outside of Ireland.

'An Seabhac' is the Irish for 'The Hawk', and was apparently the code name for local commander of the old IRA in the early part of the 20th century, not to be confused with the thugs, drug-dealers, bank robbers, pimps and child traffickers who call themselves the IRA today. 

It was also the name of this legendary tiny wine bar in the town of Rathkeale, County Limerick, where we spent many, many Friday nights enjoying the music and the lovely food. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Bohemia Bagel



Bohemia Bagel I, II and III

I thought I had these scheduled to be published on my blog as of last week, but no matter, these things happen. 

Bohemia Bagel was this franchise in Prague that did simple light lunchy or breastfasty or snacky things, as well as interesting teas, coffees and hot chocolates. There happened to be a fairly large one near where we were staying the second time we were in Prague, and we ended up going there for breakfast and other meals more than once. It was a good place for sketching too. Part of my Prague Punctum series.