Monday, January 21, 2019

Leaping the Clints

Or is it the grykes? No matter.


Once tourists are released from the confines of their coach into the otherworldly, lunar landscape of the Burren, they tend to want to explore a bit. And the younger ones want to release their pent-up energy, so they start to run and leap and chase each other. One of my small squares of acrylic on board I made in 2017. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Hills that guard Dingle Bay


This was one of pair I sketched on location in Kerry and painted up later with watercolour, and its mate is here. I did a couple more that day, must dig them out and take a look at them. 

Pencil and Watercolour sketch: Lunchtime in the National Gallery of Ireland Café, April 2018


Just a quick sketch of some people taking a break from looking at the artworks in the National Gallery in Dublin. What I loved about this place was the nice white walls and good light, which enabled me to see lots about the people around me. I quite enjoy urban sketching. 

Friday, January 4, 2019

Aherlow Cows in Low Winter Sun


This is probably my favourite painting I made last year. The light was really special ... and every time I see it I want to do more of them.

Trouble is, that light is very rare in a country that gets as much cloud cover as we do here in Ireland, but when we get it, it's so special. The only way to capture it is to get lots of photographs!

And cows, too ... the sounds and smells of my childhood. 

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Old famine village at Knockfierna, County Limerick

Technically this is a reconstructed village which was abandoned during the Famine that occurred in the 1840s and halved the population of the country. There were 8 million people living in Ireland in 1840, and by 1850 it was down to 4 million. While a good chunk of this number were emigrants - refugees,  if you will, or indeed migrants, to use the word that's fashionable currently - to the Americas, England, France and other places, many died before they could leave, and many died on their journeys - so many that it was said that the sea floor between Ireland and America was white with the bones of Irish people. Of course, this can be taken as poetic licence, but the fact is, whole families disappeared and were never heard of again, villages became ruins, and places like Knockfierna were reclaimed by the gorse. It remains unclear just how many died as a result of starvation.