Monday, August 24, 2009

Dressing for Art?

Is it art or do some people just dress for the part? I have seen some really wacky people (they call themselves 'artists') - the work they do speaks for itself - they seem to take more time dressing the part than doing the art! Anyway, its a funny world sometimes and there is a place for all of us. 

I am probably 'wacky' as well as I really don't care much for dressing up and always wear paint splattered clothes although I am quite a neat artist - the occasional splatter happens to the best of us. And I hate shoes. Winters in Ireland means I must wear shoes (or at least walk on socks when I am at home). However, summer time is shoeless time and my toes love the feeling of freedom. 

I always joke that I have feet like a Landrover's tyres! Broad with great tread and enough strength in my toes to hang out of a tree like our primate ancestors. Its a sin to constrict them in shoes.

Back to art. 

I have not had lots of time to paint over the last few months as teaching keeps me busy all the time. But I always have several works in progress which means that now and again I can upload new works. 

I am working on several wildlife paintings which always take a long time to finish - and so they should! Oil paints are wonderful but slow to dry so I love jumping around and choosing different things to paint - I could never paint the same thing again as my boredom threshold just won't allow it.  Oh and I must extol the wonderful properties of Rembrandt oils! Wow... I have been using them for some time now and just cannot get enough of the absolute brilliance of the colours and texture! 

So, what am I working on every spare moment when I am not teaching? Hah!
A polar bear (close to finish)
Rhino and baby
Huge male lion (close to finish)
Fighting springbuck rams
A five face portrait for my teaching class
A shop scene in Kilrush (very complicated and great fun)
A building in Kilrush (so far only the drawing complete)
Boat scene in Kilrush
An otter (almost finished)

So, when you don't see me so often, you know what I am doing! Oh, I just thought of something else to paint... I hope I live long enough to finish them all!!

"Thirsty Elephants" - Oil Painting

Oils on canvas (20×30 inches)

I have been working on this painting for a very long time (probably more than a year – on and off) and I always found something more to do. (Artist’s dilemma – never knowing when to stop!!!)

But now I think there is nothing more I can do without ‘over-doing’ so this painting is now finished!

Poaching significantly reduced the population of elephants in certain regions during the 20th century. The use of elephant tusks (ivory) is still greedily being sought by stupid and irresponsible humans. During my visit to an elephant sanctuary in South Africa one of the wonderful keepers explained that we no longer have the huge, magnificent ‘tuskers’ as hunters virtually wiped out the gene pool.

"Sailing past Scattery Island, Kilrush, Ireland" - oil painting

Oils on a round linen canvas. I had lots of fun painting this view of a boat/yacht sailing past Scattery Island, Kilrush, County Clare, Ireland.

The view is of the ancient ruins of the church and round tower on Scattery Island.