Friday, September 3, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
In memory of my friend, John Quinn who died tragically on Sunday 11 July 2010. John was a kind, soft-spoken and generous man and I am so sorry that he will never get to see this painting that was done from one of his beautiful photographs.
John was a talented photographer and his passing is a great loss, not only to his friends and family but also to County Clare. We will always remember you, John and your photographs will live forever as testiment to your talent as photographer and love of Ireland.
Rest in peace, dear friend. Thank you for allowing me to use your photographs as references for my paintings. I will miss our chats, the rhubarb pie you always brought with you, endless cups of coffee and tea and your patience in trying to teach me to use my camera.
I miss you.
Friday, May 14, 2010
The Bible and other spiritual books were safely kept in the Voorkis on the trek wagon and was used not only for the evening’s religious gathering but also to educate children. The Trekkers strongly identified with the Israelistes of old so the Old Testament was the most read part of the Bible.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
These comments are often in other scripts and other languages. Please stop... it is useless as I will not publish your comments! You are wasting my time and yours.
Go play somewhere else.
If you do not have a legitimate comment to make about the content of this blog, please target people who are interested in the type of crap you are trying to sell.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Oils on canvas 50×70cm
I decided to do most of the work in this painting with the palette knife using crisp, bright colours. Ireland is spring time is a real delight for the eyes and a visit to Connemara is heavenly.
Connemara (in Irish: Conamara), which derives from Conmhaicne Mara (meaning: descendants of Con Mhac, of the sea), is a district in the west of Ireland consisting of a broad peninsula between Killary Harbour and Kilkieran Bay in the west of County Galway or south west Connacht.
The Ó Cadhla (Kealy) clan were the rulers of Connemara up until the 13th century, when they were displaced by the O Flahertys. The latter had fled into Iar Connacht from Maigh Seola during the English invasion of Connacht in the early 1200s. Like the Ó Cadhla clan, the Mac Conghaile (Conneely) clan was also a branch of the Conmhaicne Mara.
The coast of Connemara consists of a number of peninsulas. The peninsula of Iorras Ainbhtheach (sometimes corrupted to Iorras Aithneach) in the south is the largest and contains the villages of Carna and Kilkieran. The peninsula of Errismore consists of the area west of the village of Ballyconneely. Errisbeg peninsula lies to the south of the village of Roundstone. The Errislannan peninsula lies just south of the town of Clifden. The peninsulas of Aughris, Cleggan and Renvyle are found in the north-west of Connemara. Of the numerous islands off the coast of Connemara, Inishbofin is the largest; other islands include Omey, Inishark, High Island, Friars Island, Feenish and Mweenish.
The main town of Connemara is Clifden. The area around the town is rich with megalithic tombs
Monday, April 19, 2010
Oils on canvas.
I love teddy bears. They remind me of my childhood.
I really enjoyed doing this painting. The little teddy bear was a gift from my art students and I bought the little jug from a quaint shop in Doolin. The jug had other wording so I changed it to ‘Art if for Everyone’... the name of my art courses.
I love this little teddy – it is so cute with a tiny palette, apron and little brushes in it’s pocket.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
I really enjoyed the movie, Invictus - reminded me of those heady times when we believed there could be peace. I will lose myself in painting today because I need to escape from reality.
Bad memories and a deep sadness for ALL the victims and their suffering families throughout the years has come back to haunt me.
This is not about one man who lived in the past and had futile and sad illusions, but about ALL the people the world disregards and some even say: You deserve it. No one deserves this.
I think of the slogan on a TV channel... "we are African - not because we are born in Africa but because Africa is born in us". No matter where we are in the world, we know this will always be with us. We also know that we cannot expect anyone to understand.
But, if you have the stomach for it, take a look and remember. Today, I also remember a friend, Pieter Pieterse, a kind and talented man who was brutally taken away from us. Other friends, neighbours and way too close to home. After more than 7 years in Ireland, my memories have started to fade. Thank God.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
I found this quaint old coffee grinder in a shop in Miltown Malbay, County Clare and could not resist doing a still life painting. Cute cups, tea sets and all kinds of lovely items can be found in the shop.
And, of course, being a coffee lover, the subject matter kept me refilling the cup. Not good when you are painting as too much caffeine gives you a shaky hand!!
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Oil on gessoboard (10×8 inches)
I love painting eyes and really enjoyed painting this gorgeous leopard’s eye.
The leopard (Panthera pardus) has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, although it is of smaller and slighter build.
Its fur is marked with similar rosettes to those of the jaguar, though the leopard’s rosettes are smaller and more densely packed, and the leopard’s rosettes do not usually have central spots as the jaguar’s do.
The species’ success in the wild owes in part to its opportunistic hunting behavior, its adaptability to habitats, its ability to run at speeds approaching 58 kilometres per hour (36 mph), its unequaled ability to climb trees even when carrying a heavy carcass, and its notorious ability for stealth.
Leopards may sometimes be confused with two other large spotted cats, the cheetah and the jaguar. However, the patterns of spots in each are different: the cheetah has simple spots, evenly spread; the jaguar has small spots inside the polygonal rosettes; while the leopard normally has rounder, smaller rosettes than those of the jaguar.
The leopard is larger and much more muscular than the cheetah, but slightly smaller and more lightly built than the jaguar. The leopard’s rosettes are circular in East Africa but tend to be squarer in southern Africa.
The leopard is known for its ability in climbing, and it has been observed resting on tree branches during the day, dragging its kills up trees and hanging them there, and descending from trees headfirst. (wiki)
Thursday, February 25, 2010
There were 83 oil paintings by 25 artists of County Clare and they were all incredibly beautiful. The paintings were done on courses during 2009 and some of them were the first paintings ever done by my wonderful students!!!
We raised a substantial amount (980euro) for the Kilrush Lifeboat Station by raffle and had six great prizes. Congratulations to everyone who won a prize and our thanks to everyone who supported our exhibition and the raffle. The Kilrush Lifeboat Station is an incredible organisation and responsible for saving many, many lives!
Over the last few days, I have been trying to create a little 'video' of photographs taken during the 2009 and 2010 "Art is for Everyone" exhibitions and posted it to Youtube. So, this is just a little sample of photographs of the exhibitions and you can see some of the wonderful paintings in the background.
My thanks to all my friends and to everyone who braved a chilly evening. We had approximately 100 to 110 guests at the opening night! Our sponsors provided delicious wines, cheeses and other refreshments and we really appreciate their support. (They do not want to be mentioned by name but at the end of the video, credit is given to everyone who is too shy to be mentioned!
So, I hope you enjoy my first attempt to use Youtube!!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Oils on canvas
One of the quaint, old family stores in Kilrush. Hardly anything has changed over the years and this shop is absolutely fascinating – a step back into time in Ireland.
The shopkeeper, Donal O’Sullivan kindly posed for me when I told him I would love to paint his shop. I rearranged some items for artistic purposes but the painting is very close to what this fascinating old shop looks like. A definite place to visit should you ever come to Kilrush!!
This painting was quite a challenge and I could probably still work on it for many more months perfecting every little detail – but I decided that I don’t want to go down the ‘photo realism’ path as that is just not my style.
Even if I do use a photograph as reference, I leave most of the last sections and finishing touches to my imagination. To me, a painting must still look like a painting so I decided that this one is done….
To see a larger image... click here
Why I have been such a bad blogger...
Truth is, I have been a bit ill… and very worried too. I don’t exactly know how to say this as I did not want to explain but I decided perhaps I need to tell you why I have been away for so long…
Well… besides being busy with teaching and painting – which helped to keep me sane, I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in July last year and had to have several operations, etc, back and forth to hospital and needless to say, quite worried.
When you are suddenly confronted with the big ‘C’, you realise how short life can be. I am so thankful for my wonderful family and friends and through them all I was able to keep a positive attitude and the future is hopeful.
I was lucky in many ways… I have wonderful doctors and the medical staff are brilliant. It always takes some time to ‘get into the system’ but because of my caring GP, I got the diagnosis and operations necessary. Now, I can only hope and pray that this horrible, deadly cancer will not return.
I love the sun… most of my life was spent loving the sun and being outdoors. But the sun can be deadly and I can only ask that anyone who has ever ‘loved the sun’ PLEASE take care!! No tan is worth dying for!
To my friends who knew and supported me through this time… I can only say ‘thank you’... you will never know just how much it means to me.