Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Admiring the View - Finished

I finally got around to finishing this painting yesterday. Just a little more work on the foreground grass and some work on the middleground islands and water, just to push everything back some more.

Admiring the View, Valentia, Co Kerry.
(16" x 20 Oil on Canvas)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dead Calm

Our local plein air group had a paint-out yesterday at Carne Harbour, in the South-East corner of Co Wexford. We've had some lovely autumnal weather here recently - its been dry, quite mild but mostly overcast. Yesterday was similar but also exceptionally calm, so we were faced with fairly dull light and a virtually glass-like sea. I took my time before deciding on what to paint, and walked South for about ten minutes before I found a scene that interested me - I had to do a little re-arranging of rocks, but not much. The sun made a couple of efforts to shine through and, when it did, gave some beautiful silver reflections on the sea. I did my best to capture that even though the effect only lasted for about five minutes.

Dead Calm, Carne, Co Wexford
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

Here is a photo of the scene, taken before I started painting:-

Friday, September 25, 2009

Admiring the View - WIP

I've got this to about 90% finished. There are still a few unfinished passages and I may also make a couple of minor changes. One of those paintings that will benefit from being put away for a couple of days. I'll leave it until next week and have a fresh look at it before making any final adjustments.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Back in the Studio

A combination of a flu type virus (hopefully H1N1 - so I won't get it again!), which totally floored me, and less than perfect plein air conditions drove me back into the studio today after a break of almost six months. I took these photographs of sheep grazing on Valentia Island on the same morning that I painted "After the Storm", so I had some good plein air reference material for sky and sea colour. I remember that there was an intense golden light from the early morning sun and that is why I took the photos.

I decided to home in on the big fellow looking out to sea (possible title "Admiring the View"). I also re-arranged things a little, and included the distant Skellig Islands in the painting, which were just out of view to the left.

This was my block-in after about 45 minutes (the canvas is 16" x 20"):-

And here is where I got after about another two hours:-

I hope to finish the painting tomorrow. Feels real strange being back in the studio again. I found myself looking at the ceiling a few times checking for rain!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Two more from Valentia

These are the other two paintings I did while on vacation in Valentia, Co Kerry. Painted on Wednesday and Thursday mornings respectively, the weather had settled to such an extent that there was absolutely no cloud other than early morning fog out at sea.

The first one is of the lighthouse on Valentia Island. I got up early to paint his one because I wanted the sun to be partly behind the lighthouse. I liked how the rockpools left by the receding tide provided a lead-in to the scene.

Valentia Lighthouse
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

I painted the second one the following morning just beside the road from Portmagee to Ballinaskelligs at a place known as St Finian's Bay. Funny thing was that another artist had set up about twenty yards behind me and I didn't even notice until I was finished. It transpired that we had met previously at a paint-out event in my home town.

Morning Light, St Finian's Bay, Near Ballinaskelligs

Here are photos of the two scenes, taken before I started:-

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Skellig View

This is another painting I did while on vacation in Valentia, Co Kerry. This was painted on Wednesday afternoon, by which stage it had become warm and sunny. However, there was still substantial sea swell following the earlier storms, which made for a dramatic painting from this cliff-top near Portmagee. The distant Skellig rocks are about 10 miles out to sea. The larger one on the right was a monastic sanctuary right up until the mid-1800's and there is evidence of a monastery there there from as early as 600AD. It is really quite amazing to realize that people lived on what is little more than a large rock out in the wild Atlantic Ocean.

Skellig View, Near Portmagee, Co Kerry
(12" x 9.5"  Oil on Board)

Here is a photo of the scene:-

After the Storm

I'm just back from a week's vacation on beautiful Valentia Island in Co Kerry. The first couple of days were wet and stromy, but then it settled down. I painted this one after heavy overnight rain and wind. Everything still felt wet, but there was a beautiful crispness to the morning air.

Morning After the Storm, Bray Head, Valentia Island
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

This is a photo of the scene, taken before I started:-