Monday, August 31, 2009

Stormy Day, Annestown, Co Waterford

Our local plein air group had a paint-out in Annestown yesterday on Waterford's beautiful "Copper Coast". Unfortunately it started out foggy, then got wet and then very wet and windy. I managed to paint this when it was between "foggy" and "wet". It actually was fairly dry for about a half hour and then drizzle for about another 15 minutes. I was surprised I got so much done in about 45 minutes (about 80% finished)  before the weather defeated me - finished it this morning in the studio.

Stormy Day, Annestown, Co Waterford
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

This was my block-in:-

And this is how much I got done on location:-

Finally, here are a couple of photos of the scene, one when I started and the other when it began raining:-

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Reflections, Forth Mountain

I painted this one between showers yesterday afternoon. I liked the bright, near complimentary colours of the gorse and heather and the sky reflections on the flooded track.
Reflections, Forth Mountain
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)
This was my block-in:-
And a photo of the scene:-

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rocks in Morning Sunlight

I did a series of rock paintings on Forth Mountain last year and earlier this year. But this is the first time I painted this particular rock outcrop. It is usually frontlit from this angle and difficult to access from behind. So I had to get out fairly early to get this view, before the sun got around.

Rocks in Morning Sunlight
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

This was my block-in:-

Here's a photo of the scene. I had to edit out a lot of "clutter" to make the rocks the centre of attention.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

After the Rain

We've had a lot of rain over the last couple of days, but at least it started dry and sunny this morning. It clouded over fairly quickly though, with the sun peeping through every now again, which made it difficult since I started the painting in sunlight. The rivulets of water running down the forest track just had to be painted! I became so absorbed in the painting that I forgot to take any progress photos.

Something interesting usually happens when I paint plein air. Today a young lady and her rather nervous horse came down the track behind me. There was plenty room to get by, but I sensed that the horse was a bit agitated, so I volunteered to move. No need, said my young friend, just talk to her. Which I did and it worked!

Here's a photo I took while the sun was still shining:-

Friday, August 21, 2009

Blooming Heather

The heather is still in bloom on the Southern slopes of Forth Mountain near my home. It was such a beautiful sunny morning here that, even though I was tired having been on the road for a few days, I had to get out to paint it. I've painted this scene before looking South East towards Rosslare from Skeater Rock, but not in such bright morning sunlight. I really liked how the sun turned the distant sea a glaring silver colour, providing interest in that part of the painting and a nice counterbalance to the main heather-covered rock.

Sunny August Morning, Skeater Rock, Forth Mountain
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

This was my block-in (after about 15 minutes painting):-

And here's a photo of the scene, taken before I started. The light on the distant sea is lost because the photo is over-exposed.

Monday, August 17, 2009

More Harbour Scenes

Our local plein air group had a paint-out yesterday in Rosslare Harbour. Rosslare Harbour is mainly known for its busy ferryport, connecting Ireland with the UK and France. It's not a place that would immediately spring to mind as a paint-out location, but we managed to find our way to this wonderful little harbour known locally as "The Safe".

For my first painting I was drawn to this old fishing boat. At least I knew that it wasn't going anywhere!

Beached, The Safe, Rosslare
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

I forgot to take a progress photo, mainly because of an altercation with an extremely rude boat owner (don't ask!), but here's a photo of the scene:-

After lunch it had become decidedly cooler and was partially clouded over, but there was still enough sun peeping through to cause an attractive shimmer on the water. While there are boats in the painting, it is really more about capturing the choppy water.

Lined Up, The Safe, Rosslare
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

This was my block-in:-

And here's a photo of the scene:-

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Perfect Day

Well, a perfect morning anyway. Yesterday was one of those typical Irish summer days. I awoke to a clear blue sky and a crisp, slightly cool morning. Knowing that time was limited, I drove up the road to the forest on the Southern slopes of Forth Mountain and painted this in about two hours. Sure enough, it clouded over by mid-day as I expected. While painting I was joined by an elderly gentleman out walking his three beautiful dogs, English springer spaniels I think. They were as interested in my painting as he was. Turned out he was a mine of information about other trails in the area.

The painting is 11" x 14" oil on board, and for anyone familiar with the area, it's the track that leads down to the Regal Lodge on the Duncannon Road.

Here is my initial block-in, after about twenty minutes painting:-

And here is a photo I took before I started:-

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Harbour Scenes

I've tried a few marine harbour scenes recently. It's tricky trying to draw accurately while still keeping it loose. These are from yesterday. I was delighted to be able join two other painter colleagues for the day in the little coastal villages of Duncannon and Arthurstown. It helped also that the day was warm and sunny!

In the morning scene, I was attracted to the old fishing boat in the inner harbour. I also liked how the slightly opaque water in that area of the harbour provided both shadows and reflections. I forgot to take a photo of this scene, but I made very few changes to what I was looking at. I just edited out a lot of the junk (boxes, pallets, etc) beyond the boat, brought the background shadow area down somewhat to frame the cabin of the boat, and moved the floating buoys into the scene from the left, making sure that one of them was set off by the cast shadow of the boat.

After lunch, we drove a couple of miles to Arthurstown, where I painted the second one. The tide had gone out leaving the boats stranded on wet silt, so the reflections were fairly subdued. Other than the boat, what really caught my eye was the nice background light and the blueing of the distant landmass. I remembered to take a photo of the scene this time. Again, I did only limited editing to the scene, just moving stuff around a little for compositional reasons.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Urban and Rural

I painted the street scene on an overcast but pleasant Sunday afternoon. The second one was done in the forest about a mile from my home on Wednesday.
I much prefer painting nature than man-made things. However, the street scene was an enjoyable challenge and I feel I learned a lot from doing it, not least that six-year-olds are very street-wise these days. Two little girls kept running back and forth from me to another artist about twenty feet ahead. I suggested that the other artist was much better than me to see what reaction I'd get. The very considered answer from one of them was "No, he just started sooner". A future diplomat I think!

Some More Photos from ArtintheOpen Week-End

These photos just give some idea of the great buzz there was on the streets, when the sun came out on Saturday. There were artists literally around every street corner.

ArtintheOpen - Ireland's Premier Plein Air Painting Festival

Ireland's premier plein air painting festival took place on the streets of my home town, Wexford, last week-end. It was a great success again this year with over 80 participating artists, including for the first time an overseas presence (two lovely ladies from Conecticut USA, Jennifer Holmes and Catherine Elliot, and Rob Ijbema, a Dutch artist now based in Wales). These were the three paintings I entered in the competition and exhibition.