Monday, December 5, 2011

Another Studio Painting

I just finished this new studio painting this morning. It's based on a plein air I did last year.

Autumn Afternoon, Carnivan Bay
(24" x 30" Oil on Canvas)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Windy Morning in West Kerry

This studio painting is based on a small plein air study I did in West Kerry earlier this year. It was a wet, windy morning and about difficult as plein air can get before it becomes impossible. It was real fun to do a larger studio version without having to worry about the weather (or the large mountain ram who kept checking me out while doing the plein air!). I played around a lot with texture variation in this one to enhance the separation and distance between the foreground rocks and the sea below.

Rough Seas, Near Brandon Creek
(30" x 24" Oil on Canvas)

This is a detail showing the degree of texture in the foreground rocks (mostly knifework):-

Friday, November 4, 2011

Another West Kerry Painting

This is a large studio painting based on a plein air I did earlier this year. I laid the paint on in thick impasto strokes to depict the main breaking wave, as I felt it helped to capture the sheer power of it. I can still hear the loud bang every time a wave hit that rock!

Windy Afternoon, Clogher Head
(24" x 30" Oil on Canvas)

Here's a close-up to give some idea of texture:-

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Summer Morning, Coumeenoole (West Kerry)

This is a larger studio painting, based on a small plein air done earlier this year. I made some minor compositional changes, but otherwise remained fairly true to the observed colour.

Summer Morning, Coumeenoole
(24" x 20" Oil on Canvas)

This is the original plein air painting and a photo of the scene:-

Monday, October 17, 2011

Altamont House Paint-Out

We had a group paint-out to the beautiful Altamont House and Gardens in Co Carlow yesterday,. We were blessed with a beautiful sunny day, but unfortunately limited painting time due to a late start and early closing time. Still I managed to do one painting. The photo has come out a bit blotchy for some reason. In particular the softer passages of the painting are less textured than they appear on the photo.

Autumn Sunlight, Altamont House
(14" x 11" Oil on Canvas)

This is a photo of the scene:-

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ballymaloe House Paint-Out

I joined a neighbouring plein air group for a paint-out at beautiful Ballymaloe House yesterday. It was a dull misty morning, but cleared up a little in the afternoon. I had to look hard to find some colour in the morning, but found these dahlias in the yard.

Dahlias, Ballymaloe House
(10" x 12" Oil on Board)

Since the sun was coming and going in the afternoon, I settled for this shaded corner of the garden for my second painting.

A Quiet Corner, Ballymaloe House
(14" x 11" Oil on Board)

Photos of both scenes:-

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Back in the Studio

It's probably been over a year since I did my last studio painting, but I finally got the urge to do so a few days ago. This is based on a plein air painting I did earlier this year.

Towards Clogher Head, West Kerry
(20" x 24" Oil on Canvas)

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Day in Leighlinbridge

We had a group paint-out in the picturesque little village of Leighlinbridge, Co Carlow, yesterday. Unfortunately, it quickly turned into a very wet and windy morning, but a local hotel kindly let us paint under the large umbrellas in their external dining area, overlooking the river and marina. I did my first painting while it was raining and was immediately drawn to the red and yellow boat. I still had to push the colours a bit for added impact.

"Standing Out from the Crowd", Leighlinbridge
(12" x 10" Oil on Board)

The sun came out for a short while in the afternoon, but it quickly clouded over, so I had to rely a lot on memory to complete my second one.

Afternoon Reflections, Leighlinbridge
(12" x 10" Oil on Board)

These are acouple of photos of the scenes:-

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Day in Courtown

Our plein air group went to Courtown in North Co Wexford yesterday. It started off cloudy, then rained for a couple of hours, and then became sunny but very windy - a good Irish day then! Actually, it worked out quite well, because the rain came just as we were about to break for lunch.

I wasted about twenty minutes painting my frst one, when one of the boats disappeared! So I had to start again. This time I fell for the charms of the "Brazen Hussy", hard to resist that bright colour on a dull morning.

Morning Reflections, Courtown
(10" x 12" Oil on Board)

I didn't start my second until almost 4-00 pm, waiting for the light conditions to become more settled. I was rewarded with lovely glowing light.

Afternoon Reflections, Courtown
(12" x 10" Oil on Board)

Finally, here a photos of both scenes:-

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bright Sunlight!

Seems like we've had nothing but grey days here for weeks on end, so even though I was tired, having been on the road for a few days, I headed down to my favourite headland in glorious sunshine yesterday morning. It clouded over later in the afternoon, but I managed to complete this while the sun was shining.

Summer Afternoon, Carnivan Beach
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

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

Monday, August 22, 2011

Screen and Ballyhack Paint-Outs.

I did this one a couple of weeks ago in the picturesque little village of Screen. A bit showery, but nice bright sunlight in between. I got drawn to these old tree stumps behind a derelict building. Had to move things about a bit, but I like the resulting composition.

Fallen Trees
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

I did this one yesterday at a group paint-out in Ballyack. It was mostly overcast, but there was a hint of sun every now and then and I tried to capture that light effect.

Harbour Reflections, Ballyhack
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

Here are photos of both scenes:-

Monday, August 15, 2011

Some Stuff from Art In the Open Festival

It's been a busy few weeks, so I haven't really painted that much. Our annual plein air festival ( was bigger than ever this year, with over 120 artists entering the main competition and probably another 100 or so attending workshops and other events. It was also great to see a much increased international presence this year.

I managed to paint for 3-4 hours on the Saturday of the main event and also got out to paint on a local beach a few days later. As a steering committee member, I was excluded from the competition, but allowed to enter a few paintings in the exhibition. The first one below is no surprise, as I always get drawn to water. The second is a famous Wexford landmark, its rather dull exterior playing down the fact that  the Centenary Stores is really a lively place comprising a pub, restaurant and nightclub. I think it is this which attracted me to it, but I also liked the fact that I could see a lot of subtle warm reflected light in the front facing wall, despite the dull, overcast conditions.

Reflections, Wexford Quay
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

The "Stores", Wexford
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

Finally, I got out to paint at a local beach a few days later. It turned into a beautiful sunny afternoon, made extra special by the generosity of one of our painting colleagues, who hosted a barbecue for almost 50 artists. To top it all, I sold this one "off the easel" to a lovely German lady who was on vacation in Wexford.

Summer Afternoon, Rosslare Strand
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

Here are some photos of the scenes, taken before I started in each case.

Monday, July 25, 2011

"Art in the Open" Begins!

Yesterday's paint-out to the riverside town of New Ross marked the beginning of our annual plein air festival. Now in its fourth year, it has just gotten bigger and bigger. We already have almost 100 pre-registered on line and the main festival competition doesn't begin until Friday! This year we will have some 12-15 international artists which will add tremendously to the festival.

Yesterday's paint-out was a relatively low-key affair, but there were still approximately twenty of us. I stuck to the obvious (for me!), choosing two riverside subjects. The first show the replica "Dunbrody Famine Ship" in the background, now a permanent visitors attraction. The original Dunbrody would have brought the unfortunate, or perhaps, the more fortunate famine victims in search of another chance at life in the USA. Still many would have died en route on these voyages, probably mainly from famine related illnesses such as typhoid fever. While I painted the boat, my painting interest was the left foreground area with the striking reflections. It was quite a dull, but warm and humid morning.

Morning Reflections, New Ross
(14" x 11" Oil on Board)

It brightened up a little in the afternoon, but it still remained mostly cloudy. This permanent fixture on the quayside provided some welcome colour. The owner runs frequent river tours daily on a separate boat which is usually moored to the outside of "The Galley". I considered painting both boats from the other side, but thought better of it, having been victim to disappearing boat syndrome on a number of occasions!

"The Galley", New Ross
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

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

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Two West Kerry Seascapes

I painted these about six weeks ago but then forgot about them (well, I did spend three weeks in France in the meantime!). When I looked at them again this morning, I noticed that the highlights had "sunk" quite a lot, so I restated them in thicker impasto strokes. Perhaps no longer plein air to the "purists", but better paintings for the changes.
Both were painted on a foggy monring in West Kerry. I was almost going to turn around and go home but decide to stick with it as the fog started to lift. The first one was painted as the light was coming and going, but it had cleared away completely by the time a started the second one.

Fog Clearing, Cloger Strand
(10" x 12" Oil on Board)

After the Fog, Near Clogher Strand
(10" x 12" Oil on Board)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Some Paintings from France

I'm just back from an extended holiday in France, which included a week painting with the renowned Wapping Group. It was great to meet up again with such renowned artists as Trevor Chamberlain, Bert Wright and Michael Richardson and many other too numerous to mention. So a lot of healthy competition then for someone who doesn't usually paint street scenes!

Here is one from Honfleur:-

The Lieutenant's House, Honfleur
(10" x 12" Oil on Board)

And one from Saumur:-

Sunday Lunch, Place St Pierre, Saumur
(14" x 11" Oil on Board)

I did this one in the beautiful little town of Bayeux on my way back to Cherbourg:-

The Day Before the Fair, Bayeux
(12" x 10" Oil on Board)

Here's a photo of the first scene:-

More to follow when I get time.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Ferrycarrig Paint-Out

Our local plein air group went to the Heritage Park, Ferrycarrig, just outside Wexford town, yesterday. A disappointingly cloudy day (apart from when we took a break for lunch!), so I decided to have fun. A little imagination led to a lot of colour!

Pond Ripples, Ferrycarrig
(12" x 10" Oil on Board)

High Tide, Ferrycarrig
(12" x 10" Oil on Board)

And a couple of photos of both scenes:-