Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Bit More Colour

I felt that I had become a little too tonal in some of my recent plein air paintings, so I deliberately pushed myself to see the colours in the close to neutral greys this morning, and then pushed those differences a little. Fairly pleased with the results.

For the first one, I just got out of my car and the light stopped me in my tracks looking up towards this local landmark. I think it was possibly a "mass rock" during the the Irish "penal laws" when Catholic services were deemed illegal. There are still occasional religious services held there - must find out more - so the title is temporary.

Mystic Morning, Forth Mountain
(10" x 12" Oil on Board)

For my second, I went further up the track and painted a rock outcrop I've done several times before, but the hazy backlight made it really striking, so I was happy to paint it yet again.

Hazy Morning, Forth Mountain
(10" x 12" Oil on Board)

These are photos of both scenes:-

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Couple of Larger Plein Airs

Our plein air group returned to the beautiful little village of Clonegal, Co Carlow yesterday, partly because it is such a beautiful location, but also because Ireland's main TV station was doing a piece on us for an upcoming show. Yours truly, being a modest fellow, shunned the camera and basically hid in the bushes, but they may have caught me munching on a sandwich at lunch! It was an overcast, but dry and calm day, so I decided to go for my seasonal larger plein airs. The driveway up to the castle still looked impressive in the overcast conditions, so I did that first, adding a few figures for interest.

Towards the Castle, Clonegal
(16" x 20" oil on Canvas)

In the afternoon most of us went up to the main gardens in Huntington Castle. The sun made an effort to peep through so I went for a sort of non-directional hazy light effect with my second. I must find out why there is something that obviously housed a bell on top of what is now just a shed at the back of the castle. Regardless, it was the colour on the roof that caught my eye here.

Wild Flowers, Huntington Castle Estate, Clonegal
(18" x 14" Oil on Canvas)

Here are a couple of photos of both scenes:-

Monday, April 11, 2011

JFK Arboretum Paint-Out

Our plein air group had a paint-out yesterday to JFK Arboretum (near the ancestral home of President John F Kennedy in South West Wexford). A beautiful place when you get a lovely sunny day like yesterday. It also has the advantage of having the more windswept and rugged Sliabh Coillte park nearby. We got a really good turn-out for mid-April and it was great to have quite a few new artists join our group.

I decided to capture some of the beautiful spring colour in the arboretum for my first.

Spring Colour, JFK Arboretum 
(14" x 11" Oil on Board)

I went across the road to Sliabh Coillte in the afternoon, and wasted a lot of time just looking for something to paint that I hadn't done there recently. Eventually, I settled for this panoramic view looking West from the summit. I had to re-arrange the foreground somewhat more than usual, but the perfect scene can be hard to find sometimes.

Down Towards the Barrow, Sliabh Coillte
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

Here are some photos of both scenes:-