Friday, March 30, 2012

Finally, another studio painting!

I've started a number of studio paintings recently and then gotten distracted and put them to one side. However, I finally finished this one today. I'm hoping to do some prints of paintings of local landmark scenes for the summer tourist market, and this will be probably be one of them. I was aiming for something other than a literal rendition of a photo, so hopefully the painting captures something of the mysterious energy of this special place.

A Golden Moment, Hook Head
(20" x 24" Oil on Canvas)

This is a close-up of a section of the painting, to give some indication of brushwork and texture:-

Finally, this is my "reference photo", but I just used it to frame my thoughts on composition. The painting is primarily based on my painting instincts, rather than slavishly copying anything.

Monday, March 26, 2012

St Mullins Paint-Out

A return visit by our plein air group to the little village of St Mullins yesterday (25/3/12), and what a day it turned out to be with temerature of aprrox 18C (64F) and clear blue skies all day. Last year we got our "summer" at the end of April, this year it has arrived a month earlier! I've painted at this place quite a bit and it was difficult to find anything I hadn't painted before, so for my first I settled for this upstream view of the river:-

Spring Morning, St Mullins
(10" x 12" Oil on Board)

Since the day was so good, I decided to push myself outside my comfort zone and try a larger format, so the next one was on a stretched canvas. This downstream view is alwas spectacular on a sunny afternoon, especially if the tide is out (the river is tidal here, even though it is about 10-15 miles inland):-

Spring Glow, St Mullins
(20" x 16" Oil on Canvas)

Since I had finished my second one by mid-afternoon, I decided to explore the upper part of the village away from the river. But, not having found anything particularly interesting to paint, I was on my way back down the steep hill, when this view stopped me in my tracks:-

Late Afternoon Light, St Mullins
(12" x 10" Oil on Board)

Here are some photos of the scenes:-

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Saltmills Paint-Out

I painted with a few friends in Saltmills on Sunday last (18/3/12). A very cold, but bright, sunny day, so a painter couldn't really ask for more in mid-March! The village itself didn't have much to offer in the way of painting material and the mud-flats were a bit uninspiring too. So I had to use a bit of creativity to make an interesting painting. This was my first of the day, and I couldn't wait to finish and get a hot cup of coffee!

Low Tide, Saltmills
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

Some of us decided to check out an old boat-wreck a couple of miles up the road from Saltmills, if for no other reason than to get out of the cold wind. Apparently, the last working steamboat in Ireland, it may be an eyesore to some nowadays, but not to us artists! I was going to do a conventional "portrait" of the boat, but found the combination of cast shadow, reflections and shallow water irrestible, so this painting is really about what's going on in the water:-

The Old Steamboat, Bannow Bay
(14" x 11 Oil on Board)

These are photos of both scenes, taken before I started. Apologies for the poor quality of the first one, which was taken facing the light with the camera in auto mode:-

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Thomastown Paint-Out and Daffodils

An enjoyable day painting with some friends in the village of Thomastown, Co Kilkenny last Sunday (10/3/'12). Disappointingly cloudy, but at least it remained dry all day and it was fairly mild for the time of year too. Thomastown has some really interesting buildings, especially when viewed from the river, so I focused on these. I painted the old mill for my first one - it now operates as a craft centre/school.

Grennan Mill, Thomastown
(12" x 12" Oil on Board)

For my second, I just turned around looking the opposite direction and liked the red glow of this building on an otherwise very dull afternoon.

The Red House, Thomastown
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

I did this quickie of some daffodils in my garden on Saturday (10/3/'12) - the sun obliged for an hour or so.

Coolree Daffodils
(12" x 10" Oil on Board)

These are photos of the two scenes in Thomastown and the bunch of daffodils:-

Monday, March 5, 2012


I painted with a few friends yesterday at the little South Wexford village of Duncormick. Quite a picturesque little place with a number of historic buildings and a river/bridge, so plenty to paint. But the place was worth a visit just to meet and chat with legendary publican John (Sam) Sinnott - a really nice man and proud owner of an authentic Irish country pub, unlike the places most tourists are lured into. The water addict in me took over again, and I just had to paint the river. For my first one, I went for the obvious and painted this "contre jour" view:-

Spring Sunlight, Duncormick
(14" x 11" Oil on Board)

My second one still has water in it, but it's got more to do with the shadow patterns on the bridge than the water below:-

Afternoon Shadows, Duncormick
(10" x 12" Oil on Board)

These are photos of both scenes, taken before I started (the sun disappeared just as I took the second photo, but it soon returned):-