Monday, April 23, 2012

Group Paint-Out at Woodstock Gardens

No, not the legendary Woodstock of rock and roll fame, but instead magnificent formal gardens near Inistiogue in Co Kilkenny. It turned out to be a fairly bleak cold day, with frequent passing hail showers. Even so, the light was really quite brilliant between the showers, and if you want to paint plein-air in Ireland, you have to accept what Mother Nature throws at you and just get on with it.

I took on a very difficult subect for my first one, and I would have made it a bit easier on myself, if I had brought a larger panel. As a result, after a lot of scraping off and re-painting, this one took me just over two and a half hours, a full hour or more than I usually spend on a plein-air piece.

The Tea Room, Woodstock Gardens
(12" x 10" Oil on MDF Board)

It had become even more showery by mid-afternoon, so I found a large tree to get under and just painted this bare tree in front of me, which sort of stood out from the others. I tried to be a bit more expressive with this, hoping to convey the rythmical almost dance-like feel of the tree.

The Last Bare Tree, Woodstock Gardens
(12" x 12" Oil on MDF Board)

Here are a couple of photos of the scenes:-

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Cold Day at the Seaside!

Five brave souls, including yours truly, decided to brave the cold North-Easterly airflow yesterday and paint on the exposed cliff-tops of Baginbun Head in South Wexford. Despite the cold, it was a beautiful clear, sunny day, although it did cloud over a bit later in the afternoon. I was really drawn to this spectacular "contre jour" view for my first one.

Cliff Shadows, Carnivan Beach
(10" x 12" Oil on Board)

I wanted to see what I could do in a half hour or so for my second one (planning to do some early morning / late evening sketches this summer) - hence the small panel. The Atlantic is usually a dull green colour around the Irish coast, even on the brightest days, but a combination of unusually calm weather and an offshore North Easterly wind made it look more like the Mediterranean in mid-summer.

Turquoise Blue, Carnivan Beach
(8" x 8" Oil on Board)

I went for "the obvious" in the afternoon, with this panoramic view of Carnivan Beach. The sun was coming and going by then, so it was a bit of a painting struggle. Hopefully, I still managed to capture something of the beauty of this magical place.

Sunny Spring Afternoon, Carnivan Beach
(12" x 16" Oil on Board)

Here are some photos of the scenes:-

Monday, April 2, 2012

Painting at Duncannon

A rather cold, cloudy spring morning, but the brave/foolhardy among us decided to go to the seaside village of Duncannon for a paint-out! It's a rather picturesque place, once you look beyond the hideous apartment block right on the beach, and also has a very interesting fortress dating right back to the 16th century (constructed by the Birtish in anticipation of a Spanish invasion). The light was mostly flat and fairly boring in the morning, but the sun made some effort to come through occasionally, so I gave it a little help by warming up my first painting a little, while not implying direct sunlight.

Spring Morning, Duncannon
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

The sun came out for about half an hour in the afternoon, so I got drawn instantly to this "contre jour"view of the other side of the fort. Since it got cloudy again fairly quickly, I had to rely quite a lot on memory and guesswork to complete the painting!

Afternoon Light, Duncannon
(12" x 12" Oil on Board)

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