Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wexford Wildfowl Reserve

An impromptu paint-out with a few friends yesterday at the wildfowl reserve a few miles North of Wexford town. And a beautiful day it was too, with unbroken sunshine all day. The manager of the reserve was kind enough to allow us in among the natural ponds/lagoons, an area usually closed to the public. The first scene reminded me very much of my first feeble attempts at plein air painting at a workshop in California. I can remember trying to capture the brilliance of mid-day summer sunlight on similar ponds and failing dismally. I'm a little more pleased with this one.

Summer Morning, Wexford Wildfowl Reserve
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

For my second one, I drove about a mile up the road, where there's a sort of a beach. The sand turns into mud nearer the water, so it's not really suitable for swimming, but it does have great views back towards Wexford town.

Late Afternoon, North Slob, Wexford
(12" x 12" Oil on Board)

These are photos of both scenes, taken before I started.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Carne Paint-Out

I went down to Carne Pier yesteday to paint with a few friends. It was an overcast day in Wexford, but Carne has a sort of micro-climate which often leads to clear skies down there. Yesterday was no exception - we were blessed with a day of warm sunshine and clear blue skies. I walked about a mile down the coast for my first one. I had painted in that particular spot a couple of years ago and had a fair idea that the sun would be where I wanted it at that time of morning.

Sunlit Rocks, Carne
(14" x 11" Oil on Board)

I decided to try something totally different for my second, and liked the challenge of capturing the semi-transparent windows in these backlit greenhouses.

Greenhouses, Carne
(11" x 14" Oil on Board)

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

Friday, May 18, 2012

Baginbun Head Revisited

I wasn't particularly pleased with the foreground water in the painting I posted yesterday. So after having a good long look at it this morning, I decided to completely re-work the foreground water. I also worked on the distant headland on the left, to make it more consistent with the strong backlighting there. I'm much more pleased with it now

Sunny Evening, Baginbun Head
(12" x 10" Oil on Board)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

An Evening Paint-Out

Well, I suppose not quite a group paint-out, since there were only two of us. But a lovely sunny evening, despite being unseasonably cold for May, made for an enjoyable time. Unfortunately, the sun went down behind a cloud bank at about 7-30 pm, so I didn't get the chance to attempt one of those "golden hour" ones. At least I came away with one half decent painting:-

Sunny Evening, Baginbun Head
(12 x 10" Oil on Board)

This is a photo of the scene, taken just before I started to paint:-

Monday, May 7, 2012

Back to Kells

We had a group paint-out yesterday in the little village of Kells, Co Kilkenny. There's not much to paint in the village itself but there's an interesting river nearby, some former grain mills and the ruins of an old priory. It was a cold but sunny start, so I made sure to stay in the sunlight and settled for this view of the river beside the priory.

A Sunny Morning, Near Kells
(12" x 10" Oil on Board)

It had become mostly cloudy by afternoon and I found it difficult to see anything interesting to paint. Inevitably, I found myself drawn towards the rushing water in the nearby mill race. However, getting the most interesting view involved making my way out onto the weir (the rive level was low enough so that the top of the weir was above water). Despite almost falling in twice while stepping back from my easel, I managed to comlete the painting and get something close to what I wanted. Hopefully, it was worth the risk!

On the Weir, Near Kells
(12" x 10" Oil on Board)

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

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Day the Sun Shone!

After a fantastic week at the end of April last year, the subsequent summer proved to be mostly very disappointing, but there was that one beautiful day in Rosslare, when almost fifty artists from the "Art in the Open" plein air festival descended on the beach. I sold my little plein air painting to a lovely German lady that day, but kept a photo of it for reference purposes. So in this larger studio painting, I've used the light from the plein air piece to some extent, but changed it considerably in other ways. For one thing, I put a lot of thought into the figures and their placement within the painting (and they're all "invented"). I also changed the rocks quite a bit and added a rockpool with reflections.

A Perfect Day, Rosslare Strand
(16" x 20" Oil on Canvas)


This painting is mostly from my imagination, but I also had this photo of the beach in Rosslare. At least, it proves there are some rocks there!