Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Artist Profile in Ohio Irish American News Now Available Online

All the big shows are over for this year and it's time to wrap up and hibernate for a few weeks before the new year begins. And then it starts all over again - the London Affordable Art Fair in March, a solo exhibition in the Dalkey Heritage Centre in April, another show in the Market House Gallery in Dungarvan in May. The wheels keep turning! Just as well I love it so much :)

The article by Susan Mangan in the Ohio Irish American News is now online, you can download it here Ohio Irish American News. Thanks again to Susan for her very generous words.

The accompanying painting "Under Achill Skies" was featured on the front cover of the magazine and I have recently received a request for it to be used on the cover of a new novel due to be published later in 2012. So the good news keeps coming!

And that's a nice note to sign off on for 2011. Thanks to everyone for their continued support and encouragement this year and I'd like to wish everyone a happy christmas and a peaceful new year.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Good Week At The National Craft Fair - and One More To Come

Just finished exhibiting at the National Craft Fair. Five long days!

But it was worth it in the end. In fact it turned out much better than I had anticipated. I met lots of new admirers and the limited edition prints and Art Cards proved very popular, especially the boxed set of 15 cards and envelopes. All of which I had half expected.

But it was the interest in the original paintings that really surprised me, and what made the fair so worthwhile. Star of the show was "Westport Quays" (100 x 80cms) which sold on the last day. This particular painting, one of the "show" pieces of the autumn collection, had been attracting an amazing amount of comment and admiration since I started showing it in Wexford and then at the RDS Art Fair, so it was really nice to see it finally find a good home.

Another of the paintings that sold at the fair was "Atlantic Waves, Achill" which I featured in the blog a couple of months ago. I thought I had gone past that stage of not wanting to part with my paintings but these were two that I would have gladly held on to!

So the year is coming to a close but there is still time for a few more shows......

The christmas exhibition opens at The Doorway Gallery on thursday 8th december, I have a number of new pieces on show there. And I have just taken a stand at the Affordable Christmas Gift Fair which will be held next sunday (dec 11th) at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire. The fair runs from 10m to 5pm so drop in if you are in the area. I will be exhibiting my prints and art cards and some small originals - all at "last chance" pre-Christmas special offer prices.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Winter 2011 Newsletter

Apologies to anyone who has received this Newsletter already! I have started to use a new platform to publish my Newsletter but not all of my subscribers have been switched over. So here, for those that have not received it yet, is my Winter 2011 Newsletter

It's that time of the year again, christmas lights starting to appear and a new budget looming! So another year almost over and lots to look forward to in 2012. But it's not over just yet and I'd like to take this opportunity to fill you in on some upcoming events as well as some good news stories...


National Craft Fair - RDS - 30th Nov - 4th Dec

I will be exhibiting at the National Craft Fair in the RDS for the first time this year. I've heard that it's very different to doing an Art fair but I'm excited about it. I will be exhibiting at Stand A55 in the Industries Hall (at the back of the main hall).

As well as showing my Oil Paintings, Limited Edition Prints and Art Greeting Cards, I will be offering my full collection of cards as a boxed set for the first time, ideal for a christmas present. The boxed set features 15 cards and envelopes and retails for €39.95 ($49.95 US Dollars). It can also be ordered online from my website.

And speaking of Christmas, my Art Gift Vouchers always prove popular around this time of year and are available online or through the studio (as well as at the craft fair).

Finally, I have been busy packing my Christmas Cards for the Craft Fair. Each set of 5 cards and envelopes costs €10 and can also be ordered online (postage included in the price). The card is based on the painting below "Snow on Achill" and have proved a real hit at Art Fair 2011 and the Wexford Opera Festival.

Snow on Achill, 40x40cms

Everything can be viewed on my website at: www.padraigmccaul.com
If you are planning to visit the Craft Fair you will find me in the Industries Hall (at the back of the main hall), stand number A55.

The Doorway Gallery Christmas Show - Dec 8th

The Doorway Gallery in Dublin will launch their christmas exhibition on Dec 8th with mulled wine and mince pies. I will have a number of small 10x8ins pieces on display which were especially painted for the show, as well as some of the work that was exhibited at the London Affordable Art Fair and the Edinburgh Art Fair.

Dalkey Heritage Centre - Nov 30th

I am taking part in "Ubuntu" - an exhibition in aid of breadline Africa which will be held at the Dalkey Heritage Centre. Organised by Jo Callanan, it will be opened by Sue Tulk and features the work of 6 artists. The exhibition runs from Nov 30th to Dec 1st.


Achill Painting Workshops 2012

The dates for next year's painting workshops on Achill Island are now confirmed. They are...
May - 12/13
June - 9/10
July - 14/15
August - 6/7/8/9
August - 13/14/15/16
August - 20/21/22/23

The cost for the 2 days workshops are €125 and the 4 day workshops are €250. Full details are up on my website - www.padraigmccaul.com
Bookings can be made online and you have the option of paying in full or paying a €50 deposit.

Art on Achill App

My smartphone app Art on Achill seems to be proving very popular so far, with users finding the related infromation about Achill very helpful. If you haven't had a chance to look at it you can see an "full screen" version of it here - Art on Achill or you can scan the QR Code below to download it to your phone. (iPhone, Android, Windows are all supported)
I have updated it with all of my 2012 dates and will be adding some new content to it in the new year.

Failte Ireland to use "A Soft Day, Achill" for 2012 campaign

I received some great news earlier this month when Failte Ireland asked for permission to use one of my recent paintings - A Soft Day, Achill - in their upcoming campaign to promote the West of Ireland as a tourist location. As we all know, good news travels fast, but I was still pleasantly surprised to see that the story had already reached The Mayo News newspaper and was featured in last weeks edition. I've no idea how the image will feature, or if it will make the final cut at all, but it's exciting to know it was picked out by them.

(A Soft Day, Achill; 80x80cms)

US Magazine to Publish Interview and Profile in December issue

Finally, and keeping the best news till last, something that is definitely coming out on December 1st is a comprehensive interview and profile in the Ohio Irish American News magazine. And I was really honoured to find out that they will be using one of my images for the front cover of the december issue. This is something I have to say that I am very excited about, as one of my main objetives for the next few years is to raise my profile in the US and to work towards a number of exhibitions over there.

That's about it for now. Thank you for your continued support and I'd like to wish you a very happy christmas and a peaceful new year.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Edinburgh Art Fair 2011 - Exhibiting with Wilson Fine Art Gallery

Wilson Fine Art Gallery will be showing some of my work at the Edinburgh Art Fair this weekend. This will be my second time showing with the gallery at the fair, so I'm hoping it will prove successful again this year.

Here are two of the paintings that will be on display. "Looking Toward Minaun" (right), 50x50 cms - is a painted from sketches I made near Dooagh, Achill looking back towards the Minaun Cliffs.
"Off the Doolin Road" - 50x50 cms - is based on drawings I made on the way to Lahinch from Kinvara earlier in the year.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Failte Ireland to Use "A Soft Day, Achill" in 2012 Campaign

Thank you to everyone for their support at the Art Fair in the RDS last weekend. It was a busy weekend and great to see so many people attending the show, even if sales were a little quieter all round than last year. It's certainly becoming a more challenging economic climate for any artist to survive in, but as long as we keep the standard high and people come to see the work then there's always the possibility of success!

Star of the show for me was "Castletownbere" - 100 x 70cms, which received an amazing response (and was a personal favourite of Irish Time's Fine Art correspondent Michael Parsons), and I'm happy to say it sold - as Michael predicted it would!

Another piece that continues to find admirers is "A Soft Day, Achill" which sold at the Wexford Opera Festival and went over to the UK. Failte Ireland have asked permission for the image to be used in their 2012 promotion campaign. I've no idea how it will feature or what exposure it will get (it will be among hundreds of other images they may or may not use) but it's nice to think that it just might help in attracting some foreign visitors over to the West of Ireland. And of course it will be following in the footsteps of Paul Henry whose iconic images were used all those years ago to promote the beauty of Ireland. Not that I'm suggesting in any way.....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Article Published in Ohio Irish American News magazine

A new essay by Susan Magan was published recently in the Ohio Irish American News Ohio magazine. In it she talks about how, on a visit to Dublin this year with her son she came across my paintings for the first time. Below is an extract from Susan's essay, to read the full essay please click here.

Extract from Blowin In; Harvest Home by Susan Magan

This past spring when my son and I traveled to Dublin, we sat enjoying lunch in an Italian restaurant near Trinity College. As my son devoured his plate of profiteroles, I watched the decidedly urban view outside the café window. Chic shoppers and bohemian college students hurried past my vantage point. When the view cleared, I saw a most welcome sight, an image of Keem Beach in Achill Island. The image was not a mirage in the middle of an urban oasis, but one of McCaul’s hauntingly beautiful paintings in his Sentinels series. I questioned my son, “Do you recognize that painting in the gallery across the street?” “Sure, it’s Keem,” he replied. Unaffected, he went back to his chocolate cream, while I hurried to pay the bill. I had to see more of this artist and his captivating works.

McCaul’s paintings are modern and stark. The images are not romantic portrayals of shepherds and rolling hills. These landscapes recall the imposing beauty of County Mayo and other coastal regions on Ireland’s Western shore, the changeability of the weather, her daring cliffs, the brilliant colors of her fields, and the steadfast quality of the houses. Though unpopulated with people, McCaul’s renderings underscore the sad times when sons had to leave their mothers, and girls were sent into service to help provide for large families. The homes were left empty, standing as sentinels to a lost time of family comfort. While many of the paintings exude a heartbreaking sense of loneliness, others radiate a sense of humility as powerful shadows creep across the mountains at twilight and dawn continues to rise over the western sea.

All of the paintings speak of the perseverance of the Irish people: their strength of character and their ability to find hope in the simple beauty of the sun shining over a distant hill that one day will light the way back home for their sons and daughters.
The paintings are not unlike the farmhouse with the absent farmer. Evidence of the farmer’s labor exists in the leveled fields that lie in wait for spring tilling. Evidence of the farmer’s harvest shines in the light illuminating wood-paned windows. Evidence of the farmer’s simple notion of comfort escapes through the smoke softly curling out of his red brick chimney, welcoming his family home.

Art Fair 2011 at the RDS - Starts on Friday 4th November

Thanks to everyone who stopped by at my recent exhibition in Whites Hotel in Wexford. It was great to meet so many new admirers! But even nicer to see so many people returning following my previous years' Opera Festival exhibtions.

Some stars of the show were "The Bend in the Road, Achill" which I featured in my last blog post, quickly followed by " A Soft Day, Achill" (below) , both of which sold. Another favourite was my centre piece "Westport Quays" - 100x80cms (Left) - which I will be showing at Art Fair 2011 in the RDS this coming weekend.

It was great to see my new range of Art Cards prove so popular and which ensured that even on quiet days there was always a sale to be made - no matter how small!

Thanks also to everyone at Whites Hotel for all their help and friendly service - particularly when I managed to drop and smash a full cup of coffee as I was carrying it up the stairs, which in turn fell on some guests sitting below. But the less said about that the better...

So now it's on to the RDS in Ballsbridge for Art Fair 2011. I will be exhibiting at stand Q2 - same as the last two years. If anyone would like free invites to the show which runs from friday to sunday, please email me at info@padraigmccaul.com

Thursday, October 27, 2011

McCaul Catches Sounds of Silence in his Art

I was featured recently in an essay on art by Professor Jan Erik Rekdal of the University of Oslo.

The essay, entitled
"To Trust The Sky" was part of the Word of Art essay competition which was organised earlier in the year by the Millrace Gallery in Blackrock, Dublin. Here is the essay in full, courtesy of the Millrace Gallery...

To trust the sky- Jan Erik Rekdal

Foreign art is especially important as it provides you with more windows to look into a place where you do not belong - in this case a place called Ireland and Éire.

There is one thing in Ireland there is more of than grass and that is light. As to light, Ireland is a land of plenty also in 2011! When I first visited Ireland (1969), I hitch-hiked to Achill. I was waiting once for a new lift on the roadside in Killibeg a little baile consisting of a post-office and a handful of houses. Two idle men sat on the wall an earshot away and when I praised the remarkably high sky and the lovely shades of green, grey and blue (for which the Irish language has the word glas covering them all), they sneered at me mumbling that you can’t live on light and sky!

Also many Irish painters struggle with the plentiness of light and sky. Since I started to give serious attention to Irish art, I have been trying to find out where in Ireland the artists come from, to see how this relates to her or his use of light. An artist from Fermanagh (Gerard McGourty f.ex.) has a different sky to one from Down. By sky I do not mean that you necessarily find sky in their pictures – but you do find light. You see the dimness of Fermanagh with its tinge of longing (for the sea) the way it is expressed in Gerard McGourty’ s art (not unrelated to that of Jack B. Yeats from a county close by) and the fertile almost gory green light of Down recalling the desolate atmosphere of ancient battlefields – a green you observe in Daniel O’Neill’s pictures. Dubliners tend to turn their light down considerably like Eithne Jordan who used the light of late afternoon has lately wandered into city-nights and their repressed obsession with light. It may rather be the longing for light lurking in cobble-stones and city-boys which underlies the paintings of another Dubliner, Gerard Byrne, making his colours so translucent that a light-muncher of a Norwegian like me, could want to eat his flowers .

Belfast-artists used to leave their rusty town for the western sky and light, but very few has indulged so unbashfully in the western sky as Paul Henry once did (although I noticed recently paintings by a young Dubliner, David Coyne, giving in to sky on the railings of Marrion square with refreshing results). The one who actually dares to do so today is Padraig McCaul and even to walk if not in Henry’s footsteps, close by them – painting as he does predominately from Achill. But McCaul has a twist that is his own: the community he depicts seems abandoned. Achill was a predominantly Irish-speaking island now with hardly any Irish left. For me McCaul catches sounds of silence in his art. His Achill houses have no windows and hardly any doors. They turn their back on you in pictures that make you wonder, reflect and sense.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Paintings for the London Affordable Art Fair

I dropped in some new paintings to the Doorway Gallery today for the upcoming Affordable Art Fair in Hampstead, London. The gallery will be exhibiting at the fair for the first time and are heading over next week.

The Affordable Art Fair is runs from the 27th to 30th October.

"Clare Cottage", (30 x 30 cms) is one of the new paintings and is based on sketches I made over the summer when I was down around Doolin. A simple cottage with a red roof looking out over the Atlantic, with the cliffs (of Moher?) disappearing to the left.

"Hungry Hill", (50 x 50 cms) is another from the series of paintings I made of Hungry Hill in West Cork. I started this painting at the painting demonstration I gave for the Nutgrove Arts Festival in september. I love this old farmhouse with it's extension tacked on to the gable end.

Both paintings are now available through the Doorway Gallery. If you would like invitations to the Affordable Art Fair please contact Denise or Deirdre at the gallery www.thedoorwaygallery.com

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Snow on Achill - New Christmas Card now Available

It's probably a little too early to be mentioning christmas but with the sudden drop in temperature this morning I'm not so sure anymore!

A good friend of mine suggested I make up some christmas cards (thanks Deirdre!) but I have to say I wasn't overly receptive to the idea at the start. What image would I put on them? I don't make christmassy paintings!

But then I came across some amazing photographs of Achill, taken last year by Sean Cannon when the island was blanketed in snow, more like the Swiss Alps than the West of Ireland. Sean is a long standing resident of Achill and is uniquely positioned to capture the ever changing beauty of Achill Island. It was one of Sean's images that inspired me to make this painting - Snow on Achill - 40 x 40 cms.

And from this painting I have produced a christmas card. The cards (and the painting) will be available at my upcoming shows at the Whites Hotel, Wexford and the Art Fair 2011 at the RDS in Dublin. The cards are also available to buy online from my website.

They are 150 x 150mm on 300 gm silk paper, with the message "Happy Christmas/Nollaig Shona" on the inside. They are sold in packs of 5 for €9.95.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New Paintings of Doolin and Dooagh

I have just uploaded some new images to my website of paintings that I will be showing in Whites Hotel in Wexford and at the RDS Art Fair in Dublin in the next few of weeks. Including this one, "On the Doolin Road" - 50x50 cms.

This was painted following a trip to Lahinch earlier in the year. I drove down the coast road via Kinvara, past Doolin and the Cliffs of Moher. Beautiful scenery!

The next painting - "A StillDay, Achill" - 80x80 cms is based on sketches I made at one of my favourite spots on Achill Island, across the road from Gielty's pub in Dooagh!

A week to go now before set up begins for Wexford. I can't wait!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Atlantic Tides, Achill - New Painting Unveiled

Here is a new painting that started out as a demonstration piece at one this summer's workshops on Achill Island. (And here's me setting up on the day)

"Atlantic Tides, Achill" (50x40 cms) will be on show as part of my autumn exhibitions in Whites of Wexford and the RDS.

The original demonstration version of the painting (below) featured on the blog a little while ago, so it's nice to be able put the two together to show the transition from "plein air" draft to the studio finished painting.

I had a 1 day painting workshop in my Delgany studio last week which I really enjoyed and we even got lucky with the weather - 24 degrees!
So we spent most of the day painting outside in the courtyard. I'm hoping for more of the same for my next 1 day workshop which I'll be running on November 12th (saturday).

I hope to have my spring/summer workshop dates for 2012 confirmed and up on my website by the end of this month. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Autumn Exhibitions - London, Wexford, Dublin

Autumn's here and I'm busy in the studio trying to finish a new collection of paintings for some big upcoming shows. I have to admit I'm an incredibly messy worker but I've convinced myself that it helps release the creative juices :) Which is just as well given the number of new paintings I've had to produce for the autumn shows.

First up is the Affordable Art Fair in Hampstead, London, where I will be exhibiting as part of the Doorway Gallery's stand. I'm really excited to be taking part as it will be my first time exhibiting in London and I plan to have 10 new pieces ready for the show.

Unfortunately I won't be able to get over to the show myself as I will be in Wexford at the time exhibiting at the Opera FRINGE festival. This will be my third year exhibiting at Whites Hotel and I'm really looking forward to meeting everyone again. I will be there from October 21st to 31st and will be showing my "Autumn Collection" of original oil paintings as well as my full collection of prints and art cards.

And then it's on to Dublin for Art Fair 2011 at the RDS which runs from November 4th to 6th. I'll be in my usual spot just to the left of the main door.

I will be adding all of the new work to my website over the next week or so. I will also be sending out e-invites to the RDS Art Fair once I receive them.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Culture Night 2011 - Live Painting Demonstration by Padraig McCaul

Last weekend's demonstration for the Nutgrove Arts Fest was really enjoyable (left). It was the closest thing to being on stage again with the Harvest Ministers. But without the music and the adoring fans :)

Next friday, september 23rd , is Culture Night and after a quick glance through the program of events for Dublin on the night it's amazing to see how quickly and how big it has grown in the space of a few years.

I'll be joining some of the other artists from the Doorway Gallery - including Roisin O'Farrell who has a brilliant solo exhibition running in the gallery at the moment - in giving a a live painting demonstrations on the night - in the gallery window! You can get all the details on the gallery website at www.thedoorwaygallery.com

Here's a short video clip from last year's culture night, which was spent painting in the window of the Bad Art Gallery. Expect more of the same on friday! The painting that you can see me working on in the video - The Quay - is now available to view in the Doorway Gallery.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Padraig McCaul's Sentinels Video Goes Viral....

They say that everything is relative, and one person's idea of "viral" may not be quite the same as someone elses, but the video for my solo exhibition earlier this year in the Doorway Gallery has quietly passed the 1000 views mark, in fact it's currently at 1030 and climbing. Which in my world is a lot of views and deserving of nice glass of wine!

If you haven't seen the video before then here it is again. And if you have seen it already then you might be interested in seeing some of the lovely comments that people posted on Youtube.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

6 New Padraig McCaul Art Greeting Cards Now Available

I'm delighted to report that my collection of Art Greeting Cards have proved a big hit and are now available through most of my galleries, as well as through my website. The first print run has recently sold out, so thank you to everyone for your continued support!

To celebrate, I have just added 6 new cards to the collection. These are now available to buy directly from my website and should start appearing in the galleries over the coming weeks.

The cards are €3.50 each and postage worldwide is included in the price. (For my American friends there is also the option on the website to pay in US Dollars).

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Painting En Plein Air on the Atlantic Drive, Achill

My summer series of painting workshops on Achill Island came to an end a few weeks ago. And what a week to finish up. We had glorious sunshine for most of it and spent the last two days painting Plein Air on the Atlantic Drive, near Dooega.

With nothing to disturb us except the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks below and the shriek of the occasional sea gull this is what you might call a relaxing working environment! Here is the group hard at work, with Clare Island in the distance.

We painted a scene featuring the cliffs below us, with the waves crashing around the rocks. I spent some time earlier in the morning looking for a good place to set up base and came across this spot just outside Dooega, close to the edge of the cliffs.

My painting workshops follow the same structure as I follow myself when creating a new painting. So after setting up our easels and taking out our charcoals and pencils we started to look for a good composition for our painting and settled on the rocks and waves at the foot of the cliffs. The next step was to make some quick sketches to help test the composition and to see how much of the sea, rocks, cliffs etc to include in the painting. Here is one of the sketches I made - (complete with footprint on the bottom right corner!)

Once I'm happy with the general composition I'll start to paint it on to the canvas. Painting demonstrations are an integral part of my workshops, they give me a chance to talk about my own painting process, my materials and choice of colours. They also give me a chance to play "teacher" for a little while and demostrate some of my technique and my thoughts on painting. Here is the early demonstration version of the "rocks and waves" painting. All flies and midges have been removed from the paint - all part of the joy of painting outdoors in Achill.

So no more workshops on Achill until next year but I will be running a number of 1 day workshops this autumn in my studio in Delgany and in Adrigole in West Cork. The dates are:

September 10th (Saturday) - Hungry Hill Gallery, Adrigole Arts, Beara, Cork

October 8th (Saturday) 11am to 5pm
My Studio, Delgany, Co.Wicklow
Cost: €60

November 12th (Saturday) 11am to 5pm
My Studio, Delgany, Co.Wicklow
Cost: €60

For further information or bookings please contact Padraig at 086 8801733 or email at info@padraigmccaul.com .Or visit the website at www.padraigmccaul.com

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Autumn Painting Workshops in Delgany and Adrigole

I have 3 painting workshops coming up in autumn.

September 10th (Saturday) - Hungry Hill Gallery, Adrigole Arts, Beara, Cork

October 8th (Saturday) 11am to 5pm
My Studio, Delgany, Co.Wicklow
Cost: €60

November 12th (Saturday) 11am to 5pm
My Studio, Delgany, Co.Wicklow
Cost: €60

For further information or bookings please contact Padraig at 086 8801733 or email at info@padraigmccaul.com

Saturday, July 30, 2011

New Paintings for the Hungry Hill Gallery, Cork

I'm just back from a quick visit to West Cork. I was delivering some new work to the Hungry Hill Gallery in Adrigole, including this painting - "Still Day, Adrigole" 50 x 50 cms, which depicts a farmhouse looking out over Bantry Bay on a warm summer's day.

As part of my "job" I get to visit Adrigole at least once a year to deliver new paintings, and these trips have become one of the highlights of my year. Not only do Gerry and Cecille run one of Ireland's finest galleries and craft shops - Adrigole Arts and the Hungry Hill Gallery - they have also become great friends and are very welcoming hosts. So a trip to Adrigole always means good wine, great food and great company! And a little bit of business.

This time I was lucky enough to be in the gallery when they sold one of my favourite paintings of the year so far - "Looking Towards Hungry Hill". This is a painting that I featured a little while ago in a blog and one that I have chosen for my new range of greeting cards (of which I will be telling you a little more about next week). It's rare that I get to meet people who buy my work through a gallery so I was delighted to have had this opportunity.

I will be holding a 1 day painting workshop in the Hungry Hill Gallery on Saturday 10th september so watch out for more details in the coming weeks.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Over The Healy Pass and The Road From Keem

I'm heading back to Dublin this weekend after a few weeks in Achill. Maybe that explains my current fixation with roads!

This first painting -"Over the Healy Pass" - will be heading down to the Hungry Hill Gallery in West Cork next week. I've been going over some of my old photos and sketches taken on my last trip over the Healy Pass (on the Beara Peninsula) and out popped this painting - "Over the Healy Pass" 40x40 cms.

To get to Keem Bay, on Achill Island, you have to follow a narrow, winding cliff road. Not a comfortable drive unless you have a head for heights! The road is tucked into the mountainside on one side and on the other....a sheer drop into the Atlantic ocean.

In this painting - The Road From Keem, 30x30 cms - the road rises up from Keem Bay, in the distance are the Minaun Cliffs.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Paintings of Hungry Hill on the Beara Peninsula

I've been busy this month with painting workshops on Achill Island and working on some new paintings for the Hungry Hill gallery on the Beara Peninsula. In particular I've been focusing on the mountain itself.

Hungry Hill mountain is one of those big, foreboding, rocky mountains that tower over everything below and can be covered in cloud for weeks on end. At the foot of the mountain is Adrigole Arts and Coffee shop and upstairs is the Hungry Hill Art Gallery. It's a great place to stop and browse!

This painting, "At the Foot of Hungry Hill", 40x40 cms, I think captures the scale of the mountain and I'm really happy with the colour balancing in this one. (The house in the painting is not the gallery by the way........)

The workshops on Achill Isalnd were really enjoyable, especially last weekend, which despite appalling weather turned out to be very productive. We managed to get out in the mornings to do some scouting and sketching before the gale force winds and rain blew us back into the studio!

Here is a painting that started life as a demonstration at one of the workshops. It is of Purteen Harbour, looking out over Inish Galloon and Clare Island (covered in cloud). There's a little more work to do on it but I like it a lot at the moment.

My next workshops in Achill are coming up in August. I will be running two 4 day workshops , monday to thursday on the 8th to 1th and 15th to 18th. Lots of space left for anyone who'd like to experience the island...and do a little painting.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ballyheigue Revisited

Just back from a week in Ballyheigue, (Co. Kerry) with Anne and the kids. Sunshine, sand and stunning scenery, I can't believe it's nearly four years since I was there last.

Ballyheigue beach has got to be one of the most beautiful in the country. It goes on for miles, morphing into Banna strand and continuing on to Fenit. I have taken lots of photos so there should be some new Kerry paintings appearing by the end of the summer!

In the meantime here is one from 2009 called Autumn Tides Ballyheigue which is available as a limited edition print.

A special word of congratulations to Kerry county council for the investment they have made in the children's playgrounds in the county. What a pleasant surprise to find such high quality, clean, safe and fun playgrounds everywhere we went - Fenit, Ardfert, Banna, Dingle and Ballyheigue itself - all tried and tested by two very discerning three and a half year olds! And let's not forget the new playgrounds for the grown ups - the new marinas in Dingle and Fenit.

Fenit, just outside Tralee, was particularly beautiful on the day we visited. This photo of the light house rock at Fenit was taken in the evening light. Expect a painting of it soon :)

If you haven't been to Kerry for a while, or at all, then it really is somewhere to add to your wish list. I can't wait to go back!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

2 New Paintings - Lahinch and Achill

Here are two more pieces I have just finished and which have just been released into the wild . (That is to say they are now available through the studio)

This first one is called "The Blue Road" and is based on a number of sketches I made in Achill for my Sentinels exhibition earlier in the year. I really like the atmosphere in this painting and those telegraph poles get a look in again. The canvas size is 60 x 60 cms.

The second painting is based on an old black and white photograph I came across of Lahinch Seafront, and is called....."Lahinch Seafront".

I really like this one, I think it captures the strength of the sea swirling at the base of the storm wall. It's an experience to stand on the seafront in the middle of a storm as the waves crash against the barrier walls, just feet away from the houses and businesses that look down on it. The canvas size is 50 x 50 cms.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

2 New Paintings - West Cork and Achill

With all the "projects" I've been giving myself lately it's great just to switch off the laptop and get back into the studio and paint!

Here are two paintings I finished recently that I'm really happy with. This first one - "Looking Over at Hungry Hill"- is of Hungry Hill mountain on the Beara peninsula in west Cork. It is painted from a photograph taken from the Sheep's Head peninsula and I just love the old farmhouse tucked into the landscape in the foreground.

This second painting is one that I started at my painting workshop in Achill in early june - I call it "A Quiet Day, Achill". I finished in my studio in Delgany and I just love the calm, summer feel to it. I have put in the telegraph lines again, disappearing over the hill. There is something really evocative about those old telegraph poles - they are certainly a long way from mobile wi-fi and smartphone apps!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Paintings From Ireland.com

My second major project of the summer has just been launched, hot on the heels of my smartphone app Art on Achill (which, I'm delighted to say has been really well received).

PaintingsFromIreland.com is a new website I have set up specifically to market and sell my range of Limited Edition Giclee Prints and Art Greeting Cards online.

To coincide with the launch of PaintingsFromIreland.com I have introduced a brand new series of 10" x 10" prints to my existing range of Giclee Prints and over the coming months I aim to add some more images to the collection. These are a perfect size for birthday presents, anniversary gifts, in fact any occasion! Please excuse the blatant sales pitch but I'm in that sort of frame of mind at the moment :)