Monday, 6 April 2015

Happy Easter

I have been away, busy but with all the wrong stuff :( I hope you all had a Happy Easter. Here the weather is getting warmer. Just a few pictures to show you there is no where to compare to the West of Ireland when  skies are blue and the sun shines.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Farewell January

I write this on the last day of January, and I for one will not be sad to see this my least favorite month come to an end. I dislike the New Year in general because it starts with the family departing after the Christmas holiday, the house looks desolate when the Christmas decorations are put away, and of course one is feeling tired and overweight after all the festive food and entertaining.
The weather has been typical with rain, wind and some light falls of snow, so bring on Spring.
I have noticed some green shoots in the garden but despite the daffodils well up they still never appear before March. But the snowdrops are in full bloom.

Monday, 15 December 2014

After ClareGalway Christmas Craft Fair

I am still on a high from the wonderful weekend I had at the first Claregalway Christmas Craft Fair. It was a magical venue and the entertainment and craft on display was excellent. It was not without some first time teething problems one of which was that it was over two levels and many visitors did not know that there was more upstairs and missed half the exhibitors, a couple of arrows and signs would have helped, Yes, I was upstairs so this small thing effected me big time but that beside the organisers were so helpful and accommodating and I can see this event growing and fast becoming the BEST Christmas Fair in the west to match the already outstanding Garden Festival they run there during the summer, so well done to the Castle for taking the initiative and giving us craft people a beautiful venue to showcase our work. I imagine as it grows It will become harder to get in so some mindful curating may be required, if I specialised in flower arrangements for example I would not want to find another 3 stall holders doing the same thing.
I met many interesting people and it was lovely to be able talk to "the customer" which does not happen in a Gallery except on opening night. I was flattered by how many knew of my work and a couple already had paintings by me. Thank you to all who bought and I was especially pleased that most of my artist books sold. Many took my card so if you are reading this blog and are sorry that you did not buy  I am offering 20% discount on all the larger oil paintings I had at the Fair until December 24th, If you don't already have my contact details you will find it on my web site or leave a comment below.
Here are a few pictures for those that missed it.
Yes it is a real castle and a perfect venue for a Christmas event and when it got dark it was stunning with the lights and log fires burning outside.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Claregalway Castle Christmas Fair

Just a quick note to tell you I will be showing some art and crafts this weekend at the Claregalway Castle Christmas Fair. I have a terrific mix of items, from paintings, purses, dolls, cards, artist books and even some up cycled furniture so if you are in the area pop in and take a look.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

On my easel this week

I has been a while since I showed you anything on my easel, mainly because there has been nothing to show but this week I did some painting, nothing too exciting but it is a start. I'm not sure if its finished yet but i need to leave it to dry for a while and I will see how I feel about it then. I used a very limited palette because so many of my paint tubes have gone hard from lack of use, i will have to take a trip to an art shop and get some new tubes, maybe Santa might bring me new paints. i would love a good quality water color set that I could travel with any suggestions?

Monday, 24 November 2014

Ah the penmanship!

This video shows the making of a Japanese Kokeshi doll, what craftsmanship.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I was invited to participate in "Around the World Blog Hop" by Diana Marshall. It is a simple idea where I answer some questions about my art practice and then hand the baton on to another to continue the hop. I have been looking at some of the past contributors and the insight into their practice makes for very interesting reading. I am flattered to be in such good company, but feel I am an "artist lite" by comparison.

Firstly, Thank you Diana for inviting me and congratulations on your recent exhibition in Wexford. Although we live in the same county our paths had not crossed, co-incidentally we both started out as dress designers. She is a realist painter working in oils. Drop over to her Blog and take a look at her terrific work, I found it so difficult to select an image from her portfolio as they are all beautiful, But this one will give you an idea of the fabulous artist she is, just look at those reflections.
1724 Rounded Off by DIANA MARSHALL Oil ~ 8" / 20 cm x 10" / 25.4 cm

I loved art in school and I had a terrific art teacher the late Mrs. Gillan whom I am indebted too for encouraging and nurturing my visual awareness. As a mature student I gained a Fine Arts degree, since graduating  I have had some success with exhibitions and awards, but I still have trouble labeling myself  an "artist".

I am a bi-polar artist, its all or nothing, I go for long periods where I don't paint and then other times where I paint all the time, I  need goals and pressure to actually produce work. I find painting difficult, it gives me much angst as I think its not my default creative setting, but when it works well it is so satisfying so maybe its a matter of "no gain without pain".

The Questions

What am I working on now
I am preparing for a Christmas Craft Fair so I am busy sewing, making Art Books and small collages. My interest in book making has arisen from my participation in A letter a week.

How does my work differ from others of its gene
I use ink as well as oil on the canvas,  I am not interested in "technique" the "thick over thin" stuff. I never read instruction books about anything, I just go at a thing and learn/adapt as I go along and I think that freedom from rules is now part of my style.

Why do I create what I create
Well I can't sing, I am a terrible cook, but I have to create be it sewing, planting, window dressing, making cards, collages, or embroidery, It is what defines me, who I am, I have to make/create to keep myself on an even keel. If I don't have a creative project I'm unfulfilled.

How does my creating process work
I don't have a process as such. It actually happens while I'm not looking. By that I mean if I decide I'm going to spend a day painting and put on my painting clothes ( I am a messy worker)  it just won't happen, I'll decide the floor needs to be mopped or the cobwebs cleared, But if I steal in to the studio (in best clothes)  I can find I'm still there working furiously many hours later only to be disturbed by my husband wondering "When is dinner?"
I always keep a few canvases on the go just to use to warm up, they will never be completed paintings. My best work I make as "an aside" while I labor with these others. It feels a little like when a writer says their fictional characters take over and dictate the plot, I too find the paint takes over, by putting the paint on and scraping back an image will emerge, I never decide/plan before hand what I'm going to paint, I will put a rough out line of a landscape down to begin, just to get over the "blank canvas" stage. I paint quickly and a painting can come together in a couple of hours, But I may have to make 10 paintings before one comes along that I'm happy with. My biggest fault is to revisit or tweak it later, then I'm likely to loose it forever. I'm more interested in atmosphere, isolation, suggestions of a landscape, weather, I love gray misty days and we get lots of them in Ireland. I work on linen (rather than canvas) or boards that I prepare with rabbit skin glue etc. they make for a smoother supports for the ink. I have learned not to cut myself up with my unconventional work practice, It is my personality and feel that is a big part of all creativity, we are all different and no one formula works for all.

Here I am  adding an additional question!
Any other comments
I feel quite isolated as an artist living in a rural area. I miss the robust exchanges and critiques of art College. While the countryside gives me endless inspiration and I am fortunate to live in a beautiful place it lacks the support of fellow artists.

Here are two of my recent paintings that show what I am interested in at the moment and may give some clarity to what I mentioned above.

I  have invited Swedish artist Nancy Gronholm. (she lives in Spain)to continue with "Around the World Blog Hop" she will be posting Monday Nov.24th. I love her work which I came across first on Illustration Friday where she is a regular contributor. She does the most beautiful whimsical drawings and illustrations as well as watercolours and oil paintings. Below are two of her pieces to see more visit her Blog Here, she has a Free Giveaway at the moment too.

Her fine art prints are available to purchase on Etsy.  And she loves cats!

Thank you Nancy in advance for accepting my invitation.

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