Greenfield House

Greenfield House

Greenfield House

 

This is a drawing of Greenfield House on the shores of Lough Corrib. It is at the end of the road I live on. I feel a strong connection to the area as apart from moving here to live, the men in my wife’s family (Grandfather, father, brother, husband!) have all fished from here. I did this drawing in 2009 and little has changed I am glad to say.

 

 

Bob & Carolines veranda

Bob & Caroline’s veranda

Bob & Carolines veranda

Philadelphia is a lovely city. It has so many different colours of tree, plant and flower that it is a real feast of colour in the Spring. I did this sketch at my mother in law’s home there last May. It was so bright and hot it was ideal for watercolours – fast drying and vibrant colours.

I’d love to build a veranda on my house. Maybe I will someday. Somewhere to sit back, relax after a long day, and watch the world go by. Then again, I do live in North Galway, so unless I ws to wear oilskins I wouldn’t be sitting out for long most of the year.

Lenanne crossroads

Lenanne crossroads

Lenanne crossroads

My wife brought me away to Lenanne for a few days a little before our first child was born. Little did we know it would be the last peace and quiet we’d see for quite a while! This was drawn at the crossroads with the road for Maum.

I really enjoyed Lenanne as a get away from things, even though we live in the same county it really felt isolated – if I remember right we didn’t even have mobile phone signal. The people were friendly, and there is a great boat ride you can do out through Killary Harbour.

Fresh kill

Fresh kill in Kwandwe

Fresh kill

 

I was lucky enough to get married on safari in South Africa, in Kwandwe to be precise. Because of this we had the unusual experience of going out for a dawn trek on safari on the morning of our wedding day. While out we came across a cheetah dripping in perspiration, just after taking down a wildebeest. Here I drew from a set of photo I took where he is dragging it into cover away from some warthogs who were passing. I drew it with a fine-liner pen on watercolour paper as I like the firmness of the paper, how it soaks up the ink and how the texture affects the line when drawing.

Below is one in the series of photos I took to make the drawing from. Magnificent animal. I feel very lucky to have seen him in action in his natural habitat. What a wonderful start to our married life together. And it has only gotten better and better since.

kwandwe

Icelandic sheep

Icelandic sheep

Icelandic sheep

This is about as random as they get. I wanted to try out some new pens the other night – Faber Caster PITT artist pens in sepia – and so needed something to draw. I pulled up a random photo form my honeymoon, which turned out to be an Icelandic sheep.  I’m not very impressed with the pens, but will give them a few more goes before I give up on them. They are far firmer than the package gives the impression of. I had expected something halfway between a brush and a pen.

The reason for the washes is that I wanted to see if the ink was water soluble. Another impression I picked up from the packaging.

Hartel & Rising Sun - by Andy Madigan

Hartel & Rising Sun

Hartel & Rising Sun - by Andy Madigan

I did this drawing/watercolour back in May while staying with my in-laws in Philadelphia. They have a lovely porch I was sitting out on in the sun. and I drew this view of the junction down the road. The style of houses over in the US is so different to here in Ireland, and even the perimeter of peoples plots were defined differently. Add to that the different trees and colours and it’s a whole new world.

For me the biggest new past of the experience was how the light was great in the sun there, and the heat dried the watercolours so fast I could add new washes in minutes, or in some cases seconds. Really great for speed, but it took getting used to, to be working fast before a stroke dried and put a rim on a brushstroke.

Across the road - drawing by Andy Madigan

Across the road - drawing by Andy Madigan

 

This is the view across the road from my house, out my bedroom window. Actually, the sheep isn’t there all the time, but the rest is pretty much always there. The land is quite hilly so there are lots of these slopes, with lovely Galway stone walls – no mortar so like here, they are often knocked down in places by livestock looking for a scratch.

I like this drawing as it isn’t finished, but there is a nice balance between the bits I shaded and those I had only rough marking out done for. To me it is instantly recognisable as the hill over the road, and without looking at the landscape I could easily draw in everything that has not been drawn already.

 

I guess I should get out more!

Waiting for a plane - drawing by Andy Madigan

Waiting for a plane - drawing by Andy Madigan

 

This is an early detail of a drawing I did of a plane waiting in Stockholm airport. Airports are great places to sketch, but of course when you are in them you rarely have time to sit for a few hours and draw. Also with so many security restrictions you’d probably not be allowed bring a pencil parer or water for paints.

 

Leenane, Connemara - drawn by Andy Madigan

Near Leenane, Connemara

Leenane, Connemara - drawn by Andy Madigan

 

Julie-Anne and I had a holiday away in Leenane a while back, and took a drive out into the wilderness. At one point (shown) I had to pul over as the landscape was so nice. The clouds were really low, cutting off the tops of the mountains, which were really not that tall.

 

The wind would cut you in two there, but I’m used to that living near a lake, and of course in the same county. Galway is such a huge county it is great – you can see such different landscapes in different parts. It is a real haven for artists who enjoy working outdoors in the wilds and like rugged landscapes.