Just another step along from the last image.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
A very quick watercolour sketch of some boats moored along the shoreline/pier in Clifden in County Galway, Ireland. I was not intending this as a picture in it’s own right, but rather was exploring different compositions for a larger piece I have planned. Funnily enough I plan the larger piece in monotone but did this in colour.
This looks like a scribble because it is. I was doing some sketching in my sister in law’s garden in the US and ran out of time. I thought I might try working on another sketch some more but wanted to capture the whole garden to give me the full picture. This was really only a minute or two, working very fast. No work of art, but a very useful working sketch that may facilitate another later work.
I was visiting the US to attend a family wedding and, as with any wedding where you are not part of the wedding party, there was a lot of hanging around. It gave me a chance to sit outdoors in the sun and sketch. It is so much nicer to draw outdoors in bright light. Something that is not always available or possible here in Ireland.
This sketch is of an ornamental waterfall in my sister-in-law’s house, sitting under a huge pine tree.
A very Irish image – a wooden cart with milk on it. I saw this in Adare village. Definitely left there for tourists t see, but it still was a nice reminder to me of ‘olden times’ as we used to call them. This was drawn with nothing to lean on, quickly. A visual reminder rather than a exact representation.
I was much more experimental years ago, more willing to chop and change. This was a cut up piece of a dry-point print of a cityscape, with a drawing of Monroe in her famous skirt rising pose. The fact the page got wet is the reason for the dash of colour at the top – running through from something else.
On the road between Headford and Clonboo, just after rain, there was some really bright low sun shining off the car in front (I wasn’t driving). The dark, dark shadows together with the imbalance between high trees on one side of the road and some low walls and houses on the other just struck me as a lovely composition. That and the spotlight of sun glare off the car in front. I hope to do a watercolour of this subject at some point.
This is what I look out at when I work. It is a lovely place to live and work. So different from the previous five years I spent working in a basement in Dublin. Dark, depressing, restrictive – how different can you get? I love the change sightings of rabbits, the lambs going nuts dancing at the start of Spring, and the swallows and martins gathering at this time of year, filling every branch and telephone wire available.
I did this drawing from the grounds of Cong Abbey, looking out at the bridge into Ashford Castle (back/town entrance). I’ve got some great feedback about the image, and even won a prize for it from 5Pieces Gallery in Switzerland (http://www.5piecesgallery.com/). It is one I plan on making a limited edition print from, as I’ve had a lot of requests to purchase and would rather a few got to enjoy than have to decide who to sell to.