Splashes of Colour

I am posting some images of a commission I finished for a client where I was requested to paint some titmice. I was given full freedom to chose the perches on which the birds would perch on, so I decided to portray them with a variety of autumnal fruits.

Titmice are a dapper family of birds anyways but the addition of colourful  fruits adds pop to the artwork.

The birds painted were Blue Tit & Rowan Berries, Great Tit & Sloe Berries, Long Tailed Tit & Haws, and Coal Tit & Alder.

 

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Furbo Art Exhibition

I have safely returned to my sister’s house from day two of the RDS Horse Show. It was another marathon day, busier than yesterday. Today was ladies day and the style was great.

I forgot to mention in my last blog that there is an exhibition in Furbo, Co Galway this coming Saturday the 23 rd running a fortnight until 6th of August. Seventeen artists will be partaking in it and it promises to be a great event. TD Hildegarde Naughton opens the preview night on Friday.

Among the artists will be painters, wood sculptors, a metal sculptor, artists who work with glass, textiles and even an artist who works with peat!

I have two paintings in the exhibition, a peregrine falcon perched on a cliff and a seascape.

The venue is the Baptist meeting place about five miles west of Galway city and will be open from 10 am to 6 pm each day bar Sundays.IMG_6735 IMG_6740

Dublin Horse Show 2016

I have just sat down after a hectic day one at the Dublin Horse show.  A  much needed  dinner and shower at my sisters place was much appreciated after a thirteen hour day at the stand. It was nice to catch up with some friends and regular customers today and the interest in my work greatly encouraged me.

I have uploaded some images of some recent pieces I have completed. There is a good mixture of subjects with the majority being in a looser style than I normally paint. It is exciting to paint in this manner as the highly representational style can  get tedious.

When I get back to base camp after the show I shall tidy up the images on the blog and include a few more.

I will be at the Horse Show until it finishes on Sunday. Drop by if you are around.

Bull Island Revisited

I recently paid another visit to one of the best birding sites in the country, Bull Island on the north side of Dublin city. The day was cold but bright and high tide was due at about one. I was excited as I drove over the causeway to see rafts of ducks and geese on both sides of the road. I was aiming to get some good painting reference of pintail and therefore concentrated on taking photos and sketching them most of the afternoon. The pintail were very obliging staying close to the causeway most of the day. Most of the afternoon they were in the company of teal.

The shoveler and shelduck were to be found further out on the mud flats accompanied by scores of waders. I did not see a single mallard all afternoon though. I found this surprising.

The highlight of the afternoon came when I saw a peregrine chase a redshank from the clouds to sea level. The redshank managed to take evasive action and the peregrine in his annoyance swooped low over the mudflats and vented his frustration on anything that moved. The marsh came to life as flocks of waders took to the sky and ducks ducked low in the marsh cover!

The falcon flew off into the distance and I finally lost him.

I returned home with a headful of exciting ideas for paintings. I began a painting today which depicts pintail and teal. I shall try to keep you all posted with its progress.

New Pintail and Teal Painting

New Pintail and Teal Painting

Merry Christmas

I am lying here on the couch feeling extremely full after a late Christmas dinner watching Sherlock on the tv. It is hard to believe that the year has nearly slipped by and we creep ever closer to 2020.

I would like to thank all my blog followers and customers for their interest and support in my work. It has been a busier year than last for me so am I very pleased with that. I had two prize draws during the year at the various shows I exhibited at and I would like to extend my congratulations to the winners…Sam Barry from Terenure and Mary Turtle from Garvagh. They received a print of their choice from my current four.

Well folks I wish you all a peaceful Christmas and and a prosperous new year.

Killaloe Antique Fair 29th November

I have had quite a few enquiries as to whether I will be showing my work in Limerick city in the run up to Christmas. Unfortunately the Xmas Bazaar is not being held this year in the city so I have decided to attend the Killaloe Antique Fair held in Lakeside Hotel on the 29th of this month. This is a short drive from the city and was a very well attended event when I last exhibited at it in 2013.

The Galway Fly Fair was a great event again this year and I did manage to sneak away from my stand for an hour on the Sunday thanks to some obliging friends of mine. The weather was terrible and fly casting was difficult to say the least with strong gale force winds blowing in from the bay.

Sales were good on the Sunday and I got a few commissions so was quite pleased. It was great to meet old customers and some new ones!

The Irish Fly Fair

I will be exhibiting my art at the Irish Fly Fair in Galway this weekend (5th-6th). The venue is the same as last year, the Galway bay Hotel in Salthill. I will have a good selection of paintings on display including some new works. Might see you there.

Exhibiting at The Dublin Horse Show

I have decided to exhibit at the upcoming Dublin Horse Show. It will run from the Thursday the 5th of August until the 9th of August.This is a huge event in the Irish equestrian calendar and draws a large crowd from both home and abroad.

As well as the horse events the show offers the public great shopping in the various halls. I myself will be showing my artwork in Hall 3.

I have posted a few images of some works I painted both recently and last summer.

Ballycroy National Park

I visited Ballycroy National Park last August. Ballywhere you may say? I had never heard of it as well until two good friends of mine Jean Pierre  and Nicola took over the running of the cafe there two years ago. The park is situated in north county Mayo and boasts stunning scenery.The windswept Nephin Beg mountains guard the back of the the centre and the panoramic sea views of Achill from the front are breathtaking. The park is very wild and unspoilt and extremely quiet. It is a very  large expanse of wilderness which has white fronted geese, otters, golden plovers, grouse, snipe and other sensitive species residing there. North Mayo is off the beaten track but is a fantastic place to visit.

Having walked a while on the surrounding bogs I had worked up an appetite and where better to address this problem than in the Ginger and Wild cafe. Jean Pierre treated me to a delightful choice of goodies all prepared by himself. The views from the cafe are fantastic and I spent two hours sipping my tea and looking out. The heather was in bloom and the island of Achill was been bathed in soft evening light.

Jean Pierre’s wife Nicola runs the  art gallery and she has some beautiful originals hanging on the cafe walls. She asked me to drop some of my work up to her. I have included a few snaps of some of the artwork I sent her. I look forward to my next visit.IMG_5444 IMG_5448 IMG_5449 IMG_5496 IMG_6075 IMG_6080 IMG_6083 IMG_6088 IMG_6089 IMG_6093 IMG_6099 IMG_6126 IMG_6129 IMG_6131 IMG_8424

 

Spring Fires Ahead

What a wonderful time of year it is! Our garden is alive with birdsong and life. Each morning a hare visits our lawn and browses on the overgrown grass which is a great excuse for me not mowing it! After moving he will not normally return again until the grass is four or five inches. I might plant some wild flowers in a section of the lawn next year and let it  grow wild, the hares love the security of the longer grass to feed in. The “weeds” will not have to be planted! Hares nibble the plantain and dock leaves I’ve noticed.

The mistle thrushes visited our garden this week for the first time. I have not seen them since their fledglings were killed by the magpies last summer. They feed in a very different manner to their smaller relatives the songthrush. They hop forward in powerful bursts and hold themselves very erect in such a proud manner.

The willow warbler is a relative newcomer to our property. I only started noticing these birds frequently about five or six years ago but now there are at least two pairs in the garden. They are staying with us now during the winter as well as far as I can make out. Their song is wonderful and bubbly and is a great addition to the blackbird and song thrush.

I took a walk along the banks of the river boyne at the end of March and was lucky enough  to spot a magnificent dog otter feeding on eels. I tried to sneak towards him for a better photo but he was aware of me and kept working his way downstream. The early morning light on the water that morning is still vivid in my mind and I would love to paint a picture of this scene sometime. I plan to head back next week with my gear and see if I can get a closer image. I will keep ye posted.

I live within a stones throw of the bog. Some of the local farmers burn strips the bog every spring to encourage sweet  aftergrass for their stock.Unfortunately some of them burn into the month of April which causes damage to bird nests and young hares.

I took a walk in some native woodlands last week. I was trying to get some photos of jays which I IMG_9318 IMG_9303 IMG_9217 IMG_9173 IMG_9172 IMG_9157 IMG_9004 IMG_8943 0O8A9279 0O8A9251 0O8A9234 0O8A9181 0O8A9188 0O8A9223had  spotted on a previous occassion. They are very wary birds. I finally heard their chatter and was motionless under an old oak hoping that they might swing my way. I suddenly had the feeling that I was been watched. Out of the corner of my eye a fox was sitting on his hind quarters calmly looking at me. We exchanged stares for about two minutes before he tottered off. I had never seen such a relaxed fox.

I have not bee at my easel for some time now due to family matters. I have managed to get back in the swing of things this week and have been busy catching up on commissions. I will try to post some pics of my recent work shortly.

My next show will be Shanes Casle BASC Game Fair on the 27/28th of June.