Irish Fly Fair

Hello all,

I will be exhibiting at this years fly fair at the Galway Bay Hotel on the 15th/16th of November. This is a great event for all fishermen and women and one I look forward to every year.

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Upcoming Exhibitions

I am showing my artworks at two venues this month. Some of my artwork is on display at Connemara National Park at the moment and will be until the 25th of this month. The park is located at Letterfrack in Co. Galway. I will not  personally be present daily. I will however be dropping in occasionally so if anyone wants to discuss any artwork I can arrange to meet them there.

I will also be exhibiting my work at the Ballynahinch Harvest and Country Living Festival at Maltalto Estate, Co Down on the 27th/28th of September.This is a new venture I gather and should be a quality event as it is being organised by the same team that puts the great gamefairs of Ireland together.

CLA Game Fair Review

It is hard to believe that  a week has passed since the CLA Game Fair. I must say that the event this year was massive and many people I met walking the show grounds were complaining about the heat, particularly  on Friday. Temperatures on the Friday nearly  reached 28 degrees. I do not think that the organizers could do anything about the heat though! 

I was awoken at four o clock Saturday morning  by thunder and lightening. The storm lasted until half six and was pretty impressive. I did not hear much of it though as I was dead tired and slept through most of it! It rained heavily but by dawn it had lightened off to showers and the day was largely dry.  I was glad that it was reasonably dry by the time it came to cook my porridge at six am!

The show ground did get a small bit muddy with a few afternoon downpours  but the sun quickly dried up the worst puddles. The crowds were excellent and I spoke to people from many European countries who had made the trip especially for the fair. I met a few familiar faces from home as well.

I must thank Edward Hasell McCosh and his good wife Sarah for keeping an eye on my stand when I had to leave it a few times. Edward is an artist and paints wonderful oils in the style of the old Dutch masters. His wife Sarah was delightful company  and we had some great laughs.

Sunday was a lovely day weather wise , not too warm. I had a nice few sales on the Sunday much to my surprise because the previous days are normally the better days. It was nice to make some sales to people who bought from me last year. I also made some good marketing connections and got some wise advice from other artists as well.

Even though the show was tiring  as I was on my own it was also very encouraging to get positive feedback of my work. 

On my return journey to the ferry in Holyhead I dropped into the Charles Tunnicliffe Gallery in the town of LLangefni on Anglesey.It is called theOriel Ynys Mons in Welsh.There is a permanent display of some of his artwork in the gallery and as he was one of the artists whose work inspired me as a young boy I really enjoyed examining his work in detail. The staff also turn a page of one of his sketchbooks every day and the page that was on display when I dropped in contained watercolour drawing of adders. They also had some of his painting equipment on display, and I wondered as I looked at it  how many times the great painters hands must have handled it. It is sad that he is not with us any more as I would have loved to meet him and ask a few questions. A quick bite of lunch and on to the ferry . The journey home was uneventful thank God.

CLA Game Fair Artwork

July is here and that means one thing in the Game Fair calendar, the CLA fair is just around the corner.This  is truly the monster of all game fairs and a must see even for any country enthusiast. One can buy anything from a mousetrap to a yacht, depending on the depth of your pocket of course!

I will be bringing my traveling roadshow of backdrops and artwork over on the ferry Wednesday morning and undertaking the six hour journey to Woodstock, Oxfordshire, where the venue Blenheim Palace, is situated.The palace and grounds are magnificent and they are open to the public for viewing.

It is an event that I have attended for years as a punter. I exhibited at it for the first time last year and thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the  art lovers and country folk. I got great feedback and made some good sales.

I have posted some  photos of some recent work. I have another two that are still on the easel and I will be working hard to get them finished. One of a grouse and one of pheasants.

 

My Stand number is XO777 on row X. Might see you there.

La creme de la Caenis

As anyone knows who follows this blog site I have a great interest in fly fishing. Now I fly fish for many species of fish but trout fishing is definitely my favourite quarry. Pursuing them with a dry fly is in my opinion the most exciting form of this type of fishing and fishing the caenis hatch is definitely la creme de la creme. What on earth is this a caenis hatch you may ask. Well the caenis is a tiny little insect of the ephemeroptera order with about an eight mm wingspan. To a fly fisherman they are regarded either like manna from heaven or a curse, depending on ones knowledge on how to  approach fishing this wonderful hatch. Indeed they are often dubbed “anglers curse” by many who are frustrated by the difficulties presented when fishing this hatch.

I LOVE CAENIS FISHING! It must be the most exhilarating hatch to fish as it comes off the water at first light and providing the breeze remains gentle offers dry fly fishing to ravenously feeding trout until late morning. It can, on those rare opportunities in the west of Ireland when the wind does not blow even offer fishing until late afternoon! To be on the water at first light at this time of year is a magical  at the best of times but throw in pods of eagerly feeding trout sucking and gulping their way through rafts of caenis, it is enough to make the heart of any fly  fisherman flutter with excitement.

You see, the caenis hatch in their millions at first light and quickly shed their skins, like a snake and morph into spinners which is the egg laying stage. They then alight onto the water ,lay their eggs and die. Caenis live short lives. The trout can hardly contain their excitement as the fall increases and the feeding frenzy is a sight to behold. The trout hold station often at an island point and just wait for the little flies to come to them. The slurping and sipping sounds that a pod of fifty gorging trout make is like music to a fly fisherman’s ears.

I have spent a few mornings this week chasing these fish with a mate of mine. We choose mornings with little wind and we had fantastic sport . The worst part is the early rise and shine times from bed. We were on the water at five in the morning. The light is beautiful at this time of the day and all of Gods creations are busy grabbing their first mouthfuls of food.

I hope to get a few more mornings fishing under my belt before the hatch comes to an end.I hope the photos give a feel of the  early mornings on the lake.

 

 

Birds at the Framing Loft

IMG_6635Hello everyone. With the fantastic weather here in the west of the country over the last week spring has exploded. My garden is full of songbirds diligently foraging worms and grubs for their young , butterflies and other insects are flying around trying to evade swallows and the plant life in the meadow next to the house has woken up as well. A hare was coming into the lawn to feed until I gave it the first cut of the year about a week ago and he did look a bit perplexed the following day, probably wondering where all the green stuff went to!

I was in Galway city today and dropped into “The Framing Loft” shop on the Tuam road. Some of my paintings are on exhibition there at the moment and will be for another number of weeks. Mark and Sandra who own and run the shop have been very helpful to me over the last number of years with all my framing requirements and their standard of workmanship is second to none. I took a few snaps of the interior of their shop which show the  wide choice of merchandise available there. Drop in and have a look at the artwork!

Mark & Sandra

Mark & Sandra

Some of my display

Some of my display

New Works

Hello everyone! It has been a while since I posted. I have been doing gardening and building work lately and have been away from my easel. I had a good week at the easel last week though and completed a number of paintings.

I did my first days  fishing of the season  on Lough Corrib a while back. It was an extremely enjoyable day out even if the fishing was tough. The trout were feeding on a midge called duckfly.  The day was cold and breezy so fishing was limited to the sheltered bays. I returned home with a few painting ideas in my head so managed to finish them last week. I think they look great in their frames.

A bullfinch pair has been hammering my apple tree lately and I have been blessed with great close up views of these beautiful looking birds. I have painted some studies of them and also some studies of blue tits. They are nesting in a hole in the gable end of my stone shed.

I am working on a snipe at the moment but am undecided on what setting to place it!

I will post again shortly.

Berry Boredom!

I have finally decided to get into gear on my fieldfare and redwing picture which has been sitting forlornly in the “On The Easel” section of this blog for some time now. As it is going to be such a large work and will take quite some time to complete I decided to paint a smaller piece depicting fieldfares and whitethorn berries to iron out any problems I might have with the larger piece. Problem is I am gone half mad already painting berries and there are still soooooo many to do! I shall  work on them for another few hours this morning and begin the birds on Monday.

Check out the “on The Easel” page for progress on this painting.

This picture is quite large in itself measuring 350mm x 550mm.

Fielfares

New Works & Prints!

I have been working hard at the easel  since Xmas and have been rewarded with a few lovely paintings. I have been inspired by some beautiful January sunsets and decided to capture the light and include some birds in the compositions. I painted a pair of paintings featuring woodcock flying out of cover at dusk on their way to their feeding grounds. They look stunning in their frames. They can be purchased separately or as a pair.

I have also painted a sunset featuring geese on their way to roost. It is a wonderfully evocative painting and I have included a snap of the mounted as well.

I have had a lot of enquires over the last year if I had any plans to produce some prints of my work. Well I am glad to say that in conjunction with wildlife artist Colin Woolf who is doing the printing, my first prints will be be available shortly. I have taken some orders already and I am offering the prints at a special introductory price once they become available. Please contact me if you would be interested in purchasing one of them.I will post the prices  and sizes next week on a blog update. The prints are offered on their own or framed.

These are the subjects for the prints, a leveret, woodcock. goldfinches and a red deer stag.