Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ireland: Art in the Open, day 1

I attempted to paint this pub yesterdat, but the painting is nothing to write home about.  Inishtioge, a lovely small village locked up tight until around 11:00 am, when the pubs opened.

Ireland, Art in the Open, wine reception

Sunday evening withe the major, dressed in his chain of office. Fun evening meeting artists, and putting a face to those I'd only emailed with.

Ireland: Art in the Open preview

Painting in Wexford the day before the competition started.

Ireland: Art in the Open, Sunday painting and reception

We arrived in Wexford about 3:30pm yesterday. Our room wasn't ready, so we went out for a walk around to see a bit of the town. There are some very interesting boats, shops, and historic sites. I found some things on one street near by that I thought would make great paintings, and the weather was superb, so we went back to the car and got my 6x8" magnetic pochade box. I just couldn't miss painting the Bar & Undertaker, and then had to go in for a pint of Guinness.

Then back to White's Hotel where the artist's were gathering for the meet and greet wine reception. I met the mayor of Wexford, and asked for a photo, especially since he was wearing his chain of office!

I have so much to tell and share about our first two days here - complete with gorgeous weather, but this is the first time I've been able to get a signal strong enough to send to my blog.

We are off for dinner and 'a painter's pint night in T. Morris Bar. Hope to have enough energy to blog when we get back.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ireland: Art in the Open

Just about to head out for our first day of painting with a full Irish breakfast under my belt, and I'm sure on my hips, as well.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ireland: castle in Athy

We made a stop in this town for several reasons. As we drove through the town of Athy, I was oohhing and ahhhing over an art supply store, wonderful cake shop window, and then this 14th century castle.

Martin got some money, while I took my photos, and then lunch. Tea for two (served with 4 small chocolate chip cookies), and we split a pannini sandwich. Yummy! When Martin went to pay, he asked about the muffins on the counter. I said "sure", and the vendeurse said 'gooseberry' and I yelled out, "Go no further". Served with fresh whipped cream. Edie, had to get this for you!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ireland or Bust: Part 4, all packed

This photo was taken near the end of our trip in Ireland, December 2005, in County Cork. You can see the state of the grey weather. But I have to say, living in Ohio for the past 23 years has helped me to really appreciate grey. And you can see that it doesn't stop a guy walking his two dogs, in his Wellies! We had some fun here. All the Dawsons went walking two days later on this beach, and it's always a blast going out with them all. There was a man on the beach digging worms, large worms, about 6 - 8" long. He was going to use them for cod fishing! Yum.
Well, we are all packed! Whew. Thank heavens for a great Sherpa named Martin. He has talked me into not taking panels larger than 8" x 10", one size makes everything a little bit easier, but for me, maybe not as interesting. And he had me talked into not taking any frames! I'd heard that I could get both panels and frames in Wexford, but after a late night email with one of the organizers, and talking to Martin about the extra cost, he caved. YEAH!

We just boxed and packed three 8" x 10" frames. I hope they don't try and make us check them.

Now I can sleep, perchance to dream, but not nightmare.

Will blog tomorrow from the airport, promising not to whine so much tomorrow, and then, The Emerald Isle!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ireland or Bust: Part 3, Doolin

December 2005, painting at the foot of the Cliffs of Moher, using the same Yarka easel that I'd taken to India at the beginning of that year. I'm wearing about 5 layers of stuff including my Carharts.

And here they are, at least what I could fit in the frame with one photo.
About 8am, Martin said the waves were around 30 feet.
He's the engineer and technical advisor, I just trust his judgement.

After painting, we decided to have a drive around and headed back inland. Such fun to come across this sweet little thatched "Sweets Shop".

And suddenly, we saw this!

These babies are hard to find now-a-days. This was the real thing, and I had to stop and paint it. At around noon, the sun came out and the temperatures dropped. My hands were freezing, but I was really happy to have painted this cottage. I hope that we see it again this year, I'd try again if the roads aren't busy with traffic.

Ireland or Bust: Flashback to Ireland, Part 2

Folio 34r contains the Chi Rho monogram.[44] Chi and rho are the first two letters of the word Christ in Greek.
This is taken from Wikipedia's article on The Book of Kells
In 2005, we flew to Dublin, picked up a car and drove to Droghheda. Booked into a B&B for one night and went off to spend the day in Dublin. I'd missed seeing the Book of Kells, in 1989, because we were in Dublin on a Sunday, and the Trinity College exhibit was closed on a Sunday at that time.
Missing the book was a very hard thing for me. Sometimes, you just have to trust that you will be back! In 2005, I made sure we were going to be in Dublin on any day but a Sunday. There was a magnificent exhibition on bookmaking in the rooms leading up to the actual book itself, the pages of which are turned on a daily basis. I was hoping for the Chi Rho monogram above, but you can't have everything, can't you?
My Irish Sweetheart, Martin. I used him here to show the size of the boulders with the ancient Celtic carvings. The meaning of the swirling symbol is lost to the ages, but you see it everywhere now days, and now you know where it came from.
The next morning it was peeing down with rain as we went off to visit the ancient site of New Grange, one of many fine ancient things to see in the Boyne Valley, north of Dublin. And sometimes you just gotta let the rain not dampen your mood and get on with a good time. (Now, you'll all be reminding me of that if I complain about having to paint in the rain in Wexford this year.)

Martin crucified inside the magnificent ruins of Temple Rí (King's Church)
at the Clonmacnoise Abbey site. The stones in the gravel represent where burials would have been.
After all, it was Ireland, and we were dressed well enough for it. And no sooner had we left New Grange and heading out across the center of the island the rain stopped! Martin always does the driving, and I always do the navigating. We are good at our jobs. I spied an ancient monastic site on the map called Clonmacnoise, and we headed for it.
We had this site all to ourselves the entire time we were there.
One reason I like to travel off season.
Clonmacnoise was an Early Christian site founded by St. Ciarán in the mid-6th century on the eastern bank of the River Shannon. The site includes the ruins of a cathedral, seven churches (10th -13th century), two round towers, three high crosses and the largest collection of Early Christian graveslabs in Western Europe.
I could see why the monks chose this site for their community. I surely wanted to stay and paint the feeling of quiet beauty that was here. Not the architecture, but the view across the Shannon. It was lovely beyond belief, but we were headed for Doolin on the west coast, and hadn't booked a room, so we continued on. Still, the haunting memory of this beautiful place has stayed in my heart since that cool, grey afternoon.

A few hours later in Doolin, we found a B&B, we offered some tea, and freshened up a bit before heading out for an evening meal in a pub. Not long after we sat down, one by one in came the musicians. It wasn't the best session we heard, but it was a quiet night, and it was good.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ireland or Bust: Flashback to 2005, Part 1

Does it get any better than this?
Here we were in December 2005, in a cemetery, not sure where, but it doesn't matter. They are always interesting, and nothing more gorgeous than these ancient Celtic crosses covered with "time".

We are going back to Ireland this year. We leave Thursday, July 26, and need to be at the airport by 6:15am! Yikes. Then we sit for hours in Chicago. To be exact, 10 hours! It was the cheapest fare we could get when we booked the travel.

I will be blogging as much as possible from Ireland, so if you know anyone that it interested in Ireland, or the Plein Air Convention I will be taking part in for the first week, let them know about my blog.

I will be taking my Motorola Xyboard Tablet, 10" screen to work from, and it's not as easy to work with as my laptop, but a darn site easier to carry. So counting down, and wanted to let you all know.

Many of you are not registered as friends, and you email be behind the scenes and it comes to me in my earthlink email box. I will not be checking that while I am away, and won't get your comments until I return. You could however make the comments here on the blog. What a novel idea!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

La magique du theatre!

What a time we had yesterday!

While Natalie started her class, I waited for the garden sprinklers to subside. A great moment to buy theatre tickets. I only bought two at full price, as I was waiting for the discount rush tickets for the matinee performance of Shakespeare's "Henry V". I was told that I could also get discounts for the evening performance of "Much Ado About Nothing ", so i set my phone alarm for 11:30am and set to work on another water lily painting.

Natalie's class was also seeing "Henry V", but I had no idea where they would sit. My awesome discount ticket was 4th row from the stage, in the left side center, such a superior seat for the price!

I wasn't able to get a photo of the set. I felt too exposed, and didn't feel like getting yelled at.

Neither Natalie or I had seen this play, considered one of Will's masterpieces. Of course Natalie got a little knowledge of it in her class.

Our favorite things was when one of Falstaff's men is hung. Interestingly enough, this was just before intermission, and they left the poor bugger hanging there for quite a long time as the audience left the theatre for a break.

Another very effective moment was the staging of a fleet of Henry's ships sailing to France. By use of a moveable door that angled downward from the back of the stage, the actors, all 45 of them, each carrying  a metal pole with one or two sails on it came up from behing the raised end of the lower bridge/door, and walked downward and off the stage and up the aisles! The effect was of a fleet coming over the horizon, ship after ship! C'est magique.

Shakespeare of course tempered all the killing of the war with comedy, and these seasoned stage actors really know how to bring Shakespeare's literary genius to life.

Natalie was treated to an after stage question and answer session with some of the actors. This stayed in session until just before 6 o'clock, which didn't give us much time to find dinner and return for the 8 o'clock performance of Much Ado, but we managed, and had a fun evening of comedy. I did get a photo of the gorgeous set, but with my camera only.

Back at the B&B, we tumbled into bed, exhausted, but happy.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Water lily day.

I am back at Stratford, Ontario, this time with my granddaughter, Natalie.

She is doing a 5-day acting camp, and I am using this time to paint. She meets her class in front of the festival theatre each morning, and once they were gone, I walked around the gardens to see if there was something that interested me.

I decided to sit on the bench and paint the water lily pond. Those of you that know me and my work, know that I rarely paint flowers of any kind, same goes with gardens. But, I told my husband that I might paint the gardens, and this just seemed so convenient.

I decided to use one of the Rosemary brushes I'd won in the Adirondacks. An Ivory, synthetic, flat about #2? 1/4" wide. And a homemade panel, acrylic primed 8-ply museum board. Had a nice feel to it, and I think I like this brush. Susie, don't choke.  Since I figured this painting was just me 'attempting flowers', I had nothing to lose.

I met the gardeners. The head 'honchette' was very nice, and she checked on me and my painting a few times. I took a break for lunch, but had made up my mind to just stay here until Natalie finished at 4 pm. I wanted to do a close up painting of the yellow lilies. I just might stay here through Friday and see if I can figure it out.

For those that think painting flowers is a breeze, well, not for me. Still, I enjoyed my time today. And, my new Best Brella showed up on Friday and it works so well, and changes angles so easily that, so far, I am rating this umbrella an A+.

Natalie was worn out, and is napping for an hour now. The weather here is fine and gorgeous! And, I am thinking of waking her for dinner.