Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Now it's nearly a new year. For 2011, I will make a resolution, I'm resolved to actually getting to the National Gallery in January to view some of the Turner watercolours. We have here in Dublin the largest collection of them, and they only come out in January when the sunlight is weakest. I have missed them for the last couple of years, putting my visit on the long finger as it were. This year I won't.
Looking back on 2010, it was quite a success for me. An International award for my art, a place on the International fly-fishing team for next year and a diagnosis and sucessful treatment for my breathing problems. My painting has been going well and I am now happy with (most of) the work. How could I complain? Just the hiccup of the motoring accident injury, which seems to be almost sorted out and hopefully 2011 will be pain free. I'll wish you all a prosperous new year, and catch up with you in January.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
I'll wish you all a Merry Christmas, white or otherwise, and I'll see you in the New Year. (If not before)
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Hopefully my success will continue, giving me a base to work from next year, until the economy turns up.
In the meanwhile we are experiencing extreme cold and heavy snowfalls, two months earlier than usual. According to the forecasts we are going to have it for at least two weeks.... I dunno what happened to global warming it's getting colder!!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I have three group exhibitions opening over the next week. Any guesses at how many of the art collectors are going to have some money left?? It seems to be a day for me to be complaining today. Hopefully the first exhibition which opens tomorrow evening will cheer me up. At least I've only none to not sell in this one, just 20 yards away from the Bank's Art Auction...:(
Yes you guessed it, the Banks have screwed us again. The country has been more or less bankrupted by the bankers, all who seem to be laughing all the way to their offshore bank accounts and their multi million euro pensions. The government have finally been caught out in their outright lies to the voters. And finally, for Christmas we are losing our sovereignty, sold out to the IMF to pay for the golden circle's gambling debts. All of which the working people will have to pay back anyway while the rich, and the super rich have run off with their cash elsewhere.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Mystery is to be found in a small rock-pool, the finger of the incoming tide creeping in toward the pool, seeking to free the mysteries hidden below the reflected blue. This is what makes water so interesting. Each time you look into a pool of water a different mystery can be found, like the water itself, the mystery is fluid.
This has an influence on my work. Again and again I come back to painting water, it's like a child playing in the rock pool, hunting for little crabs, or fishing for minnow with a net in the local park's pond. I am reliving the excitement of childhood while exploring the light and movement on the surface as an adult.
At heart I'm still the five year old fishing in pools and puddles.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Extremely windy or stormy today with gusts of 100 to 140 km/hr. The most severe winds in exposed parts of Ulster and Connacht. Widespread heavy and thundery showers with the risk of hail. The showers will merge into longer spells of rain in the North. The top temperatures will be between 9 and 12 degrees.
Gale force winds will moderate later tonight but it will stay very blustery throughout the night. The showers will continue in the North and West but it will become mainly dry elsewhere. The lowest temperatures will be between 5 and 8 degrees.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I wish the economy didn't necessitate creating smaller works for the Christmastime market, but needs must. I'd much rather be working larger. In reality, a small work takes as much time and endeavour as a larger one, although the selling price is much less. I find it difficult to get engrossed in a small work, and when painting it there is not enough room to let my brushes really make marks, everything needs to be controlled. It means there are no happy accidents (little cameo areas that please the eye) during the underpainting to assimilate into the painting..
I find these often make a work, well, at least from my perspective, they make it interesting in a different way. I think I may have to do a large painting when I have finished these few. I have put myself under pressure now, having left it so late to do the small pieces, they need to be finished soon so that they can be framed in the next week or two. So I can't spend long on here typing. It's back to the easel and oil paints........
Friday, November 5, 2010
but there is not a lot to do on it. In the meantime I have not been working for the last week, other things taking over my time. I hope to get stuck in in the studio next week though. This weekend I'll be visiting friends exhibiting at the Art Fair in the RDS in Dublin, and I want to try to get to the Artist's forum in Tallaght Saturday evening too.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
If you didn't see it in my earlier post it is six from the bottom left. Sadly I won't be at the grand opening. It's hard to get a Taxi to and from the venue.. LOL.
I am quite busy doing everything except painting at the moment. Hopefully I will get back down to serious painting next week. I still have to organise some frames for the upcoming Christmas shows. If you read this Liam, I'll see you tomorrow. :D
I really need to get organised rather than leave it all to the last minute. Hopefully I will sell a few over the pre-christmas shows, I also need to decide if I am going to do another show other than the four already planned. I still have to finish proposals for my hoped for show next year.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Ten for a bird you must not miss.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I am still amazed at the subconsious effects on my paintings. I am working on an idea I have been developing recently. It will be called Gathering Storm and is based on Magpies in the neighbouring tree from my studio scolding the cat from the other side. I have created stormy skies behind the tree, which at the moment is in sillouette - which increases the wintery effect - and I'm hoping will warm the painting much more when re-painted/finished.
While I am feeling the effects of the day in the studio, I am now able to work for a large portion of the day. I hope to start producing a few finished pieces soon, it's getting close to the pre-Christmas shows. I know it's still September, but an oil takes at least six weeks to dry before it goes to the framer's. I will soon have to work out what work will go where, I already have two requests for images of work to go shows for the brochure/catalogue. These also take a couple of weeks or more to produce.
Back to the work .... I may turn this painting to the wall.. ..I've an urge to carry it back out to the studio, but I don't want to overdo the working.
Monday, September 6, 2010
I am going away for the weekend on the 10th of the month. It is a birthday treat, it's that time of year. When I get back I really will have to knuckle down to some painting.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
I am unable to work, it is impossible to concentrate while in pain. The upshot is I am not painting at all.
At the same time I don't want to labour the point either. However it is impossible to talk about my work on the blog when I am not doing any, and cannot even plan work to do. It has now been almost 3 months, without producing any meaningful work. I hope I can start working again soon.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
It is bad enough that people who don't either appreciate or understand the value of art cannot see it does have a monetary value. Even as an hourly labour. That someone who professes to 'love' art and who calls themselves to quote, " a good" artist cannot see that art deserves paying for in my view is scandalous.
Even without the cultural value of art, painting, sculpting etc. deserve at least a skilled labourers hourly rate for the work that goes into producing it. Whatever the 'value' of a finished piece of art as an object or piece of furniture to someone decorating a room, I cannot comprehend someone who says they love their art not valuing the labour that goes into it as of less value than a menial piece-work job.
With artists like this, it is a lost cause trying to educate a public that has very little knowledge of the value of art. A painter decorator is seen as a skilled labourer, and is paid a good hourly rate to paint a wall magnolia. Why should an artist be paid less for the hours spent painting a canvas with a multitude of hues and tones, more importantly how can someone who knows the work that is put into it not actually see the elementary comparison.
Some people love to paint paintings as a past-time, they enjoy it. I can accept it is a lovely hobby for them. Some people enjoy D.I.Y. and decorating, and do carpentry, decorating etc. as a hobby. This does not mean that the value of a skilled labourer or tradesman is any less. Art as a hobby as opposed to a career should not mean the value of an artists labour is non-existent either.
We have come a long way from the times when artists were seen as skilled tradesmen, more valued as a career than many other trades. Now we are expected to starve/suffer for our art and accept our labour is not worth as much as serving behind a shop counter. Forget the old style apprenticeships, we now have third level colleges educating/training our artists for years, or other artists spending years practising and learning their craft. The value of this?
If I go to the doctor it costs more than this for a 15 minute consult - if it takes longer I'm asked to book two! A repair man will charge €75 minimum to call out to fix something, plus charging full retail for materials.
I accept there are market forces. I accept they will dictate what the 'value' of things are. What I cannot accept is that someone who claims to value art, can actually think it has so little value, even in hours labour.
The reality is if artists cannot hold onto the value of artists and their need for a reasonable return for a days work, how can we educate non artists to the fact?
Answers on a postcard please........
Saturday, August 14, 2010
It makes interesting reading, if a little bit academic in language. I note with a wry smile that many of the artists views are almost identical to mine. I wouldn't consider doing anything else, I'd do it all again- but I would not recommend the life to anyone else...
Sadly once again it is official, we suffer for our art, certainly financially compared to other careers and professionals.
In a way it is a little bit useless, in as much that the only people who will take any serious notice of the findings will be the artists. I don't believe it will have any effect on government policies, and it certainly won't convince the general public to spend more money on art. (even if it does I'm sure very little of it will come my way LOL)
In reality it is not telling us anything we don't already know, with the exeption of adding figures and statistics to the general knowledge, the facts have been known for a long time and it is a world-wide trend.
Artists are not seen as professionals. The arts are not seen as a proper career/job and while many accept the cultural and social benefit of a healthy arts culture it is not seen as having monetary value. People will not spend their money on arts, with the exeption of a few novels and popular music events. While the public in general accept educated professions outside the arts should be paid accordingly, educated artists are not seen as deserving of the same rate of enumeration for their work. The world needs plumbers, mechanics etc. and pays them quite well to fix leaks or other problems, but while art is seen as being needed in society, it is not seen as neccesary to pay artists to work.
In truth we don't do it for the money, but at the same time we cannot eat job satisfaction, nor can we pay the mechanics or plumbers with it either.
Ahhh one day my Utopia wil come... in the meantime I'll go fishing occaisionally and create my art, secure in the knowledge that there are a few patrons willing to pay the artists for their labours, even if a little too infrequently....
I'll leave the post with a quote from Pablo Picasso (thanks Molly)
I'd like to live as a poor man with lots of money
Sunday, August 8, 2010
I totally re-painted a work that was almost finished, a view near Cashel bay, Connemara. It was a mix of reds and ochres when I started. It is now a pleasing combination of Blues and greens...It is amazing how a couple of tweeks in tone can lead to a total repaint and change of colour. The whole work is transformed from a struggling landscape into a painting that offers summer's enjoyment with the influence of today's colours. Blue skies where were grey, lush growth, verdant where it was dry dead foliage has transformed the piece into a cheerful painting instead of a cold and barren landscape/seascape. sometimes I surprise myself
Instead of 'fixing' a nagging doubt not fully resolved in the painting, I let my subconcious loose and attacked the whole work with abandon, allowing the now into the painting. It is still in effect a painting of Cashel, and Connemara, but more as one would expect from a John Hinde postcard depicting an Emerald Isle, with glorious sunshine and deep blue waters. I am not worried though, it is what the work needed, updating into the summer sunshine of today, rather than the early spring/end of winter the original sketching was done in.
Enough for now, I'll look again with fresh eyes tomorrow.... who knows? it may drift back from the light a little.....
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
It is a Nokia E63 phone, complete with wireless internet connectivity and a qwerty keyboard.Isn't it amazing how fast and how far internet technology has come in a short time. This means my new (6 months old) notebook is now obsolete....I just need to take my phone with me.
I have been playing with it today, it arrived in this mornings post from vodafone, and I nearly know how to operate it now. LOL.
I am wondering what the battery life is going to be like, but it seems fine so far. It comes complete with video phone capability, camera with built in flash, the usual bluetooth, 3G and quadband and also has office and email capabilities (I've set up the email and internet already) plus GPS and sat-nav with download capability for more apps.....who needs more applications....I can't handle what I already have ??????????
I am not going to try to upload a photo to blogger with it at the moment, though it probably is possible...
that's all for now....back to play....
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Now I just have to figure what to do with them.
Friday, July 16, 2010
There was an idea that struck a chord with many of the individual artists (as opposed to the arts organisations) to have a 'local' social networking site for the arts. This will allow us to discuss items of importance offer some mentoring or support, organise collaborative projects or just arrange get-togethers. A simple idea that has been missed even though many of us use social networking already. There is a move towards a forum/regular get-together starting in September facilitated by the Arts office.
The Arts are looking bright in South Dublin.
Personally, I had my second visit to the physiotherapist this evening. Hopefully Iwill be improved enough to start work soon. I've an itchy paintbrush, it's a pity about the body that will use it.
Friday, July 9, 2010
However it seems to have reduced my 'chronic' pain considerably. I'll know by how much in the morning. I am hoping I may be fit to paint in a week or so, it will be a relief as I'm getting rather annoyed with myself and the lack of work.
I have been looking at http://coppermine-gallery.net with a view to using it on my re-design of my website. A friend has used it on a website he built here http://www.irishdebs.ie/cpg15x/thumbnails.php?album=1 it is based on php script. What I like about it is the fact that it is a searchable Gallery, so visitors can look for work by date, price or particular subjects. This will save me creating different galleries on the site, I will examine the system coding to see how easy it is to adapt over the next few weeks, and of course check my current hosting will handle the php, the script for the process is 37mb. I am not sure how this will effect the amount of bandwith usage, so I'll check this out.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
I've been filling in time with a little bit of Web designing, and watching the world cup. With the Final getting close I'll have to find something else to occupy my time if I am not fit for physiotherapy soon. It is quite annoying, as, with all this hot weather I would be able to work quite fast. I'm missing all this good drying weather, I know that oils dry by oxidisation rather than evaporation, but heat and dry weather still make a huge difference in the drying time. But apart from the aches I cannot even hold my palette in comfort (without pain) and I'm too conscious of the pain to be able to ignore it.
I considered going up to Sligo to look at our cottage last week, but even travelling short distances in a car or the Van is very uncomfortable and painful. I am not quite confined to the house, but I think twice about the need to travel somewhere and don't as a rule go too far.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Meanwhile the Blue-tit chicks are exploring the tree outside my studio, happily eating all the greenfly and caterpillars they can find. The warm summer has helped all the small birds get a good breeding season in after a few poor years with the cold and wet summers we have had. Hopefully they will rear a second brood too.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
I wanted to get stuck in and do some work today, but even before I started I knew it was not feasible, my attention was on the aches without even being aware of it, still, it could be a lot worse. The sun is still shining here, and the South of France have suffered severe flash flooding, just like the US last week.
There is always someone worse off than yourself.
My thoughts are with those who have lost in the two floods.
Friday, June 4, 2010
I'm told it is going to be at least six weeks before I'm going to be able to move with ease again. That means it will be six weeks before I can get back to my painting with any comfort. I can't fish either.... Oh well, at least I'll get work done on the computer and maybe a little selling too.
At least we have good weather and I can sit in the sun while recuperating.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
I have reworked the painting of Grasse, in Provence. I have 'made' a video of the process using the photos. I also want to give another commentary post, explaining the stages and my reasons for the changes made.
Here is a photograph of the view that I painted originally.
You will notice by the tree to the right of the photo that this plein air study was painted slightly to the right of the photograph. Both the tree and the roof angle are different. You will also notice that I simplified the buildings roof in the study as I didn't want too much detail to interfer with the landscape. Here is the advantage of painting studies, the landscape has become secondary to the line and character of the tree in the foreground.
I have started by reworking the sky, overpainting the clouds and creating a gradient down the sky to create both distance and heat.
I then re-painted the tree-tops/trees in the foreground removing the cold tones to allow the trees to come further forward and the distant landscape to go back.
I warmed the distant mountains, and cooled and darkened the foothills, this creates further depth in the painting which originally was quite flat.
My next step was further rework of the foliage in the foreground, and I have painted in a rail fence, using the reference below
this was taken elsewhere in Grasse although close by to the site and is contemporary to the original view.
This includes removing the 'Red/Copper' foliage in the bottom right corner which both detracted from the main area of the landscape and allowed the painting to drift off the canvas.
The Cypres tree on the left was removed as it divided the painting into thirds with the one on the right. The tall building in the mid foreground has had the green area to it's right removed and a building painted in, sending it back into the town rather than allowing it to move too far forward into the trees.
The railings have been added to allow the pine tree to become the subject of the painting, as this was my favourite part of the study originally. These also help to separate the position of the easel (including the tree) from the rest of the painting, giving further depth, and perspective to the painting.
My next move was to reposition the roof line of the housebelow the roadway. Both lowering the pitch and moving the apex from the center of the painting. This improves the look of the roof and helps the balance and movement throughout the picture.
I then have added highlights to the railings in a pale green. I have reworked the foliage at the bottom right corner again, removing the curve look of the green shrub and adjusting the bluer folige to make it less stringy and more solid. I have not allowed the top rail of the fence to go all the way out of the left hand side of the painting, combined with the highlight colour and tone this has stopped it dividing the picture across the bottom.
Finally I have added some of the sky blue into the highlights on the fence and left the work as finished. I have left the Pine tree as it is, painted loosely and direct. It is this freshness that makes the painting, the rest of the landscape is just background to the tree although still recognizable as Grasse.
Friday, May 14, 2010
and darkened the dark area behind the lefthand tree.
In photo two, I have done further work on the tree branches. There are areas of light added to some of them. I have also emphasised the curve and twist of the middle tree trunk.
In the third photo I have reduced the area of foliage to the right hand side of the painting. This area was to square and also quartered the painting. I had a little fun with this part though...creating a little map of Ireland out of it....
Monday, May 10, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
April 2nd's post.
I replaced the lobster pots with nets. These are depicted with some orange and onion netting, glued down and painted on and over.
I also reworked some other areas of the painting, particularly the foreground area which I warmed up to increase the depth of the landscape.
The 3D effect of the scrap netting is interesting in itself. I managed to set the bright colours back with judicous use of paint. while still allowing the colour to come through, while the painterly effect on the plastic bouys still allows them to sit in the foreground while appearing to be three dimensional alongside the netting.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
The large back in the van serves as storage for all of my fishing gear, my full-size radial studio easel fits in comfortably....much better that the lighter sketching easels for larger plien air works. Numerous wet canvases can be laid out in the back.. ...in short I'd be lost without it.