Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Photo's from Normandy..

Following on from my last post from Normandy, here are some of my photographs from the area these first ones are of the fortifications, beaches, monuments and the American cemetery.

Utah Beach monument

a gun emplacement


another monument to the fallen

another of the many tanks to be found on display

The beaches as they are now, quiet...

......but still watched over by silent gun emplacements...

the first house liberated on D-Day, by the Canadians..

A memorial at Utah beach

a view of a portion of the American cemetery, over 9,000 war graves.

Omaha beach from the American Cemetery

Cherbourg, from inside a bunker/gun emplacement

the emplacement from outside

a look-out post above a fortified gun emplacement

and the emplacement with the zig-zag trench from the bunk-house.

Normandy is not just about the war though, we did visit Bayeux and the Tapestry.

The town itself is very picturesque, but the weather was rather wet and cold.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Armastice Day, French style.

I'm writing this post in Normandy, France.  I'm over here on a wine and cider buying trip.  Today we visited the Normandy landing beaches, Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha, and Utah. it was a sobering experience looking at the numbers of dead, particularly the American cemetery at Omagh beach.  There was little else to do today, it being Armistice day, November 11th, the anniversary of the ending of the first world war.  Coming from Ireland it is easy to forget the significance of today to a country at the center of two world wars. France still bears the scars, as I am sure do many other theatres of war.  It makes it more imperative to strive to end all wars before they begin.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Travelling again.. both I and my plants..

The first sold sign has gone up on my new updated website , barely a month after it went live.  I know the new shopping cart is operating as it should, unlike the last couple of years.
I'm due to visit Rome later this month, which should be a nice trip.  I am travelling to the south of  Spain in January, or, I should say for January.  We are going for the whole month,  and will be looking at long-tern rental properties in different areas.  I am looking forward to that trip, the sun and warmth in particular.  January can be very cold and miserable here.

My Strelitzia (bird of paradise) plants, including the nicotinia,s are now residents of Farmleigh House . 
I have had to reduce the rainforest in my conservatory, and a friend's son who works at Farmleigh was delighted to get them for the collection there.  I'm glad, I can visit them occasionally.  I was a little sad to lose all my plants, most grown from seed, some of which I had collected by hand pollinating plants, but the compost wasn't helping my breathing problem which has been upgraded from Asthma to COPD.  The up-side is the conservatory now looks very light and airy and much larger than it did hidden by all the foliage.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My new look website is operational

I have re-launched my website.  It was in need of updating, and had been in situ for 10 years in it's current format.  I have my suspicions that the amount of java that was in the template I had been using was detrimental to the ease of use with smartphones too, but I can't complain it served me well for the decade at a cost of about $60 when I bought the license to use it.  
I decided to keep the new (improved, I hope) site simple.  It is just a basic html and css setup with little to download other than the images to facilitate smart phone accessibility.  Hopefully it will bring a level of sales similar to the old site when  I was actually updating it.  I'd messed up my shopping cart for about the last two years without realising it by changing my email address and forgetting to update the paypal shopping cart- even though the new email is on the same account the paypal cart was only operating - or not operating as the case was- on the now defunct email.
Thankfully a buyer contacted me to let me know there was a problem, hence the rush to update without fully testing.  I still need to finish off my alt tags and keywords etc. but the site is fully operational (as far as I know until someone actually buys from it again ;)) I added a link to here on the site to add to the functionality.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Autumn is upon us....

Summer has reached it's evening with the end of August.  Like on Lough Owel, pictured below.

I took this photo coming back from our latest trip to Sligo.  I'm working on a plan or work-up for a painting of a Lough Mask landscape for a commission and found this on my camera.  I'd forgotten I had taken this shot but it expresses the calm slow end to a summers day.  The light struggling to creep through the hovering clouds, with the wind ripples almost totally disappeared from the surface of the water as if they too were off to bed for the night...
It's how I feel at the moment, realising summer has all but gone, and winter is on the horizon.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Summer sunshine

I'm still on sabbatical...
I haven't lifted a brush in an age, but to be honest the break has been good for me.  I have a few ideas swirling around, mainly to do with our future plans and needs.  This means that I couldn't really get involved in my work to any extent anyway, as I find it hard to compartmentalise.  In the meantime I'm looking forward to the future with great anticipation.
I know that when all our plans are made and ideas settled I can go into my studio and just get stuck in.  I don't feel any pressure to create at the moment, and I know that when I am ready the work will flow, it's starting to itch in the background.  It's not bad enough to need scratching yet though, and we all know when you start scratching an itch you just can't stop until it's gone.

For now I'm going to relax on the swing-seat in the shade of our pool-side birch tree outside the studio and contemplate.
In reality, that too is part of being an artist, but we sometimes forget it's relevance to our work.  Possibly because it's so un-grounded, and as a professional artist, I tend to see art as a business rather than the artist as a Bohemian figure.
Others may see things differently, but that is what makes us artists as a body so diverse too.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sunshine on Lough Mask.

 A few photos showing the changing light on Lough Mask in County Mayo.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

I'm back from the Cote D'Azur.

I am back from our trip to France.  We had a good time and travelled to a few new places. Here are a few highlights of our trip.
A feathered friend, aka a collard dove.

Me, otherwise known as St. Francis feeding the doves.

In Juan le Pins, with a flotilla of cruisers moored outside of Cannes for the Film festival.

Cap de Antibes

Picasso's house in Antibes.


the marina at Antibes with the old fort behind.

St. Raphael.

you can't teach an old dog new tricks, and this one doesn't want to learn how to sit on a wet road.

the river in St. Raphael in flood on Saturday after very heavy downpours.
the next morning....


and later that day, backto normal levels.

Public garden in St. Raphael harbour.

St. Raphael

St. Raphael

St. Tropez

A tall ship moored off St. Tropez.

St. Tropez marina

enjoying a beer in St. Tropez sunshine


St. Raphael panorama on the boat back from St. Tropez

The brown sea off St. Raphael, a result of the floodwaters and silt from Saturdays rains.

Christine in St. Raphael, breakfast in a Cafe.

Back to Nice.

Our hotel looked out onto the airport and the bay.

two views of the sea at Nice

performance art at the beach, even the pigeons seem to understand the principles by following the lines created by stone piles..

another friend partaking of afternoon tea in the restaurant. 

two views of the skyline from our hotel with the snow covered Alps in the distance.

Villaurus town square.