Friday, December 26, 2008

A Prosperous new year

Here's wishing all my regular viewers a prosperous and happy 2009. I know Mine will be. :)
I am looking forward to the year ahead.
I will try to get lots of work done early on, with show offers in Greece, Malta, and a group show in Portugal I'll have plenty of opportunities to show and sell.

I amtaking a few days break until after New years day, so have a good time over the holidays and drop back soon.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas is coming, sales are soaring, mark II

I haven't been working (painting) in the studio since my last post. I have been busy with other things, like tidying up for a studio visit by a client. Getting my van serviced and certified (road worthiness) which has to be done annually. Then other odds and jobs took up quite a bit of time, a fishing competition last weekend.

With everything going on I am just not able to get down to painting. Although sales of work are going well, surprisingly considering the economy. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that at the moment investment in art is one of the safest options. Buying sensibly means that your investment should not lose value, as art is not as volatile as stocks and shares. The newspapers and journals have been full of articles saying as much for the last few weeks. Mainly driven by the major art auction houses I suppose, but it has had a good effect on my sales.

I may get some painting done next week, but it is getting close to the silly season, and I may find myself otherwise occupied.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Home again,

I am just back home from Malta. We spent a week in the sun, complete with camera, sketchbook, pencils, etc. I also visited an artist friend over there too, and it was a very enjoyable trip.
I have come back with lots of reference material for some paintings, and the offer of a one man show next year. At this time I already have two offers of exhibitions abroad next year, the one in Malta and in Athens, Greece, that was offered just before I left for Malta.
I will probably not start work until next week though, as I am tired at the moment. I also need to get organised for a couple of visitors to my studio. Judge an Art competition tomorrow, and a few other jobs that are overdue. In short I'm going to be busy this week, I have a party on the 12th, a lunch engagement on thursday, and my usual night out with the boys...... I've said many's a hard life, but somebody's got to do it...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I didn't get to photograph the 2nd Venitian painting yet. I have been too busy. Last nights' group show opening seemed to go well, I had already sold two before I left, so it is looking good, even without more sales. A sell rate of 33% is a good result for a large group show opening anyway.

I am hoping for more sales before the exhibition closes, but either way I will be happy. Getting that first sale when you don't have your own buyers list at a show is always important. Red dots (sold signs) encourage others to invest. It is great to be doing well at the moment, I am feeling energised painting wise and will be in a position to splash out in the Art supplies shop after Christmas. There will be too much gift set stocks and too little room in the shops to browse for my liking between now and the new year. I have enough of everything until January anyway.

I find it easier to get good deals on canvas, brushes etc. in January too, so I don't really want to brave the Christmas shoppers and the city traffic.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

muddy yellows.....

I have finally finished (sort of) my latest work. It is an atmospheric rendering of a Venitian canal scene. I will endeavour to upload a photo later.

Before I do that I have to send two works by courier tomorrow, deliver another six for an exhibition tomorrow evening, on thursday evening I have to be at an art sale I am taking part in, and I have another opening on Friday for another group show in which I am included (the six works I'm delivering tomorrow evening).

With all this going on I also need to arrange a studio viewing for a patron and arrange delivery or collection for two other works that need framing for Christmas.
I am told by one of my Galleries that there is a deposit paid on another work also, to be collected before Christmas.

With all the talk of World recession, it's very nice to be so busy. It just goes to prove, quality art will always sell, and in turbid times it is a realistic investment opportunity. I have however refrained from increasing my prices this year. Mainly because I feel in the current economic climate holding values is almost as good as increasing them. Although I absolutely refused to reduce them earlier on when some Galleries thought the economic downturn warranted lower prices. I believe I owe it to my collectors to protect their investments. Sadly I noticed recently some artists resorting to "half price sales" at an art fair, to the detriment of all the participants.
I am glad I was not taking part in the fair, for I feel all the participants, including high end galleries were tarred with the same brush, ie. Bargain basement art-works.

I am going to climb down off my soap-box now, and get back to work, I have been scrutinising the latest masterpiece, knowing there was a little something I wasn't happy with and I have just seen it. I need to adjust the tone slightly on the yellow, it is looking a little dirty/muddy, I overworked it during the mixing I think.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Venitian painting........

I have been busy in the studio. I eventually finished the commissions, and after I was looking through some photographs from our trips earlier this year. Amongst them were some from venice,
This one in particular reminded me of the patterns formed by the boats, moorings and buildings along the canals. I started sketching away and after awhile I came up with the idea for this painting of the waterbus stop. I have called it 'Ghost of Venice'

This is partly due to the fact that it is an impression left by City and it's environs. It also alludes to the hazy figure within the bus station. I kept the painting very geometric in nature, relying on the shapes and patterns to make the painting, more than trying to create a representational work from a photograph.

I enjoyed the painting, and I am very happy with the result. I am now thinking of creating a small series based on my memories. I shall keep you informed.....

Saturday, November 8, 2008

2nd Biennial Ex Libris - Lighthouse

The 2nd Biennal Ex Libris opened in Gallerie Archive, Nemanjina 7, Pancevo, Serbia last night. I have a couple of linocuts showing in it. I would have liked to get over for the exhibition, but I couldn't really justify it at the moment with all the travelling I have been doing. I will be in Malta next month too.

I am looking forward to the trip, and I have arranged to meet up with an Artist friend, Francis Gallea while I am there. In the meantime it's back to work for me, paintings to paint (and finish) before I go....

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Irish landscape paintings

I am still working away in the studio. I am hoping to finish the commissions next week which will give me more time to start on some landscapes. I am determined to paint a few irish landscapes this year, and hopefully I can build up enough to organise a show. The few I do manage to paint tend to sell in the meantime.

It is surprising how hard it can be to do something that simple!!!
Oh well, c'est la vie.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nearly the end of another month...

I am busy painting away, trying to get some commissions finished . Hopefully when they are I will get one or two more in before Christmas.
At the moment I am finding it difficult to get down to work, the light is constantly changing. Bright low level sunshine coming in the window one minute. Dark clouds and rain the next.
It makes it difficult to keep the colours consistent.
I find myself stopping for a cup of tea...(I'm cutting down the coffee) regularly, and the fish are getting too fat...they look for food every time I open up the studio, I have them trained to come looking for food when I am starting work.
Oh well, back to the palette and brushes....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Work and Play, but someones got to do it.

I got this 6 lb 14 oz beauty on the final day of the season on lough sheelin.
It took a silver invicta on the point.
I moved one other fish for the day but it just followed the flies without taking. Later I increased the fly size to try to induce a take, and this fish followed the flies again. This time I stopped the retrieve and waited for a few seconds, then lifted the rod. Thankfully he had the fly in his mouth at the time. :)

Due to the ending of the fishing season, and a trip to London I have not been painting since our trip to Carcassonne. I have two commissions to get organised, started and finished in the next 5 or 6 weeks so I am going to be busy.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A trip to the south of France, but no painting.

I am just back from the South of France, Carcasonne and the Lanquedoc area. Warm sunshine, and occaissional showers but a nice change from the miserable weather over here.

We had a great time walking around Carcassone old city and along the river Aude.

I spent a lot of time watching the fish in the river and the Gheckos in the walls.

We took a short boat trip down the Canal de Midi too.

Sadly we only had three days, but we enjoyed every minute of our stay.
Incedently we stayed at The Royal Hotel
22 Boulevard Jean Jaurès CARCASSONNE 11000, which at only 45 euro per night for the two of us was excellent value for spotlessly clean rooms with albeit small ensuite, all mod cons, phone and TV.
The staff were very pleasant too.

We did not manage to get to the Art gallery which was just sround the corner.... ...we were too busy enjoying the sunshine,..... but next time...

I did not take a sketch book or similar as I knew I would not have time to paint while we were there, but in a way I'm sorry I didn't because I could have done a couple of quick watercolours while we sat down by the river and outside the old City.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Autumn is arriving...

It's the end of the month already. The lack of posts on my blog gives testament to the fact I have been busy painting. The work has gone quite well too.
I will try to get more posting done over the next few months, but in reality I have not had a lot of interesting news recently. Lets face it, who wants to hear that I have worked this week, last week, next week....etc. I need angst or something interesting to write about.
....Now I could start on about the weather again.......autumn has arrived and the leaves are starting to turn already, it will be soon time to start painting still-life for the winter.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I have been struggling to resolve a painting all afternoon, it is now evening and I am still trying.
I have put too much work into it to bin the canvas....otherwise it might have gone out the window by
I know what I want to do with it but as I change one area another needs could be a long night. :(

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I can't believe it is almost a month since I've posted!
I have been busy painting. Mostly paintings of my pond, but a little bit figurative work too.
The work has been going well, obviously, that is why I have been so lax in my blogging.....I've been too busy painting to blog.

I will try to upload a few images later in the week.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

another update on the plien air painting

It's still raining! I don't see myself getting much plien air painting done while the weather is like this. I am hoping the weather will get more summer like this month. It is a little frustrating not being able to paint outdoors all's enough to make you want to emigrate to somewhere dry...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Just a small update..

I am still working on more pond paintings, with the humid thundery weather of the last few days the oil paint has been slow to dry. It still surprises me at how dependent on the weather conditions drying time can be even while using drying mediums. I still need to do more work in the studio too, I have not finished my re-organising yet.
I will be doing some plein air landscapes shortly, at least if the weather is amenable I will. I am hoping to get a few days here and there around the country so I have some varied Irish landscapes to hopefully organise a show in the US in a while. I haven't had a US show in a couple of years, but at the same time I have not really had that many Irish landscapes "in stock" in a few years to organise a show featuring landscapes of Ireland.
I have been meaning to get enough together for quite a while...the world is paved with good intentions....and I just haven't been in the mindset to do it.

I have set up a page on Facebook this week, mainly to keep in contact with family members abroad, but feel free to look me up...:)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pond paintings and my studio

I have finished the painting I posted earlier, this is it here. I have also completed another one, painted from outside the studio. You will notice the reflection of the studio in the bottom left corner of the work.
I was going to do some more work from the pond today, but it is overcast with rain forecasted later so I will leave it until the weather is more suitable. In the meantime I have other jobs to do anyway, so I can get stuck into them today and I have a meeting tomorrow I need to prepare for. I will try to update a little more regularly, but I tend to get sidetracked to easily... :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

I have almost finished the painting. I have been busy elsewhere other than the studio too. I also managed to get out fishing on Wednesday, and hopefully will get out again over the weekend.

I have been reorganising and tidying around the studio, Having moved a few paintings out I have more space at the moment.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I have decided to paint my pond, photos of which are both with and without the pump running for the stream.
It is nice to have a little summer agaion...yes it has stopped raining :)
I have included a photo of the first laying-in stages of the painting to give you an idea of what I intend. I don't have a polarising lens on the camera so you cannot see any fish.
To give a little scale the pond is edged with 8X4 inch bricks

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I have not been doing much painting this last week. I was too busy delivering paintings to framers and galleries. I have fished three days in the last week too. I broke the top of one of my river rods last saturday while fishing a competition. This evening I broke my other river rod fishing another competition. This evenings victim has a lifetime warranty but it will probably take a couple of months for the replacement section. I will need to replace the other rod anyway.

I haven't broken a rod in years, and now manage to break both my river rods in one least I won the competition this evening, it's some comfort, but it's a pity there wasn't a rod as first prize LOL.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Finn Eces (Finnegas) Salmon of Knowledge, final stages.

Here is the finished painting of Finn Eces' salmon. I added two more hazelnuts, mainly to help break the horizontal across the back of the painting. I had considered putting the nine nuts the salmon was said to have eaten in the myth but I don't really see a need to be a slave to the legend.

I am considering doing a series based on the Irish legends and have started another work, the hound of Culainn the Blacksmith, reputed to have been slain by the boy Setanta, thereafter known as Cuchulainn.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

bradán feasa, a painting and searching for the inspiration....

I have not posted in a while, I have been busy both with an exhibition and also re-evaluating my art. I feel I have to move forward with my painting. I have not been totally happy with my work recently, it is/was in a rut. I have decided to move from my normal representational work further into a more stylised conceptual way of painting. I may even move more into semi-abstract works if the fancy takes me.

I suppose I am overdue a change, I have been working on a painting, based on my lino print of the salmon of knowledge, Bradán feasa in the Irish language.

Here are some photographs of the work in progress, although it needs to progress quite a bit further yet.

the first stage, drawn in charcoal and fixed. The hazelnuts have been painted green.

a base colour in position

further work, mainly on the salmon, note the repositioning of the Newgrange passage tomb to below the hill-line

the present stage of the work

detail of the salmon

I will give an update later in the week, after I do a bit more to the painting.

Incidently, it is acrylic on canvas, 24 by 20 inches.

The painting has an accumulation of themes, the salmon is said to have gained it's knowledge from the hazelnuts that grew on trees around the magical spring from where the rivers of Ireland grew, hence the contorted hazel trees and hazel nuts. The Salmon was caught in the river Boyne, which runs through the valley at Newgrange, two more elements of the work. In the clouds and river, the swirls of the contorted hazel are echoed, also encompassing the spiral decoration from pre-christian celtic art found on the stones at Newgrange. All of which combine to create a history of the salmon of knowledge while the dissapearing river leaves us seeking knowledge of where it is going.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More paintings..

I have been working away yesterday and today, I also picked up some more supplies this morning. The work is going well, but I am not sure I really want to continue with it. My lack of colour in them is making me uneasy. They are of the western loughs, irish landscapes with lots of water and quite atmospheric, but not my usual work.

I will evaluate some of it over the next few days, and decide if it is worth continuing with.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Another week over, and a busy one ahead..

Another week has passed.
I have done some painting,.... but not a great deal.
I am fishing competitions again tomorrow and Sunday, so none will be finished this weekend.

I need to finish a few for the end of the month, but I have to get a few other jobs done also. I am due to fly into London for a day next week too. At this stage I am glad I didn't go to Montenegro for the Art festival/residency this month. It is something to look forward to for next year anyway. (I have been asked to go next year...)
I need to get some more paint and canvas this month, supplies are not low, they are almost non-existent. I will get into town as soon as I have the work ready for the upcoming show.
Don't expect too many posts this month, it's not likely to happen unless work progresses greatly.

Friday, June 6, 2008

I have been working away quietly, trying a few things in small sizes. However I don't have much to show for it.
I am not particularly worried though, I think I may need to work through the ideas anyway.
It can be frustrating, but it is also rewarding.
I will be fishing competitions this weekend, and next so I will get a break from the work.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I have been working away from my lough Mask studies.

These are photos of three little acrylic paintings.

I am at the moment working on a larger oil painting. It is progressing quite well but I am not ready to photograph it yet.

I am hoping to get some more work done next week but I have a few things I must do before getting back to the painting.

Added to the list of things to do are prepare for two major fishing competitions next Sunday (8th) and the following Sunday (16th), two Club competitions to be organised and fished on the Saturday evenings of the 15th and 21st and I am going to be quite busy over the next few weeks. I also have a trip to London this month too.

I still have to organise frames for the end of the month, though my framer knows that they are wanted, and, to be honest he rarely does them before the last minute anyway!!

In the mean-time I hope to post a little more later in the week.

Monday, May 26, 2008

More travelling stories...

I am back from my travels again. I have done a bit of fishing, and made quite a few studies in Co. Mayo. I think they may make a nice little series of paintings. I am considering working a little more abstract with them too.

I have done very little painting apart from these studies recently, and I need to organise a show for the end of June.
I have not heard back from the organisers of the Montenegran festival regarding availability of transfers from Dubrovnik airport so I will not go this year. It is too late to try to book flights now, the festival is due to start in two weeks. I hope to go next year instead, assuming that they may be a little more organised. I have plenty to be going on with at the moment anyway.

I will try to keep up to date with the Blog a little more too. I tends to be difficult when I am away so much though.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mayfly time again...

I have been busy for the last week. I am just back from the North today, and now I need to get organised for my annual weeks Mayfly fishing. Everything is booked, but I need to ensure I have enough flies tied, the outboard enging is well serviced and I have enough two-stroke oil to do the week. We are going to Lough Mask this year for a change. Lough Corrib was quite poor the last couple of years.
Meanwhile, I have to do a few design drafts tomorrow, so I can finish a design commission for Friday. I am still waiting to hear back from Montenegro, I cannot get direct flights into Montenegro and need to know if I can be collected from Croatia. Until I hear I can't book flights, so I think I will miss the festival for this year. I refuse to pay almost 1,000 euro for flights into Montenegro, via London and Paris........ I could take a month in the Algarve or in Africa with Christine for that price.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A great start to May

We have had a couple of great days weather-wise. It is about time spring/summer arrived!
Consequently I have spent the holiday weekend getting the garden in order. I attacked it with gusto, and I have gone a bit too far...with all the major changes to the layout and heavy pruning on the shrubbery it is going to be a weeks work to finish.
I don't expect to be painting much this week, unless a commission that can't wait comes in. I need to get some more canvases before I start work again, so I can take a break during the weeks gardening and go into town. I'm off now, I've got a skip to fill with garden waste.........

Friday, May 2, 2008

Back from Our travels

We are back from Nice and the Cote D'azur in the french riviera. We also visited Montecarlo in Monaco which is just a short bus ride up the coast from Nice. The coastal landscape is interesting, and as we were flying into Nice I had an amazing view of the coastline west of the airport itself as we approached the airport parallel to the shoreline. The Public bus service in the area is very reasonable, at 4 euro you can get the bus from the airport and unlimited use of local busses and trams for the day. Obviously we did a lot of our touring and sightseeing by bus and tram, it sure beats paying through the nose on our own public transport at home.

The bus to Montecarlo was only 2 euro for a return ticket. It is a nice trip along the coast too. I preferred Nice to Montecarlo, even though Montecarlo had some great specimens of the giant white strelitzia plants. It was amazing to see these bird-of-paradise flowers towering over the banana trees beside them. I had to look twice to check which were trees and which were strelitzias. There were many standard strelitzias flowering all over Nice and Montecarlo. Also Montecarlo was in the process of preparing for next months Grandprix motor race so there were barriers and viewing platforms being erected all over the place, which made it quite scruffy.

Sadly we did not have the time to visit all the sites immortalised by the impressionists in the area, nor to any of the art galleries in the area which include galleries devoted to Renoir, Matisse and Chagall among others.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I have just recieved an invitation from the Association of Fine Arts Belgrade-Serbia & Montenegro to an International Art festival in Montenegro. It is in mid June this year however and I am not sure I will be able to go. I need to check my diary dates, it is shortly after my weeks mayfly fishing over in the west. If I can't make it this year, hopefully I may be able to postpone until next year as I would love to go to Montenegro, situated on the Adriatic coast, with a warm meditereanean climate... There are a number of my artist friends and aquaintances among the twenty invited artists. The festival is just down the coast from other friends too.
Hopefully I may be able to adjust my schedule to fit it in. I know I have to cancel a major fishing competition, and another is the day before I need to go, but I may be able to fish that one.
I'm going to go now and start checking flights, diaries and everything else....

Monday, April 14, 2008

An Artist's work is never done...

I have not posted in a while, I have been very busy. I have sent the ex-libris lino prints off to Belgrade for the Biennale. I just sent these two.
One a basic lighthouse (the subject for the Biennale) in an art deco style.
The second is based on the Boyne valley and the salmon of knowledge, the story as explained here .
It includes an ogham stone (early celtic script) enscribed with 'libris' in the foreground, the salmon of knowledge, Newgrange passage tomb, and clouds in the style of Celtic pre christian stonework (spirals). Newgrange is a lighthouse in reverse, instead of lighting up the sky to direct ships, the solstice sunrise lights up the back of the tomb down the passage through a small window above the door. In effect lighting up the house of the dead.
I have been busy doing routine organisation of upcoming exhibition opportunities etc. also, plus I have had two angling competitions recently. They take up time too.
I hope to get some more actual painting done shortly, but I won't hold my breath, I have a lot of things happening at the moment all combining to make it difficult to get settled into a painting frame of mind. I have to ship another painting today. It takes a few hours to pack and post a painting, all of which takes time out from the studio. I have already spent two hours photographing work to send two images off to a gallery, it takes time to ensure accurate colours and shading, plus good sharp focus with no distortion of the painting.
At least the sun is shining in my windows, cheering up my day, but I have to sign off now, to update my fishing blog, and then back to work.

Monday, April 7, 2008

I am back at work this week

I had a few days off last week fishing etc. The work is going well. I am working on a few landscapes, one portrait and large seascape. The work is varied to say the least, but none of them are urgent so I can work on whichever I feel like doing at the time.
The warm weather last week was great for doing plien air work, and I went fishing. This week the temperature has dropped down to between below freezing and 6 degrees centigrade. At least the studio is heated....I have a new PC set up in there now too. The Internet connection is not great though, I may need to run a new line in.
I still tend to do most of my web work in the evenings though, but the 'net connection is invaluable for sending photos of work in progress, it means I can photograph the painting, download to the PC and email it all at once. It makes much more sense than running back and forth to a computer in the house.
I don't want to get into the habit of spending time on the PC in the studio though, it will interfere with the painting.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Just popping by,

I have been busy the last week or so. Even so I haven't really got that much news. I need to frame and ship a couple of prints for the Ex-libris, but apart from that I'm just painting away working on a few ideas and waiting for the weather to improve so I can start a few landscapes. I may take a trip down the country next week, but I have a couple of Fishing competitions in the next fortnight, so I will be busy with them too. Of course I've had a couple of days out this week too.....

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Two recent Irish landscape paintings.

Here are two recent works, the first is a view of Connemara. Acrylic on canvas, 18 by 14 inches.

The dry dead foliage gives the landscape a warm feel with any sunshine. The light picks up the reds and ochres of the dormant foliage, while the pools of water amongst the bog sparkle with light. The reflections in the puddles and pools give a contrasing coolness to the warmth of the landscape.

More details of the paintings can be found on my website .
The second painting is an oil on canvas, of the same dimensions and is a painting of Lough Carra in County Mayo. I like the oil painting particularly, as it gives the feeling of calm that this particular lough gives. Lough Carra is the smallest of the western lakes at 4000 acres. It is an intricate Lough with many bays and points. A clear lake it is the safest of the western lakes, and rarely gets the rough waves the others can experience. The light limestone marl gives the shorelines the characteristic 'white' shallows, dropping off into deep dark water. It is along these edges the best of the trout fishing is found. This second painting is also on my website and is available to buy direct.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Easter Exhibition Update

I am back from Lahinch, the gallery have my new paintings for the exhibition. It is due to open on Easter Monday. There will be four small seascapes and four landscapes on show. The trip was a long one, not helped by a small detour.....un-intentional one, due to the navigator sending me the wrong way at a juction while taking a new route. I am well rested now though, my eyes were very sore this morning, due to the de-misting air coming up into my eyes all the while when driving. With the damp weather, the van windscreen was misting up if I turned the hot air fan off. I am going to take the weekend off now, no more work until Tuesday, Monday being St. Patrick's day.
We party this weekend......

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

All prepared at last!

All my paintings are ready for the exhibition, I just need to wrap and pack for transport. I will have an early start tomorrow. It is a long drive down, and It will probably be a fourteen to sixteen hour day in total. The paintings look very good in the frames, that final finishing off makes a big difference.
I can honestly say I am pleased with the works going to the show. If they don't sell well I will be extremely surprised!. The subject matter is a good one for the area, and even if I say it myself the work is 100%, both artistically and for uniqueness.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Organising for an exhibition, and considering a painting studio sale..

I have been selecting some paintings for a show from the stacks in my studio. I am seriously considering holding a "Studio sale" later in the year. I have so much stuff to clear out of the studio. Small works and studies I have been holding on to for later re-use or repainting were easily stored in my old studio as I had plenty of space. My new studio however is a different story, I just don't have the same storage. I am due to do an art fair in the summer, but even so I have more than enough work done for it.
I may have an online studio clearance about April, I don't particularly want to frame them for an exhibition, and I can't use my studio as an open studio to sell them either, it is too small for that.
I have to take the paintings to Clare next week, the gallery down there wants 5 or 6 works for thier Easter Group show. I have just finished phoning my framer, I need a couple of the pieces framed in a usual he will oblige. :) I forgot Easter was so early this year. Time is flying by........ I hope to get a few sales from the show, the Gallery does quite well, and Easter is a good time for sales as the area gets a large amount of tourist traffic, as does the gallery. If I take a couple of smaller works (24 inches and under) they usually sell quickly, although the big pieces can sell, but I prefer to keep those for one man, or major shows with lots of space available to display. In a group show situation the gallery can only allocate a certain amount of space to each of thier Artists, so larger works mean less paintings displayed for sale.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I haven't been doing much work these last few days, but I did come across this on youtube...

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Painting for St. Patricks Day.

Here is a small study/oil painting sketch of Croagh Patrick in Mayo.

I am selling it as a special for St. Patricks day.

I am only charging $300 for it.

It is an Oil on canvas, 18 inches by 14 inches and I normally would charge about $650-$750 for it direct from my studio. Allow about 10 days for shipping to the US.

Click on the painting for a larger photo.

with Paypal, secure online payments

Friday, February 22, 2008

More lino-cut prints

I have been working on my prints for the Ex Libris exhibition in Belgrade. The theme is to be Lighthouse. I have two works at the moment one based on a wood cut I did earlier with an ogham stone, Newgrange monument and the salmon of Knowledge. The woodcut is too big for the exhibition, it is 12 by 10 inches, but I need them to be 15 by 10 cm, 6 by 4 inches max.

I have redone the block as a linocut, the print I have is not quite right yet. I need to reprint it on a different paper, the other paper I used has too much texture.
I also did a linocut of a lighthouse but I am not really very happy with it. It is too simple and dark.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I am back from my trip to the west. I have not been into the studio yet though as I have been sorting out the garden in the sunshine while we have it. I have rebuilt my stream coming into the pond, moving it from left to right away from the access point to my studio. Now it is working away, just needing the final stonework/rockery to be finished, but I can do that at leisure. Next job on the agenda is the steps up to the boat-dock and window boxes on the studio itself.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I have everything organised for tommorrow, flowers,card, dinner is Valentines Day.....
.........and I am dissapearing at 5 am the following morning, off to the West and fishing on Lough Corrib. She's not a bad wife at all.... Sometimes one has to make sacrifices, it would be a bit much to head down the day before!. I can only go for the one day also as I have to be in Dublin for an important meeting on Saturday.
Apart from that I still have to organise my fishing gear, most of the trout gear is still put away for the winter, and our trip to Amsterdam has meant that time has caught up on me. I will be busy tommorrow afternoon getting the Van loaded and ready for my trip. I need to get all my gear ready and checked in daylight.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sunlight, water and brightness

I have been busy working in my studio again, but the last two days have been quite warm (about 15 degrees centigrade) and sunny, so I have had the door open and I have worked to the sound of running water in my Pond. The sunlight reflecting in through the windows and the door off the water surface fills the studio with light. Added to the fact that the studio was a gift, it is really a joy working in there. The difference in the atmosphere between it and my old studio in Marlay Park is emmense. I was painting away, the work was progressing well, and I had stepped back to view the painting and I glanced to the right, the light reflecting up from the surface of the pond catching my eye, and I thought to myself, this feels good.

I am working in a beautiful environment, in a studio that was given with kind has only pleasant feelings. In short it is a nurturing environment for creativity. It was something I was missing for a long time in the Marlay studio. I am looking forward to getting stuck in to a series of work this summer. I hope we get a bit more sunshine than last year though.

Friday, February 8, 2008

I'm back from Amsterdam.

I am just back from Amsterdam. I enjoyed the trip, and the Van Gogh museum, but I found many of the other visitors to the museum were quite rude, standing in front of you while you are looking at works or pushing ahead when there are queues. People can be very inconsiderate at times, but more so when they are abroad. It seems to be all nationalities too. I will go back again though. I did not go to the Reichsmuseum to see the works there as I had promised Christine a shopping trip to spend some of my recent earnings, which she managed to do of course :).
and she saved me over a hundred euro on a pair of boots, they were 30% off.....LOL. We travelled through every shoe shop in Amsterdam, some twice. At least it was only shoes she was buying, we did not have room for a lot of clothing in the bags as we only took carry on luggage, just enough for the 3 days, and she didn't see the Diamond she wanted, just as well.:).

We did a lot of walking and took a couple of boat trips around the canals.

The amount of houses leaning one way or another is amazing. Because the houses suffer from subsidence (built on wooden pilings in the sand in the 1600's) they are often held up by the neighbouring houses leaning into each other. Many roads are made up of higgledy-piggeldy house fronts, leaning forwards, backwards, to one side or the other or even all directions at once!.
It is definitely not a city for a perfectionist......or a structural survey engineer....

We had to take a walk through the red-light district while we were there, but it was a bit of a misnomer as a 'sex shop', you would see more flesh on the beach than was on view through the windows.

The seediness doesn't really show during the daytime, which is when we wandered through, more or less just to 'see it'. Our Hotel was well away from the area, although only 5-10 minutes away by tram, as we booked a hotel on hoofstratt, around the corner from the museums (2 minute walk). Even so we walked into the city center in a couple of hours....there are a lot of shoe shops on the way.... hence the difference between the tram time..... we also walked around looking at the sites and along the canals, the weather was quite pleasant.

Amsterdam does look very grey though, it may be brighter in summer, but I could see why Vincent Van gogh's colours were so dark and brown in his early works before he moved south. I would definitely reccommend the trip as a long weekend, mid-week break, but I would not suggest you try to get all the sights/museums in at once. Prices are comparable with Dublin eating out and drinking in Pubs in the main, but the flowers are a lot cheaper.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I am still working away at the commission pieces. I did find time to do a couple of small works also though, but I have two more works to do. I will try to finish them in the next week though.
I am trying to get everything organised before I go away, but I have finished the main work that was needed for the end of the month. I will be busy next month with my trips because I have my fishing trip over in Galway for the opening of the trout season on the 15th, and my trip to the Van Gogh exhibition also. I know, it's a hard life... ....but someones go to do it.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I am still up to my eyes in work. I have had to change my websites over to another server. It then took days to get the email system sorted out since my old hosts locked me out of my webmail before I had transferred my saved emails and addressbook even though I had still 2 weeks to run on my account. The old hosting company took it on themselves to shut it down when I told them I wouldn't be renewing the contracts. Luckily I had the new host ready with the websites and I had changed the pointers over for the main websites before it was done. I'd have been furious if the sites were totally down for the three days it took to get back in. I am working away in the studio, mainly on commission pieces, but I want to start working on a few smaller works for sale. I will try to create a few quicker more affordable works for the summer. I have a feeling with the economy struggling sales may be down in general this year. Gallery sales were poor over Christmas by all accounts, even though I did quite well this year.
I will find it easier this year too with the reduction in my studio costs, though I'm sure I can find plenty to spend the savings on. ..........I usually do :)
I will get myself fully organised sooner or later, I should be able to finish off the front of the studio in a few weeks after the frosts have passed. I have a little bit of cementing to do and I don't want to do it while there is a danger of frost. I need to finish the commission pieces first anyway, earning is more important than spending at the moment and I like having reserves in the studio account.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I am still busy, but I have more or less finished the commission. I will have to start on the other couple of things I have to do asap though. I need to get into the art supplies shop though. I also need to get a new chequebook and bank cards though, and they are stuck in the postal until I get them delivered I can't really go shopping, because you never have enough cash to pay for the materials you buy, even when 'trying' to keep the bill low!!......kid in a candy store syndrome....I may try to get a days fishing in next week, I'm starting to get stir crazy just moving between the studio and the house. I didn't get into town, there isn't much point until I get my cards and sundries for the new bank account. The trials and tribulations of changing addresses etc. with the banking systems are bad enough, but changing banks is even worse. However it needed doing, there was no point in paying bank charges when I could get free banking elsewhere.
I had a meeting with a client earlier today, regarding the work he wanted me to do. Now I have a clearer idea of what he wants....... which always helps. I guess it's time to get back to business, I need to sort out my contact page on my website. It is totally #*^~# up! ARRRRGGGGGHHHHHH.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I have been busy. I am working on a commission that requires quite a lot of work and needs to be ready at the end of the month. It will be finished though, so I can now almost start relaxing. It is difficult when you are under time pressure. I will be much more relaxed when I am finished. In the meantime I have a trip to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam planned later on, and I am looking forward to it.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year

I haven't been posting since New Years Day, I have been a little busy painting. I am also in negotiations for a commission to design a number of concepts for promotion and packaging. It might be profitable. I have to start work on another commissioned work over the weekend too as the client wants it by the end of the month. I will have my work cut out for the next couple of weeks, but it is a good complaint. I still don't have anything to replace sold works on my website as what I had has all gone, and I have no other older works available than are already on it. I must try to create a few quicker works just to fill the site up again.