Wednesday, December 29, 2010

J M W Turner @ the National Gallery

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

White Christmas...

I am not dreaming of one. At this stage I'm in danger of being snowed in! The snow is over my welly boots in places. I have to shovel snow away from the door so the poor dog can get out... the birds are eating me out of house and home, and it's still snowing heavily. I wasted my time shovelling the driveway this morning.. there is about 3 inches of snow on it much for the 1-2 inches forecast for today.. there will be at least 6 to 8 fallen by the time it stops because there is no sign of a let-up.

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

Sketchbook study...

I sat in the Kitchen with my cup of tea this morning, watching the birds feeding on the bird feeders and amongst the grapevine. There is a good view out through the Patio doors and I decided to give the watercolours a work-out.
This is the result painted on a Montval 300gsm 6X4 postcard.
Watching the starlings was fun. They gather above the food on the patio table unsure as to whether it is safe or not, sometimes for 15 minutes or more until a bird hops onto the table to feed... ...usually a Robin or Blackbird.... then they all pile in.
The Robin is quite tame, while the two Blackcaps, the male illustrated (the female has a brown cap), skulk around hidden away in the vine feeding on our grapes . The Blackcaps and the Blackbirds love the grapes.. our Robins and Tits prefer a mixture of seeds and nuts combined with hanging cake made with a mixture of fat and protiens. I have been feeding the Starlings and others on crumbled up Fruit scones that I made earlier in the week...I added a little too much Bicarbonate of soda into them so they were not very nice, but the birds aren't complaining. I saw a couple of Redwings today, the first of the year, the cold is driving them south earlier than normal. I also had a Bullfinch, Long-tailed Tits, Blue Tits and Great Tits visit the feeders.
Meanwhile as I type this, on the feeders outside the sitting room window we also have House Sparrows, Dunnocks, Greenfinches, Chaffinches along with the usual Blue, Coal and Great tits busily feeding away.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I have won an Award for my ExLibris Lino-cut.

I received the catalogue from the TRECI MEDUNARODNI BIJENALE EX LIBRIS PANCEVO 2010 in the post this afternoon, and lo and behold I am listed as an award winner. One of a number awarded equal 2nd prize. I am delighted, more so as the lino-cut print itself was purposefully unevenly and imperfectly printed, which although intrinsic to the work itself (spoken of earlier this year) would not particularly appeal to all "print makers" who would normally bin imperfect prints. I am not a particularly good print-maker, but as a visual artist the art shows through. I treat the lino blocks as just another painting tool, and like my other painting methods I like marks and imperfections, they are part of my process. I suppose many other artists working in print would have a similar outlook, but I always assume since they would as a rule be more proficient in the art of block printing, they would be much more careful about the actual quality of the ink transfer onto the paper.

I am now winding down for Christmas, but I bought watercolour paper today with the intention of painting a couple of watercolours over the next week or so. It is a long time since I painted in watercolour, so I am going to enjoy the experience.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Well the snow is still with us...

I have not painted at all in the last week although I am glad to say my back is not paining me this week, I'm hopeful that it has healed... I'll keep my fingers crossed.

I help to hang the INEB exhibition in the law library on Saturday, the opening has been postponed for a week though due to the weather conditions. Only half the artists were able to get their work in on Saturday so more paintings will need to be hung over the week so I am not sure how the exhibition will look by the weekend...and the opening next monday evening.

We still have loads of snow, and ice, we were lucky enough to get the car out on Saturday and deliver the paintings to the show but we have extremely icy conditions now and we are unable to drive out of the house.

On the bright side, we are saving petrol! At least someone is enjoying the snow even if it builds up on her legs and ears.....
The dog wants to go out and play constantly, she thinks the snow is the greatest thing since sliced bread. It obviously holds lots of interesting scents......