Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Anticipating a studio move.

I was down at the 'Country retreat' earlier in the week, planting a few more fruit trees and some fruit bushes (currants and gooseberries) though the wildlife will probably eat most of these, (deer the shrubs and Birds the berries of any bushes that survive)  I also decided where to position my studio when I move it during the summer.  I have decided to pop it down here with a north facing view.
It will be about sixty yards from the cottage, far enough away to be 'at work' but close enough to pop home for a cup of tea.  There is a little spring running in front of it, in which I will create a couple of weirs to give me more sound from the water, I intend putting a pond in lower down, but that will be in front of the cottage to the left of this picture.  Some of our neighbours were particularly interested in what I was doing... but I don't expect they will really be bothered.
I decided to keep the Studio away from beside the stream as I wan't to create a walk alongside it rather than have the studio in view of the cottage.  Where I am putting it is hidden from the cottage until we walk up the Bohreen (small narrow road) as it will be screened by trees and hedging.
We are looking forward to our move to Sligo, and every little bit we accomplish leads us nearer, although there is still lots of work to be done.  At the moment doing it as we are, is a pleasure, and we are making our plans for the work more concrete as we go, because we are letting the feel of the cottage and land influence our descisions.  Most of our plans and research are now done, and we can start implementing them over the summer.  It will be a labour of love, assuming we get suitable weather this year, if it is as wet as last year work will be considerably slowed down.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Springtime, and the painting is Plein air...

 Four Plein air knife paintings on 10 by 8 inch panels.

Glenasmole and the Dublin City Golf Club, from Bohernabreena

Howth head and Dublin City from Bohernabreena
The Upper Liffey Valley Manor Kilbride
The Upper Liffey Valley Manor Kilbride

Springtime has arrived...  at least for now, we have had a couple of warm sunny days.  The 17th of the month was almost balmy, and I put the warmth to good use by doing some plein air studies down the road, and in Wicklow.   It was great to be able to go out and work after the winter, and I am considering setting off back to the Liffey Valley in the morning if the weather holds for tomorrow.  There is a view I want to work on in a larger format.  It will need a lot more detail than these four did, and will probably take a couple of plein air trips before I come back to the studio to finish it.  The latter two images will help me recall the co,lours and conditions when working on the proposed larger work.
The light had softened by the time I got to Kilbride, the fields looking greener and the trees turned more grey than brown on the shaded side of the mountain.  But looking east from Bohernabreena the sunshine  had the trees looking much brighter and brown, yet the golf club in the first painting also showed signs of a cool light in the shaded greens and fairways of the course.  The fresh greens of new growth in the grass fields has a deep green and silver look at this time of the year.  Later on in the year the greens will become much warmer, even in the shade.  The fresh shoots of the grass give an almost magical light in the early spring sunshine, much more silvery than the early growth of the leaves in the trees and hedges later on in the spring which seem to just warm the browns and greys of the twigs before really turning green.