Wednesday, December 28, 2005
I was in my studio on Monday and did a little work on the painting of the rock pool, If i get a chance over the weekend I may try to collect some specimens. I won't be around for the next 2 days....places to go, people to see...It's that time of year...
Friday, December 23, 2005
..............I'm working on a piece as I wanted to do, based on a rockpool..I'm using reference sketches at the moment, I'll get the specimens when I'm ready for them although I picked up a few mussels from the fishmongers today. I'll use them tomorrow too.....
....when a visitor came up (the stairs) into the studio. She looked around and through the works stacked along the wall and complained because I didn't have a variety of artist's works for sale!! I wonder what part of ARTIST'S STUDIO she doesn't understand, I am hardly likely to have other Artist's work for sale from MY studio. But people can be extremely rude, it was as if I'd forced her to come into my studio under false pretences. Just another reason to leave the open studio behind I think.
It is Christmas eve tomorrow so I won't be posting for a couple of days...
HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
Today I visited my Mother..she is spending christmas with my brother, and took her out to lunch. Consequently I have done no work, I haven't collected my specimens either...I guess I'll leave that 'till after Sunday! I will spend tomorrow in the studio though, and possibly Saturday too... If I don't post between now and Sunday though, Merry Christmas everyone, or as you say in the US...happy holidays?? I wonder what Santa's bringing me?
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
I may take a trip to the sea-side this week and collect a couple of small crabs, a few limpets, mussels and even a starfish or anenome too. Pebbles and bladderwrack will make a nice background too.........
all in all it will be something different and I need to get back to basics...ie. I NEED TO WORK..on something.
Monday, December 19, 2005
I may yet put more definition in the sky, the hinted cloud may need to be strenghened....
I am not happy with the photo though, it is losing some of the definition of the original, noteably in the loss of the secondary hill line in the distance. I purposly left the 2nd hills the same tone as the front line but altered the colour/hue, this is getting lost in the photos but in fact creates a nice vibration within the painting, similar to that on the extreme right of the horizon.
I managed to pick it up in this earlier photo (detail)
but it actually appears less prominent than this. Yesterdays photo shows the hill to a more realistic degree but I couldn't get a detailed picture of it as I changed the photo in 'paint'while experimenting last night.
This is the changed photo, note the clouds...they work well in digital 'paint'..but not so well with oil paint
I may be able to capture it better tommorrow.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
As you can see the foreground is untidy.......
I have re-worked the foreground grasses and rock, cleaned the water up, (I did away with the variation in colour) and I've altered the cloud. ...
My next job is to over-paint the cloud as I don't think it is working as it should, I will paint the sky a flat blue again and then repaint clouds with less definition I think, but I will think about it for a while before I continue. I'm going to go Pike fishing tomorrow...........
Friday, December 16, 2005
I was dropped in a tin of Flake White oil paint....Yipppeeeeeee!!-
It is now discontinued and I haven't found any other white to do the same job as it does...and I got it at a reduced price 'cos it was discontinued...lol.
They erected a Christmas tree in the middle of the courtyard today, but it still looks dreary..........
Thursday, December 15, 2005
I have lost my Colour! My work is dull, bland and bleak- I don't have the vibrancy I should have. I am either painting in a style that doesn't suit me, or I am painting the wrong subjects. It may be the fact that I am feeling down, and need to be more cheerful, but my current work is not what I want to show or do.
...I'm back to square one!!
Monday, December 12, 2005
I'm so angry I can't work. After my trip I was looking forward to starting with renewed vigor, that has gone now. I despair. I am seriously considering finding a new studio at this stage. The attitude to us is a disgrace: Like it or lump it, be grateful for what you get, you get too much anyway... I've been waiting 3 years to have my name added to the list of Units... the name up is 8 years out of date! We were promised work on the courtyard numerous times..we've given up waiting. We co-operated with a 'report' commissioned on the units and there condition, plus reccomendations as to the way forward in the courtyard this spring, were told we could see a copy of it..no chance!. It seems to have been buried or dis-appeared somewhere down the black hole of 'in the near future'. The near future never arrives..it's like tommorrow...it never comes.
....enough for now I'm getting depressed further while ranting.............
Friday, December 09, 2005
I have to say I enjoyed the experience except for problems with someone behind my 'stand' going too high and making my area look worse than a bazaar X rubbish tip, and it took two days to have it sorted even though the regulations clearly stated you can't go above the 2.5 meters.
One or two Artists were a bit upset at the lack of visitors/buyers, but to be honest I think they thought it was an Art market which it clearly was not going to be. As a meeting place for Artists from around the world it was great, Gallery owner/curator participation was a bit scarce though. All in all I feel it was slightly poor value due to a need for more advertising of the Biennale. The work on view was generally quite good, though a few poor/ lacking works were there, but I feel that will always happen in large shows like this (760+ Artists). I made a few contacts and friends from around the world though, and, I saw what Artists are seeking and doing from other cultures etc. which can only benefit my own work. I can't say I will go back again 4,000 euro in total costs (registration, shipping, flights, hotel etc.) is a bit high, but if I got full instead of partial funding I would definitely consider it.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
I don't remember snow in November for at least 10 years, we usually get a little in January but not before Christmas.
I was up North, in Co. Down again yesterday, I took a few reference photo's but it was very misty for most of the day. The misty look creates an air of mystery though so the photos might be interesting when I get them developed. The drive from Newry around the coast and between the Mourne Mts. is beautiful and I keep intending to go on the other side around by the Cooley mountains but never seem to have the time.........
I reworked part of my last two paintings in the studio today, adding a glaze to the tree line in both of them, I warmed up the woods in the view from Tara, and cooled the trees in the painting of Croagh Patrick, and decided they both worked. It is one week and counting until Florence, so I can't really do much of anything at the moment other than try to collect a few euros somewhere... The Craft fair was not worth my time & effort as usual, but I need to take part as one of the 'courtyarders' although I am not a craftworker as such and most visitors are looking for small craft items as gifts etc. it is an opportunity to promote our open studios to the public.
I am going to try and work out a few ideas over the next week so as to be ready for work when I get back from Italy, but thats another days scribble.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
size 22inches by 16 inches Oil on gallery wrap canvasThis painting will be for sale (It's not dry yet!) email me mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire about the purchase. I will probably be listing it on my website later as it needs updating badly! I haven't been able to create enough work to update it in the last 20 months due to my ill health and subsequent slow start, but I will get moving on it soon. In the meantime feel free to enquire...... to buy is the sincerest form of flattery
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
I leave for Florence on the 2nd of December, and I am staying until the 9th. I didn't feel there was any point in staying longer as if I don't make the contacts in the first few days I don't think I will for the last few days.......and expense has to be taken into account, my work and contact details will still be on view anyway. Work in the studio is at a standstill....whats new??
We have a Craft Fair in the main House in Marlay park this week-end so I'm working away on that for the next couple of days..
I may even make a few euro if I'm lucky, though Craft fairs don't really suit my work for sales purposes but I look on it as a showcase for my studio next door.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
I will try to upload a pic of the painting in progress during the week but at the moment it is only sketched in. I spent time composing the landscape and have blocked in but I'm not ready to go just yet.....still thinking.
I have packed up my work for the Florence Biennale (Dec. 3rd) so it is ready for collection by the shipper. With that done I can relax for a few more weeks, before organising myself to travel.
the paintings I am sending are two Portugeese works, baragem & blue trees, and a triptych from Marlay Park ponds.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Saturday, October 29, 2005
I wonder do many artists have this kind of problem for extended periods.....
I miss chatting with others... back to S.O.B. I need to meet others to chinwag.
Friday, October 28, 2005
The painting on the other hand is not going well.............. can Artist's get 'Block'? I seem to be doing anything rather than paint. I spent two days in the studio....tying flies! I need a kick up the *rse! I just can't get motivated. I don't even want to go into the studio these days. I can't see myself doing much before the Florence Biennale in December now anyway.
Friday, October 14, 2005
Sunday: seemed fine in the morning, travelled down for the competition, wind got up, end result a HARD days fishing, no fish to show for it.
Monday: too tired after Sunday to go as planned so we didn't bother, decided to work in the studio instead.
Tues. & Wed. as stated earlier, Lough Ennel.
Thursday: Maynooth fishery with paying guest. Result Guest 1, me 6. but Hard work again!
Bright sunshine and no wind at all.... thankfully the PG. knew enough to realise the conditions made life difficult!
Friday: A day of rest! I'm off to Limerick for the weekend tomorrow with my Wife..........Now if I could find someone to act as an agent and sell my paintings life would be perfect!! as I said it's a hard life.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Saturday, October 08, 2005
I had a good day with over a dozen trout between 4 and about 8 pounds (2-4kg.) weight. All fell to skinny buzzers fished on a floating line. I also lost a cracker well over 10lb/5kg. All in all fishing conditions were terrible with a gusting wind reaching gale force at times, but the fishing was well worth the effort and the fish were in fine fighting condition, so much so they all needed to rest before swimming off on release.
I finished off my still life today, but I cant find my digital camera to take any photos. I think I'll have to buy a new one.....
I'm off fishing tommorrow again, another competition unless the forecasted gales appear before we head off. If we do get them I'm staying put. I'm getting too old to be out in rough conditions for a club competition. I like my fishing comfortable these days.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
How someone can represent themselves as a gallery selling ART, and then sell reproduced paintings amazes me. Whether I or someone else reproduces/knocks-off my paintings, matters not, it will devalue my work.
Aside from that if they are going to sell copies of my work they are just as likely to sell cheaply produced work from China as pay me for it.....NO THANKS!
I have spent twenty years building a reputation and a following with my Art, and I'm not about to start ripping off my patrons, old or new. My work is unique, and it means something, at least to me, I don't believe in painting to a system or formula or churning pretty pictures out 10 to the dozen. To do that I could get a job on an assembly line, or even in a commercial studio designing logos and letterheads, AND THEY PAY!
This blog is great. I can groan, gripe, and generally moan about all my woes and annoyances without being interrupted or told to cop on to myself, get a life, etc. Painting is not going well again...I can feel a days fishing coming on. Thursday sounds good. I've a few jobs to do tomorrow, form filing, check the van for oil etc. pay a few bills and I need to buy a few canvases etc. so I'll do all that.
Monday, October 03, 2005
I arrived in the studio about 11.30, I perused a few art books for an hour or two before deciding to set up a simple still-life. A small table, covered in an off white cloth (curtain lining) with my coffee cup on it, all reflected in a mirror. I have almost finished the painting. It is quite interesting........
Friday, September 30, 2005
I want to express myself.
I can only paint at the moment. Nothing Interests me enough to allow me to be creative with it. How can I make a painting interesting when I'm not interested in it in the first place? I spend time in my studio but I'm just filling time, I can't get that spark. I now have reached the stage where I no longer want to go in the studio, my break has not helped but all the sketches etc. have had no Interest for me, though I'm sure I'll use them sometime.
The search for a cheap servicable couch/sofa has not gone well....just because I want one there are none to be found...all the students have bought them up! I can't advertise for a model until I have something suitable for the model to park herself on... I'd never get our (household) large sofas up the stairs into my studio, I need a lighter one. I saw a lovely wing-backed armchair today, but they wanted Antique prices for it...I wasn't that daft!
Thursday, September 29, 2005
The Midland loughs stay open until October 12th though so I'll fish them for the next two weeks. After that it's rainbow fisheries and Pike fishing for the winter.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Today I spent the day in the studio.
I did nothing.
I need a kick start.
Tommorrow I'm going to buy a secondhand sofa or a chaise longe if I can find one. I will then tidy my studio and advertise for a model and see can I find one affordable enough to use regularly.
Figure painting is where I want to go.
Figure painting is where I'm going.
Broke is where I'll probably end up. LOL.
I need to buy a few large canvases too.
MONEY is so easy to spend. So hard to earn/find. I need to win the lottery!
Monday, September 19, 2005
Here is a nice study I did of the reflection from a willow tree around the lake in Marlay Park. I like it's freshness and simplicity.
Most importantly it looks wet.
Apart from this work, nothing else is coming together at the moment. I have spent hours contacting members of the oireachtas to lobby for the continuence of our Artist's exemption. I have email editors of newspapers with letters:
As a full time Artist living and working in Dublin I wish to make your
readers aware of what the loss of the exemption will do to the majority
The added costs of book-keeping and audited accounts will create further
our income, at the moment averaging under 4,000 euro per annum, YES!
thats 80 euro per week, add audit costs of min. 1000 euro per year and
you should see where we stand. As it is Dublin has lost many of it's
Artists, who cannot afford to live here and have moved to rural Ireland
where at least studio costs (sheds) are cheaper and vegetables etc. can
be grown to survive. The Govt. seems to want to kick us again. The
introduction of SSIA's took what little money that was available to
Artists (ie. luxury spending) out of circulation, now we have the threat
of extra costs due to having to become tax compliant, to prove in effect
that we spend years in 3rd level education to work for a slave wage.
Ireland, and Dublin in particular has a
tradition of nurturing the Arts, this tradition is dissapearing fast, we
are getting left further and further behind in this tiger economy. We
produce work of Artistic and Cultural value. Value us. Cap the exemption
by all means, but dont destroy the majority of Artists who need the
exemption to survive. The baseline is 60 or 80 euro a week as a wage,
most of us are not super-rich, we are below the bread-line.
Have a heart...ensure we keep our exemption.
I don't know if it will do any good, but we can but try.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Monday, September 12, 2005
I got snaffled!
Doctors appointment made for me, result...one chest x-ray and booked in for a barrage of blood tests.
Leaving that aside, I had a fairly good day in the studio, the work to the right is just about finished. (excuse the vertical line, I had to marry two seperate pics) The size is 12 inches square. Titled "Summer Canal", it is not where I intend to go with the next couple of pieces but I feel it is finished. I intend to create more life in the water surface for the others, but I enjoyed the light and interest with the two fish in this piece. The mushrooming blanket weed made a nice counterpoint to the underwater view, tying down the surface into a flat plane, while the shadows of both the weed and the fish create the depth. The only difficulty with this painting was the balance of warm and cool creating the waters coolness while still allowing the summer day's warmth to show. The generous amount of green in the painting helps with this though, green growth in the water always suggest summer.
I have two other 12 inch square works going at the moment, I want to work on the smaller size until I am sure of the direction in which I'm going. As I said I'm caught between two stools at the moment, so I don't want to get adventurous with large canvases yet.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Its my Birthday tomorrow so happy Birthday to me!
Friday, September 09, 2005
I am going fishing tommorrow, so they will have until Monday. I forgot my camera so I can't show the work in progress at the moment, but I'm not sure I want to 'exhibit' them yet anyway.
I'm not 100% certain I am doing the right work!
Indescision is prevalent at the moment.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Enough said about the Qualifier............
Not a lot done today either.
I'm determined to get stuck in tommorrow and come up with something concrete work wise. This dithering is sending me around the bend! I have decided to go with my original leaning, ie. water studies, the work from the featherbeds doesn't really suit this time of year anyway, I might look back again come spring.
Here are two of the featherbeds paintings that I was talking about.
What I have decided to do is work on from my water studies and try to develope the theme further with greater detail in below the water surface again while still capturing the movement and life of the surface layer. I am including a few photos of the earlier water paintings to give you an idea of what I am starting out from.
here are some of them:
As you can see they are varied, but all from the same studies, except the top left blue one.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
There are one or two of the more recent ones that can be developed further and I was trying to decide wether to try and continue with the ideas. All I did was confuse myself more!!!!
I am going to sign off now, Ireland are playing France in a vital world cup qualifier and its on the box..
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
I took a trip up to Coleraine today. It's been a while since I was up that far. Usually when I do go up it is either Dark, raining or both. Today it was a glorious day, and the scenery was idyllic, past the cooley mountains, up through the mourne mountains,
past Divis mountain
and on towards Coleraine. I didn't manage to get to the coast though, I'd like a chance to explore the area more but I am usually pushed for time as it is nearly a 5 hour drive up...and the same back, 10 hours driving doesn't leave a lot of time for sight seeing.
I am not going to stay on the computor long either, I did all the driving and am extremely tired.
Maybe next year I'll travell north for a few days of painting. I have a friend living in Antrim and havent visited in a while. I am due to travel up again next week and will be staying overnight, maybe I'll get to visit on the way home.
top pic, Mourne mts. bottom pic Divis
Monday, September 05, 2005
I guess she's tired of me walking around like a wet week...and my foul humor.........mind you the dog hasn't run away yet.
This exciting blog is crawling along, no paintings, no fascinating ideas, and very little wit. lots of bellyaching and moaning.........
Oh well it might improve soon.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
This leads to frustration, I think maybe it's because I'm below par anyway, but I now feel worse.
I'm also in foul humor, so I have to think SMILE constantly so that I am not impossible to live with. Even the dog is in danger of a broadside,and she only wants a cuddle!
It's days like this that the 'Artistic' temperament develops. I usually manage to control mine though, but today everything is annoying me, the music being played in the house, the dog, the weather, me.... I feel like screaming or kicking something. I think I'll have to go for a walk.......
Friday, September 02, 2005
I keep putting off the making of an appointment for the doctors clinic. " I'll probably be over it tomorrow, etc."
It is the male psyche. Strong Independant courageous...silly stubborn daft to you females out there... I have promised to call the doc on Monday if I'm still the same.
I refused a commission today, the prospective commissioner was very detailed in exactly what she wanted me to paint, how she wanted it painted and what colour it should be......I came to the conclusion she wanted to be the Artist herself but get someone else to do the painting.
I politely told her she really wanted a Commercial Artist, not an Artist per se. and that she was paying for my ideas more so than my technical ability. Her reply? I want an Investment piece of Art!
She didn't seem to realise that artistically valued work needs artistic value put into it by the Artist not just the painting itself or the signature. How does interior decorating by greg long sound? Mind you it would be more profitable.
Finally my thought for the day, I wonder if the weather will hold until Tuesday. The light on the lake is good at the moment..... no I'm painting, not fishing!
Thursday, September 01, 2005
I don't know if I'm lucky in that I always manage to make a few $$$$ before I need them, or unlucky in that whenever I make a few $$$$ something crops up to take it away again!
Optimism or pessimism?
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Thursday, August 25, 2005
It's funny really, they say 'Where there is a will, there are relatives' it must be because I'm a "starving" artist...no $$$$$/££££ to leave....mind you I'm a long way from dead yet I hope.
I'm off to my Mothers again on Saturday evening, she is having a Bar-B-Q as it is her birthday today..HAPPY B'DAY MUM.... I will see the relatives/family there I am sure. I got a phone call yesterday from Dave, my best man (years ago) I hear from him far more often. (OOOOps forgot to return his call, I'd better do that now.) The reality is your nearest are often the most inconsiderate, but would we be without them?
I am consoled by the fact that at least no-one is looking for anything at the moment. Do you know what I mean?. The favours are often couched in phrases or offers like 'I have a job you might be interested in'...translation: I need some-one dependable to do this job, but, the pay is slave wages that nobody in their right mind would work for and it's not worth the hassel.
I still find it hard to say No! but I'm getting there. Maybe I should go to therapy. Maybe I'm just gullible or a sucker? I don't mind doing favours, but I do mind people who wont come out and ASK!.
I am off to a childrens fishing competition on Saturday morning, running around to give assistance, tips and hopefully measure a few fish (so they can be released) for score keeping. It is part of the angling clubs calender, and that is the kind of work I enjoy doing as the Kids are the sports future. In the meantime I'm going to get a good days work in tommorrow in the Studio.
I feel like painting.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
The clean-up took a while. I then spent the afternoon packing some paintings for shipping, and then sending them off, I'm on my way out now for a meeting.
Tommorrow I'm occupied with meetings for this and that so it looks like Friday is the first chance I'll get to paint. Working as a full time Artist isn't all painting you know! I'm working on a few Ideas though, I'm going back to water..........It must be the Angler in me.
This blog will get back to normal/abnormal in a week or so, or at least as I intended it to be, a documentary on my work. I just need to settle in to work first.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
We ended up with 5 trout for the day, following a hatch of green buzzer which lasted for an hour and a half. We fished until 10 pm. so I was late home hence no blog yesterdy folks.
Today I wandered through a few galleries and soaked up the paintings that I liked. I am still at the cross-roads work wise. I am not altogether sure where I am going with my work. I find I am strongly drawn back to painting more water, yet I spent the last 18 months doing that one way or another. It obviously isn't finished as a subject yet. I'll keep you posted one way or another.........
But back to today, I then wandered around until 5.30 and came home,I am now going to watch football on the TV. as I said....It's a HARD life.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
I sorted out the dam by repairing the leaking area, used a pump to clear the air-locks in the 150 meters of hose, and, after a long day, left the water tumbling into the pond. Happy Goldfish.Happy Mother.
I wonder why I never have time to do this and that around the house/garden etc.?
One of these days my time won't be mapped out by who needs me to do what.
How come no-one ever says "what would you like to do?"
Ah! the mysteries of life are never ending.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
I've just spent the day sunning myself in the Garden, lazing away the day.
BLISS! I really must do it again soon.
Friday, August 19, 2005
I needed the unsold paintings collected from the Gallery in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. the home of Fed-Ex so I asked for another quote over the phone. 262 euro. So I set up an account with Fed-ex and they went to collect the package, the same story, 700 euro, by freight. This is twice Fed-ex quoted 262 over the phone and tripled the price on arrival. I said NO! (as a poor Artist would). I am left wondering is it Fed-ex's Policy to under quote to get the customer? maybe if a fed-ex representative reads this they will give us an answer?.
I then rang around other courier companies to discover costs were going to be 700 -1500 euro to get my paintings back in good condition.
As a Full-time Artist I obviously couldn't afford that kind of money to bring them back. To cut a long (no pun intended) story short, I contacted Dhl customer services to see what assistance they could be. The upshot of this? they are collecting my babies (paintings) next week and delivering them back to me for 225 euro. So a very BIG thankyou to Caroline and all in DHL Couriers.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
I have been busy on my concert creation, the work is 12 inches square and coming along nicely.
I will take a few more detailed photos in a day or two, but you can see the general Idea.
The first concert is tommorrow and the second is on Saturday so I'll not be in my studio for a few days. I prefer to work in peace and quiet, or at least out of major decibels anyway.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Will you:- blah-blah.......No I can't.....why? ......I have other plans....what?......business!.....cant you cancel it.......No........why won't you......etc. The same person would not lift a finger to help you if you were drowning. But, if you are not available to do a favour........whine,whine,wheedle,whine...
It took almost an hour to say NO!. In the meantime the calm serenity of the studio dissappeared, 5 minutes of reflection/meditation didn't repair the damage and an afternoon was wasted. I now have to hide away tommorrow so I'm not accosted again . I sent the offender off to seek the help from some-one else.....who is out of town at the moment.
Because I have a large Van, people seem to think I've nothing better to do than operate a free courier service.
Mind you, I am getting used to it after 20 odd years. The questions are no longer ignored, I've developed smart sarcastic answers to them. Other Artists will know them well, they include, When are you going to get a proper job?/ Why don't you work for XYZ?/ Isn't it a nice Pastime? the latter also comes under the list of Asides the great unwashed retort, such as It's a lovely hobby/ I dabble a bit myself/ my granny goes to classes but she doesn't sell hers, they are good./ you want that price for a picture!!/ and the all time classic " that scene would make a lovely photograph"............. the mind Boggles.
My Own Brother..the younger one who never had to struggle for anything, ( lucky? you could drop him out of an airplane and he'd land on his two feet, probably in a new pair of shoes!) even had the cheek to ask why I didn't get a proper job. By the way for those that require an answer....I spent 4 years in college to paint not work in an office....
It's the only Profession where you get a degree to work for less than the minimum wage.....
but as my tormentor realises...when you work for nothing, you'll never be unemployed.
PS. I'm still thinking about S.O.B., Any philantrophists out there want to finance a few good Artist's Parties, we'll even let you join in.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
I did it!
I actually managed a days work..It is hard to start when you've been away for a while. Even more so when I can't just find something to create that spark. I was rummaging through sketches, seeking the one that lit the fires of creativity.
After an hour I glanced out of the back window of the studio, this is the view that I normally see:-
But the construction of the stage (for the weekends rock concerts) was well underway and the scaffolding was almost fully up. That gave me the idea for a painting. I was in the studio for the last concert, Oasis, because Eoin my son was at it and I was giving him a lift home. I remembered how the spotlights shone out into the darkness over the crowd. Using this image and contrasting the normal peace and quiet of the park with the beat and sounds, lights etc. created by the concert I started creating a painting of the concert.
This is a rough idea of what I am doing as I did not have a camera to show the work in progress.
It is an image built on the computor so obviously the colours are very flat but you can get the Idea of what I am trying to do. I'll show an illustration of the work when I am happy with what I have done.
I was working away sketching out my Idea when I had a surprise visit from another Artist I hadn't seen in 7 or 8 years, so we had a pleasant afternoon discussing art and common aquaintances, (gossip!) amongst other things. The other Artist is in the process of moving studio, she has spent a number of years working from home but is finding it increasingly difficult now her family are getting old enough to get into mischief!. Finding a studio that is affordable is almost impossible, anything within 90 minutes of Dublin is at least 750 euro ($1,000) a month, plus insurance, light, heat, etc.
Working away in my studio I don't have the interaction with other Artists that I'd like, but I find many of my Artistic friends and colleagues that once worked in group Studios, or the City centre areas beside coffee shops etc. where they could meet, have had to move outside Dublin to continue. The few I know still in Dublin are mainly those of us who have been established in the suburbs for a number of years, but we are dissapearing fast.
We were discussing a group studio which has moved out from Dublin to Wicklow, seemingly because the Artists could afford to buy/rent houses outside Dublin but not in the City. The upshot of this trend is that the Bohemian lifestyle of Artist's is dissapearing from our culture, Artists are becoming more of a Rural occupant, less bohemian more vegetable patch self-sufficient type, more likely to be feeding the chickens in the evening than discussing Art around a Cafe or Pub table. A sad state of affairs.Maybe I'll start an Organisation S.O.B. Save our Bohemians.
Monday, August 15, 2005
I'll make up for it tommorrow with a long day at the easel....so I'm off to bed now...'night-night!
Sunday, August 14, 2005
As you can gather, I'm not a keen gardener, but Christine won't let me put the garden under concrete and water...more water than concrete of course.
I still have to re-do my pond, it sprung a leak last year and has been dry for 6 months. I filled it in with rubble so I could turn it into a patio area and move the pond up near the house and conservatory. Christine has decided I should re-do it down the other end though, and leave the lawn area, so thats a job for next year...A big earthmoving monster with a mechanical digging arm is called for, I am going to do the job right!...paddling pool is nothing! next time my friend the heron paddles in my fish pond he's gonna sink. I am going 5 feet deep and increasing the area from 18 by 14 feet to 20 by 18, plus a nice streamy area with a big flow instead of the little waterfall we used to have.
In the mean time I do like my pot plants, I have loads of mediteranean plants like bougainvillia, Bird of Paradise Flowers, Hibiscus, Canaes etc. which grow outdoors during the summer and spend the winter in the conservatory. (I can't get the bird of paradise to flower this year though, I think they are too well fed, its all leaf growth on them.) C says I pay more attention to them than her, I tell her it's because they need more help to look beautiful. She's good at making that answer look believable, but one of these days I'm not going to get away with it.
It's 9.50 local time here and it's already dark, the evenings are drawing in fast. I'm looking out the window behind the computor screen and I can see the silluette of the birch tree at the end of the garden against the sky. There isn't a breath of wind and the sky is almost cloudless, but I can't really see the stars there are too many street lights in Dublin for stargazing, just another form of pollution.
C is going away for three days in the morning, our son is not going to be home tomorrow either, so if I go to the studio all day and come home in the evening it will just be me for dinner...I hate eating alone...No I mean it ; I HATE eating alone, I've decided I'm not going to...I'm going fishing with Noel, we will eat together on an Island on the lough..........Well any excuse to go fishing! so if there is an entry to the Blog tommorrow it will be short and late!
I have made arrangements to collect Noel at lunchtime, I can put a few hours in at the studio first...I've a couple of canvases to sand down in preparation for painting, the weave is a bit too fine leaving the surface very smooth after the priming process so I need to roughen them up a bit to give a good grip to the paint. I would hate to think of the oils flaking off from the canvas as I've seen happen with the fine detail canvas. Normally I get the coarser canvas but I bought this lot over the net and until it arrived I didn't realise it was going to be so smooth and fine.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
My palette consists of 16 colours, cerulean blue, cobalt blue, ultramarine, and windsor blue, Permanent green in the three shades, deep, plain and light,four yellows, lemon,chrome,cadmium and cadmium deep, Winsor Orange, bright red, permanent alirizon crimson, dioxine violet/cobalt violet(cobalt is colder for when I use purple to cool the yellows but it is very expensive.) and of course white, either titanium or Flake, (which is now un-obtainable and I havent come across its replacement!! HELP!). Luckily I had a stockpile but it's run very low.
Enough about my paint though...We Artist's are passionate about our paint at the best of times!, incidently by preparing my paint I mean getting it to the correct consistency, thin and pliable but meaty enough to lay on the canvas...or to put it plainly mashing it up with a mixture of oil/medium by way of a palette knife. SORRY forgot I was leaving the subject.
After lunch I had a visitor to my Studio and sold a large painting. Sales from my Studio are a great bonus as I don't have to pay the gallery commission and earn a lot more for my work. Selling this way means I can afford to splash out on LUXURIES...like new brushes, that new hardback sketch book I wanted, a new pair of waders..........I might even take the Wife out to celebrate, but lets not get carried away!. I can now book my flights to the Florence Biennale in December, I started the year needing to find 6,000 euro to take part, I now have 4,000 toward it and the prospect of a 1,500 euro grant from the Irish Government on production of the receipts for said amount, (my Bank manager will let me have the cash advance, at a small cost as usual) so all I need now is 500 spending money, Registration, flights, shipping and accomodation all accounted for...Yippee!
The 'Roadies' are busy erecting a stage in the Park behind my studio for next weekend's Rock concerts and they all have thier tents and camper vans parked in the Courtyard's car-park. It is almost impossible to park our cars when we go to the studios/workshops. I had forgotton that the Concerts were next weekend, I might have stayed gallivanting for another week had I remembered...but there again I'd have missed my big sale.
I love watching the way they work though, when the health and safety officer is around they all wear hard-hats harnesses etc. as soon as he's gone they scurry up and down the scaffolding like monkeys without a care in the world, until, suddenly, the hard-hats and harnesses re-appear, 5 minutes before an inspector.
Come the week-end I'll need three different security passes to get near my studio, the promoters bring in their own security staff, for some reason they can't read a parking permit unless it is colour coded flourescent something or other (it changes each day) and is 12 inches by 10 inches in size. My van has a permanent permit for our reserved car-park (the one that is now a caravan park/ campsite) but it always fails to get access until you phone up and complain, then some-one has to run down to the entrance with a flourescent billboard for you.....the radio's stuck in the ears must just be for show, no-one has come up with the fact if they told the guy on the gate to let the van with the permit in the window, who is at that very moment phoning up on his cell-phone 'cos you won't let him in, in, (grammar doesn't look right but what the heck it's only a rant) some poor idiot wouldn't have to run 500 yards with an A4 placard that says 'let him in'. The mind boggles.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
I am back from my fishing trip, It started with helping with a fish stocking at Blessington Lakes,
We stocked about 1500 fish, all rainbow trout. The operation took about 2 and a half hours, with half a dozen helping to distribute the fish around the lake (about 3 miles were stocked), the lake is 9 miles long formed in three arms, the lower arm is the area that is stocked with trout, the other two arms have spawning rivers entering them and are more or less left to stock themselves.
When the work was done three of us took a boat out and headed across the lake to do some fishing. After an hour or two fruitless drifting we pulled up on the shore for some food and waited hoping for a bit of wind to improve our chances as there was very little ripple.
As you will see from the photo we had the cloud cover but not the breeze. We eventually went back out for an hour and I managed to catch two fish after a change of flies, and by varying my tactics. Niether of my two companions managed to catch though so the afternoon was a bit dissapointing.
The fly that did the trick was a little jungle cock Dunkeld, fished on the point of a three fly cast, with a big bushy fly causing a wake on the top dropper to stimulate the interest from the trout which often take one of the following flies below the surface.
I am ready to go back to my studio tommorrow now. Time to do some work I think, now whether I tidy the studio or do a bit of painting remains to be seen, I will work with a brush anyway, if not the paint brush the sweeping brush will beckon!!
I am married to Christine with one 19 year old son Eoin, one old Dog, a cocker spaniel and another spaniel bitch that thinks she is a daughter not a dog...always wants to sit on my lap and have a cuddle...she is curled up at my feet at the moment...snoring away as usual. I'll find a picture of her and upload it soon but in the meantime this is me on Lough Corrib returning a nice trout... the dog is at the bottom left corner butting in as usual.
I travelled around the country enjoying our unseasonable sunshine, in Ireland we usually have showers for most of the summer, then it rains for the winter and spring. I got lots of sketching done though...It was too bright to go fishing most of the time! so I don't feel too guilty but I miss my Studio and I am starting to suffer withdrawal symptoms..........
Tommorrow I am going fly-fishing for trout, It is due to rain so conditions should be good, and I should catch a few.
Saturday I have to go into the studio and organise it for next weeks endeavours...collect the post..there are sure to be BILLS, they don't stop for holiday time, and catch up on the Gossip. My studio is in the Courtyard/Haggard of a renovated Georgian country house, Marlay House, now turned into a municipal Park, Marlay Park is situated in Rathfarnham, South Dublin at the foothills of the Wicklow Hills and although only 8 miles from the city centre it is in quiet parkland looking out onto the mountains, with peacocks strutting around. I live 5 minutes away from the studio too so I don't have too far to commute!!. I will share some of my works with you through this blog, but you can see some at http://www.artbygreglong.com. You can find some more information about me at http://www.anglingireland.info, my angling website.