Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Lough Sheelin is kind to me...

I had a great day on Lough Sheelin. There was little doing for most of the day, but at 4.30 I hooked and lost a trout of about 3lb...I knew I was likely to lose it though as it kept shaking it's head, so I knew it was lightly hooked, and eventually the hook pulled out during one of it's runs. Ten minutes later I rose and landed a fish of about 1.5 lb on a wet Daddy (crane fly) After another 15 minutes I had a follow to my tail fly, a pearly invicta, and on seeing the bow-wave of the fish I stopped the retrieve and momentarily later the fish took the fly and I hooked it. A beautiful wild brown trout of over 3.5 lb weight. We never saw another fish for the day.....but I wasn't to bothered. It was great to get to grips with the couple of good fish, and all in the one drift, on different flies.

I took a quick photo of the bigger fish, my glasses and size 10 boot (lol) for scale...It was a lovely golden colour rather than the normal silver of the limestone fish. I measured it also 49 cm. about 20 inches with a tail like a shovel.
I've had my luck today....poor Noel never even moved a fish in the other end of the boat, while I connected with two crackers!.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I had a trip up North yesterday. The first thing I noticed was the 'watch-tower' overlooking the border from the top of Feede mountain has gone! It has been replaced by a tricolour. Another step in the peace process up north. While I won't exactly miss seeing them, I hope they leave one or two as they are a part of the history of the northern Ireland problems. The placement of the tricolour is a little dig at the Unionists...I suppose in a Sinn-Fein/ IRA stronghold it was to be expected but I personally think that putting a flag where the watch-tower is not exactly in the spirit of integration and accomodation. However as always I enjoyed my trip up. I find most of the people of Northern Ireland are generous, warm hearted and outgoing. The craic as they say, is as enjoyable as it used to be down South before our prosperity led consumerism took hold....nowadays here it is how much you earn/own that links you and determines your social life rather than the old style mix of background that was common. I find that the People up North are still like most Anglers, ready to talk and have a laugh....totally unfased by economic-class divisions. Mind you in the North religion is a taboo subject, but who discusses that anyway...mind you politics is also dangerous ground too, but I don't have a great deal of knowledge about that area either..but the general conversation is always pleasant and fun-loving....and not as narrow as that amongst what is catching, who isn't, who is, where and when...then we tend to drift into tall stories etc...

Speaking of which I'm off to Lough Sheelin in the morning...Today I did fetching and carrying in the van, and a little bit of washing machine recycling after...I drove around in circles trying to find the right bring center for it though.....aaaaaarrrrrggghhhhhh!!!!!!

Sunday, June 25, 2006


I am full of aches and pains. Backache, muscle pain in my calf and thigh muscles among others. I am hobbling like an old man.
I spent much of the afternoon/evening in bed.
While I was there I watched two world cup matches....niether was much good. The Portugeese game though was a disgrace, nasty bad mannered and cynical. There should have been a red card for the second foul on Ronaldo too....setting out to injure another player should not be tolerated. Aside from this rant I don't really have much to say, I'm too miserable to say much, I just heard the kettle switch itself off and I only got up to make a cup of something 'Bye.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The weather has improved, my demeanour however has not!!
Yesterday the oven door decided to come apart, so I spent half of today getting bits to fix it and it is now more or less fixed. I need to wait for a silicone sealant to dry before putting the whole thing back together. I will go up to my studio tomorrow. Hopefully there will be a few people about in the courtyard. I could do with a sale. I will try and work while I am up there. If not I bought a few boxes of hooks today so I can do a bit of fly tying anyway. I am considering going fishing, but I still have a few things to do, and I have to go to a Bar-B-Q tomorrow evening instead of the competition on the blackwater, so it is looking unlikely in the near future unless I escape on Sunday. I have the trip up north on monday, I have to collect & deliver and install a washing machine for a friend on tuesday so wednesday is looking like the earliest day available. I wonder how I'd be if I had to work a 'normal' 5 day week! I'm off out into the sunshine now.....gardening needs doing...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Summer is back to normal

Rain, High winds and cold! It wouldn't be too bad if the wind was kinder and we could fish, but we have had full gales for the last two days. I hope the wind drops soon...I want to go fishing.
I have done no painting...and I don't intend doing any this week...
I am collecting an Aunt from the airport tommorrow, my Mother is coming into Dublin and leaving her car at my house while I drive her to meet her sister at the airport and then they come back to my house before going on to Wicklow...obviously my Aunt is staying with my Mother in Wicklow..
I hope the weather improves for her too, but not too bright....warm overcast and light breezes will be perfect.
......So would a few Art's very quiet on the business front, my Tunisia spending money is in danger of dissapearing into studio costs at the moment, my bank account needs an injection of funds, it's funny how things are always up and down. It is probably one of the reasons I don't feel like working. It is harder to paint when you don't see any rewards...monetary as well as artistic...both would be welcome, but a few quid to spend on new materials always give you that little lift, and a few canvases to have fun with....
I might try a sales drive next week...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Pallas Lake, Offally

I had a meeting in Birr, Co. Offally yesterday afternoon. The meeting lasted until about 5.30pm.
I had the usual fishing gear in the van so I decided to fish Pallas Lake on the way home. This lake is stocked with both Brown and Rainbow trout. Conditions were quite good, with a few fish moving on the surface and I fished skinny buzzers on a fl0ating line. The method was successful, I landed 18 trout to 2lb, and either missed or lost the same again. In short- a very pleasant evenings entertainment!. (much needed after recent struggles to catch)
The fishing aside, work, ie. painting is not progressing at all...forget well....
I need to sort out what I want to do. These 'blocks' are of my own making. I am going to take a break for a week or two anyway. I will see what developes then.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I have run into a block again...
I tried working on the painting of my garden, but the weather refuses to co-operate!
I am tired. I'm not sleeping particularly well, I go to bed relatively early-tired enough to sleep, but I wake up at 3 or 4 am. and can't get back to sleep, or if I do it is only a quick doze and I am not getting any benefit from it. I don't know if it is weather related or not, but I am starting to feel the effects. Pretty soon I am going to get quite irrittable....or should I say MORE irrittable...LOL.....I am not sure about that spelling??...maybe I should just write Narky!
My shadow is asleep at my feet...snoring away. Christine has started calling her my 'Sticking Plaster' I can't move without her, she wants to go fishing I'd say, she hasn't been out and about for a while....and she knows I have. I might wander down the road to the river this evening, or maybe not....I am not really in the humor to go fishing even..

Monday, June 12, 2006

Sunday's competition was HARD work...and fruitless.....I spent most of today recovering from it!

We had another Mediteranean sky today, but quite a stiff breeze so I didn't set the easel up and collect my palette etc. from the studio. I decided not to go to the studio either. I did a little work in the garden then we enjoyed it for the rest of the day. It is great to have a summer. The garden is springing into colour now, the Rich red tiger lillies are in bloom along with the Roses, they create a rich vein of reds to the side of the patio. The darker red/crimson leaves of the Cannae lillies will be up soon, the flowers are bright orange but don't bloom until August/september outside..those in the conservatory are already in flower, as are my hibiscus shrubs... the Red-hot-poker's or (kniptheria?) are starting to show the flower heads, more reds/orange/yellow. I like my garden, but I hate the work it takes..that is why I use so many pots and weeding, toss the old compost out and start afresh,...mind you the watering takes me an hour at times like this with the drying breeze and heat. What the garden is missing though is the sound of running water I really must think about re-doing my pond...

Friday, June 09, 2006

I sat in the back garden this morning on another glorious summers day. The garden was so beautiful with a Mediterranean blue sky behind the Birch tree down the back that I decided to collect my paints etc in the studio and come back home to paint.

I decided to paint part of the patio area and shed with the birch tree behind. This allows me to spend time with the family soaking up the sun while working away...I was starting to feel guilty about not working...Below is the first stages of the painting... I was working from a slightly different angle than the photograph..much closer to the shed and small pond in front of it, which cannot be seen in the 2nd photo. I was detained up at the studio, organizing work for the display on Sunday and it was afternoon before I got to paint, therefore I have only really sketched in the basics and blocked in greens and darks apart from painting the second coat of the sky.

I also have a basic foundation on the shed. You will notice the sun has moved around in the painting compared to the earlier photos.

You may have noticed I didn't mention last yesterdays fishing....least said the better...I did catch roach and perch (we fished Blessington/Poulaphouca hoping some rainbows would be moving in the sunshine) but no sign of trout anywhere...we should have fished the river.. we gave up early as both myself and Noel are fishing in the Leinster lake qualifiers on sunday and a long hard fruitless evening (which was on the cards) would not have been a good idea

at least a short fruitless afternoon leaves you wanting to fish..

Thursday, June 08, 2006

It is 10 am. I have spent an hour doing bits & pieces on the PC. Outside the sun is cracking the flagstones in a cloudless sky..we are going to get temperatures 24-27 degrees centigrade today. Not our usual weather at all, and not good for fishing, therefore I am still here. We decided to leave it until afternoon and spend a late evening on one of the lakes...Where?...we will ring around and find out the best prospects later.
Now I am about to connect a hosepipe and give the two dogs a mention of bath and Dubh has gone missing all morning...(she's hiding under the table) any other time I can't get rid of her, she is always under my feet or on my lap..."bath" works better than "hot tea"(get down command, yes I'm a little nuts) to get some peace. I have to admit the dog is any little girl she can wrap 'daddy' around her little finger most of the time. After I wash the dogs I may go to the studio and start work on a painting in the Walled Gardens, it's a great day for it.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


We are in the middle of a heat's great.....but I'm not getting a lot of painting done. I spent yesterday sunning myself, working in the garden at home. Today I am off to the coast with my family and tommorrow I am due to go fishing. So as you can imagine there isn't a lot of creativity going on. I spent this morning and last night organising posteres etc. for a display on Saturday, since I won't be around the ITFFA leinsters on L Owel...that's why we are off to L. Ennel on Thursday, if we were to go to Owel I'd be tempted to charge around seeking fish for Saturday...LOL.
At least we can fish the evening on thursday, I don't fancy this hot bright sunshine with little breeze for the competition...mind you I'd say there are many others with even less confidence in the present conditions which are set to continue.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

painting away, dreaming of fishing...

Here are the two photos that would not behave /upload on my last post

I did a lot of work on the painting yesterday. It now looks halfway finished instead of barely started. I need to tidy up the foreground lawn and the rocks bordering it. The tree is an enigma, do I put in the early leaf? or do I leave it bare? At the present time I am leaving it bare, I think it is working well

It definitely say's "Corrib". I can see the view in my minds eye, the study was of a colder bay in the evening (Started Sat evening) but the painting has moved more to the morning view....anticipating a good days fishing, warm overcast with a moderate breeze........It has turned into an ANGLER'S painting!!!
LOL. If I'm not careful there will be mayflies dancing over the Alders next!
I'm on myway to Wicklow now to see my mother and her visiting Uncle..all the way from Toronto, Canada..

Friday, June 02, 2006

Lough Corrib mayfly trip painting started...

I eventually got into the studio yesterday. I went in raring to go, looking forward to attacking my large canvas, 4ft X 3ft, only to find it wouldn't take paint. The priming coat was repelling the oils. I spent the day re-priming the expensive canvas, that should not have needed any preparation. Therefore little work done other than 'blocking in. Today I had a meeting accompanying the Angling Club Secretary in the morning, so was late getting to the studio, however when I did eventually get there I found the work went well so in fact I am as advanced as I would have been with a full day as I need to let the work dry. I am painting from this study of Lough Corrib.. a view from Ardnasilla towards Inishcash and Malachy's Island.

This is todays progress....not really that far advanced, but in actual fact quite a bit of painting has been done to the sky and distance as you can see in the detail. The mountains in the distance tend to appear and dissapear naturally depending on the light/weather. While I was painting the study they appeared out of no-where-over the period of half an hour, by the time I had painted them in, they were fading into the sky fast...that is one of the problems with the west of Ireland...the light is constantly changing as is the landscape.....It is dificult to paint at times..but it is easy to see why it is almost magical, it does a dissapearing act constantly! LOL.

I will be working on the painting tommorrow, so I should be able to give a further update....I will leave with 2 photos of the the tree, the other the view...obviously the tree was moved for the study.. pics appearing.I'll try later...