Saturday, July 29, 2006

I havent done much this week. I fished the competition on Lough Owel, 70 anglers caught one fish....enough said. I don't know what is up with Owel this year it is just not fishing. There was Greenpeters up (large 4-5 cm sedges) and the fish were not even interested in them. I have to go again next wednesday evening...the club are fishing the competition again to try to get a result so they can give a few prizes...
We have rain today, but we do need it. I am about to head off to the studio, but as I have a 70th birthday party to go to tonight so I probably wont get a chance to update my blog this evening.
I was at Patricks last night for a family get together. It was enjoyable. I don't think we as three brothers had such a good time for a long time....
...there were a lot of one liners flying was Patrick by the end of the night, Dominic kept topping up his glass...(I was safe, I was driving.No drink, mind you I think I had a few pints of forgive any double letters, it's the shakes you know...) I feel like painting so 'bye for now...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I spent most of today visiting galleries, one of which I hope may start selling my work. I need a wider audience, sales are too slow. I find I am too often chasing my tail trying to get money to pay upcoming bills. I really would preferr to have a month or two behind (or in front?) of me. When you are financially sound it is a lot easier to work, and/or concentrate on the business of painting. I have lots of paintings, too many in fact, now if I was running short that would be another problem....but one I'd love to have.

The weather is very warm and humid, I am fishing a competition on Owel tomorrow, Patty Doolins memorial. I like to support it, Patty was a great friend to many of us, always chatting, giving tea after a long cold day, asking about friends and often helping with information. Jack is great, but Patty was different, and I'm sure Jack misses her greatly too.
The competition is a great social occaision, very few are really worried about results, we fish it in rememberance, rather than avarice for the prizes...mind you the prizes aren't exactly life changing....

Saturday, July 22, 2006

It is another beautiful day today...and the sun is out again, (it was a little overcast this morning.

I have been up in my studio today, there was a bit of a barney this afternoon. One of the stallholders accused a traveller/gypsy of stealing from another stall and foolishly started a shouting match, using very abusive and degrading language.....before he knew where he was, items were flying at his head. He was very foolish in his the time the security staff arrived, all they could do was keep the peace...the stallholder if he pressed any charges was leaving himself open to a lawsuit for abusive and racial assault, added to the fact he had physically grabbed and manhandled a teenage girl, leaving himself open to a counter charge of assault!
I am not surprised, some of the stallholders forget they are not a law unto themselves...our traveller families travel in large groups...and are not afraid to react with violence, and often are a law unto themselves, in that they are extremely difficult to track down if charged with an offence, living a nomadic life and often dozens of 'family' members have the same name, serving a warrant is almost impossible.

My brother Dominic arrives into Dublin tommorrow evening, along with my niece Laura, all the way from Melbourne, Australia. They are arriving to lovely warm weather, this is our best summer for a long time with near record temperatures. I have a brown lawn...all the grass is dead and burnt! I have been watering my pot plants and a little on my shrubs etc. but the lawn can be re-seeded and will come back but I am aware of water shortages down the road, we have had no rain and water levels have gone from high to normal in a matter of 3 weeks, they could be low within a week at this rate. It is very noticable when you are fishing on the lakes. Last week we were scraping rocks that were over a meter deep a week before!
I tied a few "fish food" dry flies today, little scruffy dry/emerger patterns for use in bright sunny and calm conditions....I think I'll be needing them next week!
I will be fishing a competition on wednesday...not particularly seriously but all the same I like to have the means to do well. I was at my bench (fly-tying bench) in the studio tying away and before I really realised it I had tied 2 dozen.
They all look good too, the fish-food look is a nondescript fly that could be half-a-dozen different insects, and sits lightly in the surface, representing either a hatching insect, a drowning insect, or even a landblown other words it looks like food to any fish looking up at the surface and can often catch the opportunist feeder out of no-where when there is no particular rise or hatch on.
As you may gather, I'm not really painting at the moment...otherwise I'd be to busy to tie flies!

I need to get focused.

on painting, not fishing.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Another scorcher of a day. I spent the morning in the studio, but by 2pm I had wilted and decided to call it a day. I got quite a bit of work done though.
Tomorrow I am only working until 1 pm anyway as I am heading off fishing in the afternoon. The forecast is for heat with cloud cover, we should get a good sedge hatch in the evening.
I am half thinking of popping back to the studio this evening, but I think it will still be like an oven. At least the paint is drying quite quickly, although the humidity is still holding some of the moisture/oil back. I must look for my digi camera the camera on the phone doesn't really take great photos when you look for detail up close..I know it is around somewhere... as you will see the pic is very grainy and out of focus..maybe the cover/lens is getting marked/greasy or some other fault/blemish...
Though the more I look at the photo the lousier it looks...

Monday, July 17, 2006

It was a glorious day again today..Sun blue skies and HEAT

Here are the cover and article from the Arts & TV section of the Echo. The cover was reproduced on the front page in a small format too.
They are nice photos, taken in the walled garden, the study on the easel was from the Spring and doesn't relate to the leafy trees now though, but the photographer wouldn't have wanted to wait while I repainted it...LOL.

As for Saturday nights Party..........................
I'm over the hang-over...just about. I was very delicate on Sunday. Obviously it was a good party. We left the car and got a taxi home sometime in the early hours. When I got up on Sunday I knew I wouldn't be able to drive down and collect the car for quite a few we left it until the evening. I wasn't fit to do much else either, so I spent today on the garden and doing a few other jobs that didn't get done. I made my way to the studio about 3pm but it was like an oven, the temperature is in the high 20's even now at 8.30 it is 23 degrees centigrade and humidity is up at 43%.
Who needs a sauna?

I love the sun, but I prefer a dry heat to the humid weather we have....still at least it's warm and sunny. The fishing would be lousy though...

Friday, July 14, 2006

I fished Sheelin Wednesday afternoon, and managed to lose my first fish again. I hooked a second and had difficulty keeping it out of the weeds below the boat, the fish was determined to get into them. I had it hooked on the top dropper so there were two trailing flies to snag up if it got deep into them. As the fish tried to get down into the weeds a big pike slashed across his rear half, and the trout came up like a rocket...and didn't seem to want to get back to the weeds again! I wonder why. When I netted it, the trout had half a dozen deep gashes from his anal fin up across his flank. These were about an inch long and at least half an inch deep and the fish was bleeding so badly I didn't return it. It weighed 3 lb 5 oz and was 50 cm long.
My picture was in the 'Echo' again yesterday, two in fact and a nice little piece about me and my upcoming Tunisian trip. I may try to scan it into the computor over the weekend. I have a party to go to tomorrow night, so I probably won't get a chance tomorrow after I get back from my studio. The photos are of me in the walled gardens at Marlay, working on a painting.
I'm a handsome Devil so I am..........

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I took part in another stocking at Blessington today. We released 1500 rainbow trout again. The stock fish were in perfect condition, even the pectoral and dorsal fins were undamaged. Now we have to hope they don't all dissapear into the black hole that is the middle of the lake as the last ones did. Noel and I are going off to Lough Sheelin again tomorrow, unless the weather is unsuitable. If it is bright and windless we might just go and give some of the new stockies a few lessons and keep them clever. Noel isn't free until the afternoon and the stockies will have settled well before then. Some of the lads were connecting with a few before we left the lake this evening. I took herself out with me...she spent hours chasing non existent rabbits, followed by a few sand Martins...they keep flying past oblivious to barks etc....and had a bit of a paddle. Now she's beside the computer, snoring away, happy as larry...if a little scruffy (burrs, seed pods, bits of leaf etc. in the coat) It is not worth the bother brushing her, she will be as bad tommorrow...

I am seriously thinking of starting to paint again, I am beginning to feel both guilty and an itch. Who knows next week I might be raring to go...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

the second batch of studies for sale

Here are the other studies I am selling off...

Banana Trees Uganda 2003 16X12 oil on paper

View from Sippi falls Uganda oil on paper 16X12

Abstract ripple dyptich study oil on paper 20X12

Marlay Park 2004, after the summer concerts
Oil on canvas sheet 16X12

Wicklow featherbeds, titled 2nd visit with cloud
oil on canvas sheet 16X12

stream study Oil on paper 16X12

Fungus study oil on paper 16X16

Saturday, July 08, 2006

studio painting studies for sale

Water study, stream oil on paper 20X16

reflections oil on paper 20X16

pond study oil on paper 18X14

Rose hips oil on paper 16X12

1 pond study, oil on paper,24X20

Ugandan Hillside oil on paper 12X12

studio window,flowering cherry oil on canvas sheet 15X15

Kerry landscape oil on canvas sheet 11X15

Beech tree oil on paper 16X12

No luck fishing, Press coverage and I'm having a studio sale

I fished lough Sheelin on wednesday. It was a good fishing day, warm breeze, a good wave, nice steady wind lanes, but, no fly life and no fish to be seen. We never had a hint of a fish for the day. A dissapiontment after my last trip.
That said, I still enjoyed the day and I fished hard all day...I was expecting a fish even though none appeared. It wasn't one of those days when you felt you were wasting your time half way through.
I was up in my studio today, Christine came with me....I had to tidy the studio a little bit....she I have a press photographer coming in Monday morning to take some photos for an article that will be out next week-end I think. The article is about me and my up-coming Tunisia trip. July and August are great publicity wise...there is very little news, the papers are always looking for something vaguely interesting to write about, and at the moment that's me again... :)

I think I may have to sell a few Oil on Paper studies as I need to be sure I have some funds available in September. This coming month I have road tax due, a rates bill due, on top of the usual studio bills of rent etc. that are always on the horizon, and I need to have a few bob in my pocket come September, I don't want to have to count pennies when I am away. I am unlikely to spend a huge amount but it is nice to be able to spend if you want to. I also will need to invest in a few tubes of paint and a few new brushes as I am running short on a couple of colours and quite a few of my brushes are showing signs of wear.
I may list a few of them here later, I took photos of some today as I am considering blitzing either ebay or an email shot to selected people for a few quick sales. It is an ideal way for collectors or would be collectors to obtain paintings cheaply as these works don't go to galleries and only normally get sold through the studio visits. The studies I don't think interesting just get destroyed in clear-outs so numbers are kept limited.

Monday, July 03, 2006


I haven't been writing for a few days, mainly as I have little to write. I spent Saturday morning in the studio....well 2 hours anyway. I came home to watch the world cup match. I shouldn't have was a lousy match.
I spent the weekend on chores, ie gardening, cooking dinner, washing, get the picture. Christine came back from Cork on Sunday evening with food poisoning.. so she's not well obviously and therefore the weekend was pretty dismal. I was up in the studio this morning, but did little of consequence, I had two visitors, neither of whom were interested in spending money as well as time...c'est la vie..
I came home early to see how Christine is, and to post off a painting to Belfast. At this stage I can't be bothered to go back today so I'll spend a little time with C (although she's not good company at the moment) and do some more design work on a job I have creating a LOGO.. I don't do many design jobs, but it's great to get the odd one, they pay better than creating art....and are easier to do. I am almost finished, I have 6 designed, now I am whittling them down to 2 coloured plus one black and white, for final work before sending them across (via email) for approval/choice. Then comes the fun part....I send the invoice...charging by the hour, and copyright sale fee..