Sunday, November 26, 2006


Dropping in...

I have been steadily working away without producing much of note. I have a couple of bits & pieces on the go. I'm also working on a woodblock, I need a couple done for next year and I really need to figure out exactly what I want to do before I start cutting.
The weather is grey and wet, though it is early morning (8.00am) and it looks like it might be brighter today. I hope it stays that way for a few days I really hate the grey days.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I caught a nice pike today.

I was out at Blessington with Noel. I had a fish of about 10 lbs within 2 minutes of starting...I was still setting up the second rod! I cast out the second rod, rebaited the first again and cast it out only to have another run on it while tightening up to the bait. I hooked the fish and after a spirited fight including a bit of tail walking landed it...21lbs weight....I didn't get another run all day, but I wasn't too dissapointed.
Noel hooked and lost one good fish but that was all.
It was nice to get a decent sized fish again.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Another week ended..

I got very little done this week, although both paintings are ready to go to the gallery tomorrow. I managed to get into the art ireland exhibition for a few minutes but I didn't get time to go round the stands, just catch up with some friends. I'm spending the next few week-ends (between now and christmas) playing the big cahoona, you know the one in Red and ermine.....
I hope to get few bob put away towards next years trips.
I may start a couple of still-lives next week, the diptych I started isn't working out and I need to leave it for a while. It needs a fresh view.
I think if I start a still-life painting I may be able to take it a bit further than a full rendering of the objects. If not I will work on some winter landscapes in a week or two when the leaves have fully fallen. I will need to find some interesting trees. If I do the paintings might be interesting enough for me to be happy with them. I did a nice little painting of Galway Hookers during the week, it was quite abstract, worked in acrylic lain in by painting knife. I will put up a photo later in the week. I think I will sell the piece through ebay too, just to guage the interest in it as it is still a once-off painting and can only really be sold as a study unless I decide to do a series of works in the style, which at the moment is still only a possibility. I would like to move on from where I am, but I still think I should do it carefully. I have to remember that change is not always for the better and that the act of painting the subject should dictate the style and not the style dictate the painting.
I'm confusing myself now!!!'s late. I really should be going to bed.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It is a miserable dull wet day. There is no wind, heavy low cloud, heavy/steady rain and I'm miserable. I went up to the studio earlier but just couldn't get moving. I am now back home It is 2 pm and I need the light on to see the keyboard!
I went fishing to Maynooth fishery yesterday...the weather was much better..I caught 11 and lost a few more. I hooked and lost two double figure fish during the afternoon. The first one was almost beaten, I was considering in which gap to net it when the hook came out. At least I'd had 10 or 15 minutes fun with it. The second decided it was an exocet after I hooked it. It didn't run at all, it just leaped about 3 or 4 feet out of the water 9 or 10 times before the hook pulled/fell out. I was using small spider patterns (short tied) size 14's and although all fish were hooked solidly on these flies to two big fish had obviously been too heavy for the hook-holds. I was smashed up by another fish on the take, the only break I had all day though and lost a couple of fish earlier on skinny buzzers....none of which hooked and landed fish, which is why I switched to the spider patterns, the fish were not really interested in the skinnies.
I enjoyed my days fishing..and needed a break after the weekend carousing in 5star surroundings..It's hard work partying until 5am! even though you can fall into the lift to your suite. C'est la vie...

Friday, November 10, 2006

Wednesday's fishing wasn't great...I got the only pike of the day and it was small. The fact that we were buzzed all day by the air-corp helicopters picking up and dropping off the army boys playing soldiers around the lake didn't help. The cost involved in these 'games' must be enormous. 4 choppers will burn a lot of fuel for a day and to be honest the lads could probably have run from a to b quicker than the whirlybirds were picking them up and dropping them off 3 or 4 hundred yards away....picking them up again and dropping them off at point a again half an hour later..
enough for now, I have to go...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I have been busy without doing much. I spent Monday running around. I spent today packing and shipping a painting, also delivering another for a charity auction that I support every year.
Apart from that I have done some work on my current (the dyptich) but I have not really done anything to be happy about as I am a little lost with it.
I have done a little experimenting with the acrylic mediums, but I need to do a lot of evaluating befor I decide whether to carry on.
I am going fishing tomorrow. I phoned Noel this morning to find out if he had any plans for tomorrow--- he had-- he was going fishing, I wouldn't let him go on his own....well not when I want to go too!. We are going back to Blessington for more hardship. Hopefully we will find a few Pike this time. On thursday I have to organise myself for the weekend in Mt Wolsley, Carlow. 3 days...and nights, luxurious splendour. There is only one fishing.
I might take golf clubs and stroll around the championship golf course, I haven't played a round of golf in 3 years. It might be a little long for me though, and there is always the prospect of a little drive to the River Barrow for some pike fishing.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

From the wilds of Connemara to still life paintings...

I worked on the Connemara painting in the studio today. I have repainted the sky and I'm fairly happy with it now, I still think I need to put a warmer glaze on my mountains in the background though as they are just a little too far back. Apart from that I did some work on my diptych and then stopped due to a run of visitors...both bored and Interested ones.
The weather was bright and sunny today, but the temperatures have fallen. I need the heater on in the studio now. Soon the paint will be slow to dry too. It is near the time to start painting still-lifes again. I might do a series of small paintings so I can keep working on a number at a time allowing them time to dry. At least if I do a number of small still-lifes I can sell them a little cheaper and hopefully I may be able to earn a few bob from them in an area where my works can be sold a little cheaper. Still-life paintings are similar to studies in that I am painting what is in front of me much more realistically and I don't tend to drift abstract so much when painting either them or portraits. I cannot go down the 'painting a day' takes me too long to paint but I will try to do one or two a week in a smaller size over the winter. I have been invited over to Serbia next November, and I am hoping to go to Tunisia in September, all of which costs money, so I really need to try to get a head start on earning some...I will have to try to organise some exhibitions somewhere also. I have started working well again, I need to start selling a few too...
I bought a few more acrylics and acrylic mediums on Thursday, so I'll do a little experimenting with them over the next couple of weeks, with the idea of doing a series of more stylised/abstract works for something a little different. I prefer my more abstracted landscape paintings to those that are more realistic..they are more defined in a way, they are certainly more me. I don't want to become an 'Abstract' painter, I am a 'Painterly' artist, and wish to be seen as a painter, as much as an artist, and for this you really need to produce recognizable landscapes and still-lifes, concentrating on the brushwork and 'marks' as much as the actual painting. I believe this is an important part of my work and I am afraid of losing it if I go too abstract- or it might be that I am still afraid of the idea that many "abstracts" are just interior designs rather than art and do not represent anything other than eye-candy colour splashes which I feel gives abstract a bad name as an artform.

All that said I am still in a state of flux with my work. I am not the same as I was before the start of my health problems (pre 2000) and certainly not since 2004 after my second episode. I need to break away from my old comfort zones and start developing new ideas, my Tunisian experience has helped with this also, helping with new ideas and opinions. My work may need to loosen up a little to create more 'feeling' again. The recent works, those from Tunisia, worked well, these in the main were painted more loosely. This is another reason I want to try some small quick still-life paintings and acrylic experiments. I can do these without huge material costs, and if I am not happy with the results I can scrap them.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Busy, busy, busy...

this is the painting so far.
I need to do more work on the sky, I have been moving it around already which is why it looks so messy. The painting is 24 inches by 30.

The scene is titled incoming tide, connemara, obviously it's a connemara scene..LOL.

I have to sign of now but I'll try to get back later.

I'm back again. I'm working on another painting of Lough Corrib too. This one is a diptych based on my study of Rabbit Island, it is in a wide landscape format. I am looking forward to seeing how it pans out, but it is on the back-burner while this one is coming along so slowly. I cannot really concentrate on two difficult paintings at once. Since both are using a lot of blue I don't want to get waylaid by one while working on the other...thats why I made a mess of the sky in this one...I thought I'd use up some blues, and painted over most of the sky before I realized it wasn't really working with the hills and I needed to mix a warmer tone.

I'm off to the Pub now for the 'Lads night out' so I'd better get showered and changed.