Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I spent most of my morning running around doing errands...posting letters & a parcel, lodging to the bank, collecting materials, visiting the recycling bank. At lunch I delivered a painting and eventually arrived at the studio for the second time....I had to go off before getting out of the van the first time.... with a load of materials, my paints etc from the Corrib trip, a few paintings all in the back....and I hadn't got keys to the studio! DOH!!!!. So all in all nothing got done in the studio today. I spent a few minutes fertilising some of my Strelitzia or Bird-of-paradise flowers this evening, at the moment I have three flowering bracts and one more to come soon. Although they are all in the one pot I think there are a couple of different parent plants in is unlikely the whole plant was from one when I bought it as there were about eight or nine seperate I am hoping to get some home grown seeds. I planted seeds acouple of years ago and those plants are doing well, I may get flowers in a year or two from these (3-5 years normally)
I am leaving you with a photo I took of Lough Sheelin..... a warm 'buzzer' evening...just before the thunderstorms...

Monday, May 29, 2006

Lough Corrib mayfly trip..

Well as promised..but a little late..I managed to catch fish every day exept Sunday...but I didn't even venture out on Sunday, the high winds made it too dangerous to go out on the lough. We had winds and some rain, but a big wave all week exept on saturday & buzzer fishing was only possible on these two days. I managed to get a few fish too, only one was big 4lb+ but I was broken once and lost another good fish behind the boat. I fished dry mayflies most of the other time, with quite a bit of success, though no big fish landed, a few hooked and lost. Finally on Friday, the dry flies seemed to stop working, so after a couple of hours I switched to wet flies and managed to winkle out 3 fish. I learnt that evening that most anglers had struggled to catch on Friday, so 3 was a good result, even though it was my worst day. I saw a lovely 11.5 pound trout caught on the fly on Thursday, definitly a fish of a life-time, these fish are usually only caught by trolling dead baits. Saturdays river competition was not a good one for me. I managed quite well for the first two sessions but blanked in the third...and after that I did not really try in the fourth...the blank had already destroyed my chances of qualifying anyway. I was too tired by the afternoon anyway, so with no hope I decided to relax for the last session. It is 9 am monday morning now, so I am off to the studio to work on some paintings... I did a little when I was over in the west, and I want to do some work on/from them..I can't find my camera againto take any where did I leave my head??

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I'm back again.

I spent 6 days on Lough 8 to 10 hours...drove back last night. Today I fished a major competition.....and failed miserably...but thats another story..and I am knackered, beat, exhausted, worn out, weather burnt, cut, bruised, but happy. I'll give all the details of my trip in my next post. I'm too tired tonight....a hot bath and early to bed for me. I'll leave you with a picture of Malachy's Island on lough Corrib....this Island has old houses on it and used to have families living and farming year round.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Greg Long, Artist and Angler

Greg Long, Artist and Angler

I'm off to the west for a week...of fishing!, and maybe a little painting..I am taking a couple of canvases etc. just in case I have time to do a few plien air studies..possibly from the lakeshore house we have for the week. Obviously I wont be blogging for the next week...but I'll let you all know how I got on upon my return..
I still have a few messages to run, hooks to buy (for fly-tying) spools of line for cast, a few other last minute jobs need doing too....but mowing the lawn won't be one of's still wet and miserable...good grass growing weather, my lawn will be 12 inches high when I get back!!
see you then.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ebay enabling the ripping-off of Artist's work again

I had a good day yesterday, plenty of fish, and a few good ones in amongst them, then I came home to an email letting me know that a chinese rip-off merchant had one of my painting photos up offering it at $38 on ebay....any size you like. I have spent hours trying to get it removed. These chinese companies have no regard for intellectual property rights or copyright theft. They even use the artist's name as a selling point. I'm informed in china you can use these until you are asked to stop. I am fuming at the moment. Ebay is taking it's time removing the item too. It doesn't seem to matter that a chinese company is claiming to be the Artist, or that it is destroying years of work building a reputation. Ebay even makes it difficult to have the offending items removed..I have to fax forms over to the USA!, stating I own the painting...the listing says I do! It is not only maddening its downright ridiculous that you have to jump through hoops to have these things's bad enought that it goes on but it seems to be encouraged by ebay...sellers are reported again and again and they are allowed to continue selling fake reproductions. This morning I had an email offering me a repro of a friends work amongst other paintings after emailing the company to desist from using my image.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I'm finding it difficult to breathe again today. It really gets you down. I am tired/weary. I went grcery shopping earlier today, after arriving home and putting the groceries away, I sat down on the sofa, 2 hours later I woke up.....I feel that tired. I took the paintings back to the studio (they were still in the van from Sunday) this evening. I had help to hump them up the stairs..which was nice, but I still did not have the energy to rehang etc.
I'm due to meet Noel in the morning to go to Lough Owel....I'll see how I feel.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Rain stops play...and business

Well the Art show was a disaster, rained out as it were...The show was in a large marquee, which wasn't too bad, until the rain started getting through. I packed up early, backed my van up to an entrance and loaded up. There wasn't too much damage done to the work thank god. There wasn't much sign of any art buyers anyway...the heavy rain kept any who might have come away. At least I had conversation with a few artists I knew, so it wasn't a total loss.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

I have just about recovered from a party last night, I have to get organised for an Art show now. It will be an early start in the morning. Between getting organised and preparing for my holiday on the 20th I'm up to my oxsters....Hopefully I'll make a few bob ($$$$$) this weekend...I want to spend some of it on fishing gear etc....I am off to bed early tonight...I left the party after 3am...left the house this morning at 8am...not a lot of sleep..and I have to leave at 7 am in the morning...

Friday, May 12, 2006

A day of little disasters...

We set off this morning with the intention of going for a days fishing, it was still and sunny with forecast temperatures in the mid to high 20's, so we decided the river was a better bet than burning on a lake. So we decided to fish the Kells Blackwater...we got 3/4 of the way there and suddenly there were floods on the road.....all the way up to the river....yes the river was in full flood, chocolate coloured and on the banks. End of river fishing.
We decided then to continue on to lough Sheelin, and as we hadn't put the enging in the van we had to hire one. We set out eventually about 3 pm. motored down the lake and settled in. The bright sun and little ripple meant we were going to have to wait until evening to have any chance of fish. About half an hour before the sun reached a low enough level, big thunder clouds formed and there followed thunder & lightning.....end of fishing for the dont wave 11ft carbob lightning conductors on a lake in a lightning storm....
Arriving into shore we heard that two houses in Kells had lost their roofs in a mini twister with the thunder storm earlier.... it could have been worse....we could have got one of those on the lake..

....Oh yes, we didn't catch anything...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I'm a lazy so and so.......

I vegetated yesterday...I did a few errands in the morning before going up to the studio..then did very little work..and came home early and litterally did nothing other than cook dinner. I DIDN'T EVEN SWITCH THE COMPUTER ON!
After an early night I felt a little better today. I still did very little though. I spent a few hours this morning running errands again...and this afternoon Christine and I took the dogs for a drive up into the mountains and went for a walk in the sunshine..dogs included of course...
I took the camera, took a few shots and then needed to change the film..guess what? I had picked up a new roll of 36 exposure film and had put it down again while organising the mutts.....consequently forgot to pick it up no more film for the camera.......which was one of the reasons for the long drive in the first place...
....ahh well maybe it is for the best...less film to develop....less cost for me..LOL.

I'm am off fishing in the morning...we decided to try Lough Owel again..we haven't been in a while.
I recieved a letter from the Irish trout fly fishing association this morning..the national river championship has been moved from the Clare river to the Liffey at Newbridge, but it has also been brought forward by a week too...I have to come back from Galway-Lough Corrib early as it is on the 27th. I was due to fish Corrib 20-27th so I will have to come home on the 26th.
I would have preferred to fish the Clare river too....although the liffey would seem to be 'home ground' considering I qualified about 15 miles away, it is a totally different river and I have not fished it either...but it will suit the freestone river anglers rather than the dry-fly water fishers.
Mind you I grew up on freestone water so I will find it fairly easy to fish...but I lose that slight edge..we will see how it goes....

Monday, May 08, 2006

A rainy day with some nice suprises...

The weather today was very poor, it started out with cloud so low it was like fog. The cloud did lift throughout the day...but as the cloud lifted the rain got heavier, and heavier, and heavier..
The sky has started to clear now though, the rain has stopped and light is threatening to break through the clouds which are now at a high level.
Work wise I didn't accomplish much, mind you I didn't really try and I'd a few calls from old friends I hadn't heard from or contacted in never ceases to amaze me how these things often happen in groups. I was intending to call one of them myself, so we could tie up a get-together over the summer..
I am taking part in a small group exhibition at the weekend, but it is in an un-tried venue, so it may be good or it could be a disaster...I have plenty of work though and I don't need to lay out a load of money on frames...most of what I'll show will be gallery-wrap canvas'. So although the venue is a risk, financially it won't cost much to try it. Added to that the commision rate is very small so I may just make some money out of it. I also got a contact in a new (to me) gallery...and a lead in as much I was given the name of the new owner of a Pub that is being renovated and may be looking for paintings for the walls....It will be worth following up, but I'm not counting any chickens...

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The end of a perfect day....

I spent much of the day up at the studio, not creating much, I had to do a repair/retouch job on a painting that had come back to me...well was brought back to me, the job wasn't too bad the colours were slightly off when applied but I am fairly sure they will dry to the correct hue. A regular collector came up in the afternoon, and when he saw the walled garden painting...(the one I had to stop working on due to the fast growth)... loved the freshness of it and bought it there and then. A nice surprise...and a bonus. When I came home in the evening the sun was shining, it was warm with a light breeze, although there had been strong winds all day, and I thought ' a lovely evening to take the dog down the river' off we toddled....

I fished a team of nymphs again and although didn't catch many fish...the tiddlers were conspicuous by there absence...did manage to find a 15 inch fish sitting behind a snag sipping down the occaisional fly, who rather obligingly made sure he got my little black spider the second time of asking. That led to some fireworks when I set the hook. He did settle down shortly and behaved impeccably right up until I lifted him out to unhook him. As is often the case revenge was had as he slipped back in, a wallop of a tail and a face full of water..LOL.

I decided to head home then, as Christine was still out I cooked a nice pasta and sauce, opened a nice little Red and we are about to sample both...all in all....a perfect end to a rather pleasing day.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

much ado about very little..

I spent the day in my studio...using a brush, but varnishing!..all the paintings that were lying around un-varnished got a coat of retouching varnish, and one or two got a coat of finishing varnish. I did a few working sketches too. I didn't start anything as I am tied up at home tomorrow, a man is coming to install a new broadband-internet provision for me. I'm hopeing that it will be more reliable than the one I have, as the present one can be as slow as dial-up at times.
I don't expect there will be too much of a delay in having it installed but we are getting a wireless installation so we can use more than one computer on it, so there may be teething troubles. I will be keeping the current provision until the end of the month anyway.
Tomorrow evening the group show is being opened so I'll head over for that in the evening when Christine gets home.
Tonight, I am considering going out, but I am expecting a buyer to come and collect a painting this evening, if they don't arrive until late I may have to cancel the "lads night out"....
speaking of which, the lads have kept tonights venue quiet....Stephen forgot to call me back....again....if I didn't know that he always forgets to return calls I might think it was intentional....I'll get a call about 9 when he remembers as he leaves the house..of course it's probably the usual venue...if it was somewhere different he'd have called to see if I wanted to suggest somewhere.
I have a Wren nesting by the back door, it is nice to see him going in and out....scolding all and sundry when he can see them in the area as he waits for your dissapearance before entering the nest site. The Blackbird that has the nest out the front is singing away to his hearts content while his mate sits on the nest below. The two montana Clematis' are flowering, the pink version along the backgarden wall, and the slightly later white one is starting to bloom in the tall silver birch tree. Spring is definitely here....and the lawn needs mowing again!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

washed out...

I spent the day up at Lough Sheelin working on the boats in as much as we could. It decided to rain, heavily, with a driving wind...needless to say no painting (of boats) was done. At least they are ready for the paint. We repaired any leaks with fibreglass resin. Replaced any screws that were loose, wire brushed and sanded the woodwork, and finally moved the boats over to the water, ready to be slipped in after painting. On the way home we had a look at the River Blackwater, it was too windy to fish the lough, and found it high and colouring with all the rain, so we didn't fish but came straight find Dublin dry and sunny!!!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I have been organising bits and pieces today, running around from a to b to c to d etc. I'm exhausted...LOL. I dropped into the studio to collect 3 paintings for delivery for a show 1st thing Thursday morning, as I won't have time tommorrow. I am going up to Cavan tommorrow to do some repairs to two club boats, getting them ready to go out onto the Lough (Sheelin). It will be a full day....of course I'll get a couple of hours fishing in too.....never waste a trip is my motto.
I will have to start getting more organised next fishing trip is getting close and I need to get everything in order before I dissappear..I also need to get a supply of hooks etc. to tie flies I might need during the week. We set up tying benches on arrival at the rented house. When we find a fly that works we tie up a dozen for the next day every evening. They soon get damaged when catching fish..also dry flies tend to get drowned in a good wave so you need plenty of spares. I have a group show opening on Friday, I'm hopeful that I might get a sale or two from the 3 paintings I'm leaving in. They include these two

green reeds 20X30 inches Canal Roach 12X 12

Monday, May 01, 2006

It has been a long weekend.......Little work has been done, I made a complete mess of the painting I was working on, so much so I broke the stretcher and rolled it up and binned it. I felt much better. The painting was not going to succeed, and I didn't have the heart to try and salvage the canvas. Apart from that I am not that unhappy, I have realised that struggling along is not beneficial. I am going to start sketching, scribbling etc. and enjoy myself. Painting will come - or go- as it pleases. I go away for my trip in 3 weeks so I don't really mind not starting anything....I am going to concentrate on sales rather than product at the moment. Who knows? if I can organise an exhibition i may find renewed vigour. I am stale. My work is stale. I am un-inspired, so is the work. I need to find my subject, then I can find myself.