Tuesday, August 29, 2006

3 days to go before my flight.....
I have bought the paint etc. I needed....I got a shock, it's a while since I bought cadmium yellows...the price is high, I'd forgotten that they were series4 in the winsor & newton artists colours. I am fully organised now, I just finished packing. Camera, paints, brushes, palette, all padded and surrounded by clothes in the case. I am a little worried that my palette will get broken, it is a lovely aged mahogany one and I'd hate to have to get a new one. It's like a comfortable pair of shoes....it is moulded to me..and I hold it like a second skin.

here is a photo of my palette...on a very untidy high level computer desk that I use for my paints, jars, dirty rags, brushes, pliers (for stuck paint tube tops) and all other sundry items. The lower area that the tower/printers etc would normally sit in is full up with sketches and drawings etc. I find the desk ideal because if there are children in the studio(with parents only) I can lay the palette on the keyboard/mouse-pad tray and slide it in under...the result no enquiring fingers in wet oil paint...LOL. I am happy enough...and surprisingly organised!
All I need to do before I go is pack my toothbrush....oops I forgot- I packed a new one.
All I need to do is mow the grass, wash the dogs and all the other chores that need doing before a two week dissapearance.....

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I went to the fishery at maynooth today to help out with the clubs Kids competition. It was HARD work!..I took hold of two total beginners about 10 or 11 years old and taught them to both fly cast and fly-fish...both were doing great after a few hours. Only 8 fish were caught, the biggest at 48 cm was caught on a dry fly, (klinkhamer) by one of my two charges....all his own work too, casting and hooking included....mind you the fish when it took carried on going and hooked itself...cest la vie...the outcome one very happy and committed angler added to the ranks!!
We finished off with a Bar-B-Que and prize giving....all 24 anglers got a prize, even though my second charge had to be called up from the lake to collect his, he was still fishing away trying to catch his first fly caught trout.....
It is great to bring new blood to the sport, many of the anglers in the Kids competition are friends kids, nephews, grand-kids, grandkids friends etc. who come from a non fishing background too. All in all a rewarding day.

Friday, August 25, 2006

8 days before my Tunisian trip....I've still to get fully organised. I am fiddling around, Lazyitis is a big problem! I'm not motivated to do much of anything, as I'm working outside the studio for these two weeks.... I'm doing holiday cover...... The timing is perfect, a week & a half paid employment prior to my galivanting off....Something always turns up.... It must be the fact that I'm lucky...
But I am totally knackered after a days work. I'm left with no energy for anything else...
I will try to organise myself over the weekend...

Monday, August 21, 2006

I've been fishing again. Noel and I went to lough Owel as we heard a few fish were starting to be caught. The information was that fish were being caught around the Tyre and the small pumphouse....they were right!
I caught about a dozen, and we got loads when we trailed flies behing the boat motoring between drifts.... We had drifted over a mark (shallows just offshore) and I'd got two small fish and missed another good fish too, the drift was onto the shore, so with the strongish wind I needed to start the engine and motor out quickly...obviously the quick and safest way is to leave the fly line trailing until you move away from the shore... when I did it I got 3 fish on my team of 3 flies almost immediately (withing 20 feet) all around the pound and a quarter - pound and a half mark. This kept happening although with single fish, even in areas we weren't rising fish...to such an extent that I was worried in case my rod got pulled overboard by a decent fish..
Painting meantime is not on the menu...I am not going to go into the studio now, I just will organise myself and do other bits and pieces prior to travelling. I also will spend time with Christine as she leaves for Kuala-lumpur and Korea before I get back so we wont see each other for a month.

Friday, August 18, 2006

2 weeks to go......

I find I'm at a loss today...I had started working well, I've done (almost) another koi painting, but with the concerts in the park etc. I don't feel like carrying on at the moment. Mind you this year the events office of the promoter have given us passes into the events. Much appreciated, especially by Eoin, he was looking for a ticket to one of the concerts anyway. The weather is quite grey at the moment too, added to that I'm not 100% fit, My breathing is bad again and I have an upset stomach to boot, I don't really want to do anything much.
Today I went through all my paint etc. to see what I need to stock up on before I go away. I need crimson, cad. yellow deep and a tube of Oleopast/ liquin impasto. I could do with some more cobalt blue too, but I should have enough for the two weeks. I am at the organising stage....but I need to watch pennies also. It would be easy to spend on materials etc., but I will need some cash left in my pocket when away, plus some in reserve just in case of any emergencies..
It has been a quiet summer sales wise.....probably half the reason I can't get into producing......I need stimulation, both visually and financially...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A very good day in the studio..

Rather influenced by Claude Monet, but thats the way it's turning out. I suppose it's the waterlillies... the painting came together well though, and quickly.

I may rework it in a few days, but I don't think it needs anything.

I am going to have to look at a series of paintings with Koi and goldfish after I'm finished with Tunisia. Water and fish go well with me....and I enjoyed this one immensely. There again I usually do when they go well..

Sunday, August 13, 2006

approaching Autumn...

I think summer has gone. Autumn is definitely here. The temperature drop is very noticeable. I'm dressed in warm clothes, two layers thick. I think it is nearly time to put the central heating back on. I spent the day working in the house, and now (at 7.30 pm) I'm exhausted. It is time to put my feet up..but now I've stopped work I feel the coolness, I'm not quite cold, but I'm not warm either.
I had an itch to paint today, but I have messages to run tomorrow, if I still have the itch on Tuesday I will probably go into the studio and start work on something......there is a little pond scene buzzing around my head.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Noel and I fished Sheelin yesterday, We rose about 6 or 7 fish apiece. Noel managed to hook and land one small fish. I managed one fish about 2lb late in the evening. Conditions were difficult for fishing with strong blustery winds. We had lots of rain, and overcast conditions, but the fish were still coming to golden olive bumbles on/in the surface. The fish were not interested in flies below the surface, and were more drowning those on the top rather than taking the flies. Very similar to Sunday, but with less frequency. I am sure the lake will turn on fully soon though. It is enjoyable fishing all the same because while you are seeing the fish rise you feel you are going to get them..It is much worse when you see nothing for the day..
Painting/work wise I had a trip into town today with Christine,.....in other words I did nothing again....roll on Sept the 2nd..and Tunisia.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My studio is in the middle of a building site for the month of August with the new courtyard surface going in. The concerts will be on and work on the stage is due to start soon also. I am not too bothered though as I don't intend to do much work anyway....I'm waiting for Tunisia to get the creative juices going...Droooool...
I am seriously considering a trip back to Sheelin tomorrow, but I can't really afford it, sales are very slow and I need to find a few bob for my trip abroad.
That reminds me .... I must tax my van...more expense...definitely can't afford another trip...(boat 10 euro, petrol for outboard 8 euro, deisel in van 35 euro = 53 euro for the day). These high petrol/oil prices are really hitting hard too.
I'm now getting depressed.......
I think I'll stay home and do some work in the garden instead.....

Monday, August 07, 2006

Lough Sheelin turns on for me.

I fished lough Sheelin yesterday, conditions were good, warm overcast (a little rain--but a little rain never hurt anyone) with a nice wet-fly wave. I fished a team of wet flies on the floating line these were a small size12 golden olive bumble, a size 12 greenpeter and a size 14 fly which I kept changing on the point. I would have changed the greenpeter but I had been told that it was the working fly, and it had risen my first fish... I moved at least a dozen and a half fish for the day, quite a few of them small though. I hooked seven trout in total, 3 of which I lost while playing them. I landed 4, between 1.25lb and 2.5lb, no big fish though. The three I lost would have been between 1.5 and 2.5lb also. A lot of fish either rolled over the top dropper or porpoised over it, great visual fishing. Those that porpoised over the fly were there when I struck, those that rolled over weren't, so I assume they were just drowning the 'fly'. That happens at times. The fish that took below the surface were just pulls, and none stuck, leaving me to assume they were not really interested in taking the fly but were nipping the tail as such since most came two or three times at the fly. Although I only ended up with four fish, it was a very pleasant day. The fact that I was constantly moving fish all day made it both interesting and rewarding, added to the fact it keeps the concentration up for when that 'monster' appears.....even though it didn't I had a great days sport. I'm looking forward to the next trip.
It's a pity Noel missed it...he is away for the weekend, I had to suffer alone...LOL.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

August starts off better....

I fished the competition on Lough Owel last night. Conditions were very blustery, with a big rolling wave coming into Doolans shore. I took Noel up into the corner by the crannog, where it was quite calm with a light wave. I managed to get two fish, best just short of 1.5 lb (.675 kg). There was a better return on the competition too, 17 fish returned in total, 15 anglers catching fish compared to one fish last week. Hopefully fishing will continue to improve. I am going up to Lough Sheelin tomorrow, hopefully the fish will be moving there too, Noel could do with one, he blanked again last night but he was in good company again. I am spending time working on the house at the moment so I'm not doing any work in the studio....I'll go on saturday for a rest.....I know I'm fishing tommorrow, but I'll have a days work done before I go...it's the middle of summer we don't go out until the evenings.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I am due to go to Sligo today, we intend to go and visit our cottage near Geevagh. I assume it's still standing...one of these days I hope to get stuck in and do some renovations. It is a standard three room traditional rough stone cottage standing on 2.5 acres with a small trout stream bordering it. It needs running water, plumbing, rewiring (started) and new windows & doors...but on the plus side it's bought and paid for and is increasing in value all the time. We bought it prior to my first collapsed lung, when I was much fitter and able to do most of the work myself. I'm hoping I may get that full fitness back and do some of the work, or we may decide to sell it as it is and look abroad for another holiday home. The cottage is just down the road from both lough Allen and Lough Arrow so was ideal as a base for my fishing, while at the same time is still only 20-30 minutes away from Boyle and Carrick-on-shannon, both hives of interest to non anglers as is the nearby lough Key with its forest park. I have photos somewhere but I'll have to look for them...mind you if we do get there today I'll take some more. At the moment we are watching the weather, rain is looking ominous, and there isn't much point going up in rain as it is a long drive, and in the rain can prove very tiring. So I'm just waiting for a weather forecast..