Friday, September 29, 2006

Noel and I went to Ennell again yesterday. There was not a lot happening though, I did manage to move four fish, two of which took the fly, both were undersized though (one only just at 13.5 inches again). All bar one fish came to a daddy-long-legs, the one that actually took came to a dry fly. In hindsight I should have stuck to dries for the rest of the day, but the fact that I was moving fish with a top dropper makes it difficult. The other fish came to a small claret hopper.
Today I spent some time in the studio. I have another painting almost finished, but I'm not 100% sure about it, it still needs work. I will look at it again tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Two more paintings....

I did this painting (30 inches by15) in a similar way to the other palm tree. Loose with painting knives and charcoal. It has worked in the way the first didn't. The colour balance in the photo is not great, due mainly to the fact that the photo had to be taken in the artificial lights of the studio. I put the rising moon in the painting, it was one of my memories from Monastir, watching the moon rising redly as the sun set. The advantage of timing, a full equinoxial moon and close to the equator. The moon also reflectsthe golden colours of the dates and the yellows of the palm frond stalks. This created a nice balance of colour while allowing me to keep the height of the palms prominent.

The second painting is the one I had started yesterday. It is very reminiscent of one I painted in Monastir, it is 30 by 20 inches.

Both paintings are acrylic again, I may start some oils on Thursday. Tomorrow I have a business meeting in the morning and I am heading up north for the afternoon so painting is not possible.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Painting fast and furiously....

It is going very well, another one finished, and I am well into another, the plan has been done for it and my darks are blocked in, tomorrow will see it finished also I think.

This painting is different in that I liked the shapes that the coast formed as much as for the landscape. It creates a bold impact by design without any brush work in the painting. To be honest it did not take a lot of work, it came together very easily. I needed to do a small alteration in my greens but that was all. The aloes in the center may need a little work as they seem to lean to the left in the photo, so I will look at them again tomorrow.
The view is looking towards Monastir from the headland with the prayer hut on it. The aspect is looking from a height down and accross the coastline. I am glad of the acrylics at this stage, the fact that they are drying so fast is allowing me to work at pace while the output is good. I will start some oils when I reach the stage of having to work at ideas and paintings, but I'll stick to the acrylics for now lest the flow cease. I am driven to work at the moment. Today I suddenly realised it was late and I hadn't stopped for food.....I was engrossed in the work, a feeling I haven't had in nearly 3 years, since before my health problems. It's a nice way to be. Happy at work, and happy with the work. Long may it last.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ennell is difficult as usual, but I have an enjoyable day

Lough Ennell was kind to me. I had plenty of action from the start with fish moving almost immediately and keeping interest high. Most of the fish in the morning turned under the flies or followed them without taking but I moved eight in total in the first four hours so I was kept keen and alert. I eventually got one to take the fly and he turned out to be 36cm long, the limit was 35.5cm......just over instead of the usual just under size!!. . We moved area for the afternoon and I moved seven more fish, catching four of them, 32cm,34cm, 34.5 cm, 35cm, all just under the 14 inch limit.....aaaaaaaaaarrrggh! I finished early so I could get back to Dublin Airport in time to meet/collect Christine who's flight from Kuala Lumpar got in at 7.30 pm. so I wasn't at the weigh-in ( I left my fish with the weighing steward) after the competition officially ended at 6.30. There were only 9 fish weighed in for the competition so I came in the top 9. Obviously with 30 to qualify, I did. As for the successful flies, olive bumble, golden olive bumble, daddy-long-legs, green bumble & sooty olive bumble....yes it was one of those days, I caught on everything, nearly everyone else caught on nothing! That's life, and fishing for you, sometimes you have the luck sometimes you don't. Interestingly enough the bigger fish were turning under my flies rather than taking them though...but at least I was managing to get fish to move all day, many anglers didn't see any fish at all, some fishing within 20 feet of our boat all afternoon!! (watching me hook up on a regular basis).....OH...I hate that!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Two work-in-progress paintings..

Two more works, but both are works-in-progress.

This first is an experiment, painted in acrylic with painting knife over a fixed charcoal sketch. I have also used gold dust and sand to give interest in the foreground. Somehow it is just not me. I don't know if I will develop it, however I like the loose work on the Palm fronds. I may need to loosen up the painting on the other areas.

the second work is acrylic again.....I'm making good use of them Francis!....the sky needs work.
I am finding the acrylic good for getting my ideas down fast, I will be doing a lot more work-ups in the acrylic, and will probably do the finished pieces in Oils. I will be doing a lot of sketching tomorrow as I have collected my photos this evening and I want to produce some ideas while the landscape is still fresh in my mind.

On another note I will be fishing the national Qualifiers on Saturday. I don't think I have really much of a chance though. I have had no practise at all. Added to the fact that the competition is on Lough Ennell and we have had high winds all week, the forecast is also quite bad for saturday, I think the water will be a little coloured and not really suited to the areas I normally fish. However we will see what saturday brings. I cannot wait for the weigh-in though, the competition ends at 6.30pm. and Christine's flight gets in at 8pm, and it's a 90 minute trip back to the airport. It will be a case of hand in my fish, hop in the car and head off.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The first Tunisian painting off the easel

This is an acrylic, 30 inches by 15 inches. Although it is not totally finished, there is not much more to be done to it other than some finer detailing on the prickly pears. I will leave this until another time though. I need to collect my photographs before I get too detailed as my studies only give an impression of the greener pears that I painted. I have photographs of the ripening pears though, and can use these to finish off.
I am happy enough with this first work, it is similar to my Algarvian pieces, but the coastal landscape is very similar.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Oh no...the holiday is over...

Today I taught a new Art class this morning. It went quite well. After that, I had to deal with paper work and bills. I recieved my electricity bill...not too bad, and another final demand for water rates from the Council....I wouldn't mind if I had water in my studio, but I don't and have informed them so on at least 4 occaisions!!
I then had to go to the bank to lodge cheques, go shopping for food etc for the house, Christine is still away. Now my day has gone, and I still have to buy art materials and organise the developement of my photos from Tunisia.
It will take all tomorrow morning to do that. I may get into the studio in the afternoon.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I am back from Africa....

...Tunisia is a beautiful country. I was met by an exquisite sunrise....this was followed by an arial display by the migrating swallows as they dipped over the hotel swimming pool, getting a drink. It is amazing how you leave Home having just noticed the lack of summer birds and find them again in North Africa. It makes you feel right at home. Speaking of which, the organisers of the Art festival, and most particularly Nejib, did just that. I was met at the airport and greeted like a long time friend, and now I know I am one.

All the Artists I met helped create a very pleasant festival. I have come away both stimulated and with a new sense of confidence and purpose. I have at last shaken off the doubts about my work and creativity, I know I am able to do what I want to do, I know what I want to do has relevance and also that I am like most artists, rarely completely happy about my work. For any of my contemporaries, hello, thankyou for your friendship and I will be in touch soon. I learnt much from my colleagues, all who had different views on our world, we see the same things in differing ways, but we all found a common goal:- our art, and the need to create art.
I must admit, my lack of linquistic skills was a little off-putting at first, but with the linquists going out of their way to translate for those of us that required it, and the fact that my long forgotten school days french came back over time made conversation interesting and inspiring.
Artists struggle to survive the world over was ouir common theme! I also spent time with other stragglers the second week, and when we slowly shrank as a group I came to the realisation that we were more than just a group, we were friends......a pleasant thought.

A little about the programme...It was wonderful, but a little short, the second week allowed much more creativity and dialogue. I think this is being rectified for next year, four or five days makes a world of difference when creating art. The organization left nothing to chance...even down to the producing of sea-sickness pills prior to a short boat trip...yes every little detail was considered. After the main festival was over, those of us left were looked after and checked for any problems daily, a doctor called when one of our number was unwell, ferrying to the airports (even at 4am.!), and we were all wished goodluck the evening before our departures by members of the organising committee. Above and beyond duty!
I will leave you with a few photos of Tunisia for today.

I am tired and jet-lagged.

Until tomorrow or Tuesday..

Friday, September 01, 2006

This time tomorrow I will be in Tunisia, so I probably won't post until I return on the 18th. I am fully organised and looking forward to starting work. It is going to be an interesting experience working with other artists again. I will tell you all about it next time I post......BYe.