Hats off to the organisers of the Candlelight Walk at Russborough House this evening in aid of St Mary’s Church and the Irish Cancer Society.
It was a magical experience, walking by candlelight, starlight and the occasional torch under the majestic trees in the parkland. Just the right length and the tray bake from the van was yummm! The Lurcher really enjoyed the experience too.
As part of a series of views of Trinity College, sold as prints in the Old Library Shop I created a painting of one of the pair of wrought iron spiral stairs in the Long Room. One of the Trinity staff members obligingly walked down the stairs while I sketched and photographed, to help me give the painting a sense of scale
I brought the material I had gathered to the house in Co. Clare, placed the large canvas in the kitchen, hanging it on the wall just beside the door. I closed the window shutters, lit a candle to evoke the atmosphere and set to work. Lucy PepR, the dog preferred to spend her time in the front room, keeping an eye on passers by on the prom.
A few days into painting I was happy with the stairs, the bookshelves and gleaming gold gilded tomes. I raised my paintbrush to bring in the figure of a Librarian on the stairs when the kitchen door suddenly BURST open. I SCREAMED in fright.
Lucy PepR, screamed back in fright ((she had come in for a drink of water – her dish was directly under the painting). My brush did a wobble connecting with the canvas.
I calmed the poor dog and turned to the painting.
There, standing on the Spiral stairs was a ghostly figure, not descending the stairs but calmly reaching over the handrail towards the shelves for a book. The feeling of fright was so real and authentic I left it exactly as it appeared. You can just make it out at top left , under the word 'Bibliotheca'.
Last June I was invited by an American friend to go on a walk in #Kilshanny led by qualified herbalist Emma Wilcox. She drew our attention to he abundant variety of wild herbs and plants in the roadside hedgerows and their potential as food, for healing as well as their beauty. I felt that during the dry conditions last Summer the vibrant dark green hedgerows were in stark contrast to the fields of wilting thirsty crops.
In September I was in the #Tyrone Guthrie Centre for two weeks and a new series of paintings emerged.
I titled the series Sovereign, meaning something of the land, in its own territory.
Sovereign III – Meadowsweet;
Gold leaf and silver on a jade background depicts meadowsweet, a creamy perennial found in meadows, woods and marshes.
Meadowsweet was one of 3 herbs held sacred by the Celts and was used to flavour mead, for pain relief, to stop bleeding and as a disinfectant. It was included in bridal bouquets to attract love, peace and happiness. Since 1838 it was synthesized and sold as aspirin, deriving it’s name from the latin name Spirea Ulmana- and in time the non steroidal anti inflamatories now used.
Medium; Chinese inks on canvas. Size; 75cm x 100cm
Borzoi; Fast, wavy coated Russian sight hound.
Known as the ‘ballet dancers’ of the canine world, the Borzoi is streamlined, graceful and strong. Quiet, athletic and independent, they are gentle and sensitive with powerful hunting instincts.