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 studio, 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'.