Tuesday 1 December 2015

Take me to the river - Glenbarrow

An oil painting from early September done at a meet up of our summer plein air painters group.

Glenbarrow - oil on canvas - 16 X 20 inches

Work in progress

Friday 27 November 2015

Ted - A commissioned piece

This is a commissioned oil on canvas portrait of Ted, the St. Bernard. There is glare in the photo as the painting is still wet, nonetheless, I hope you like it?

Ted - Oil on canvas - 12 X 16 inches

Tuesday 17 November 2015

The Blame Game - We didn't do it

A painting that has spent an awful long time on the drying rack, so it shows the kids as they looked a few years ago. Parents will know these pleading looks.

The Blame Game - Oil on Linen - 14 X 18 inches


One from the archives

Still life painted at a workshop given by artist Gemma Guihan a couple of years ago.

Still life - Oil on paper - 20 x 16 inches

Friday 6 November 2015

Plein air watercolour Salmon Leap Castletown

This mornings watercolour & ink sketch is of the recently finished stepped Salmon Ladder and weir at Castletown. It rained while painting so the picture is not as finished as I would like. Still I saw a salmon running the new ladder so it was a worthwhile morning.

Salmon Leap, Castletown - Watercolour - 20 X 16 inches

Monday 2 November 2015

Plein air watercolour sketch of the Mill at Castletown

Here is a watercolour view of the Mill at Castletown painted in about one and a half hours yesterday afternoon. It was bright when I started painting though the light faded quickly. Still, it is lovely weather for the beginning of November.

Mill at Castletown - Approx 20 X 16 inches

Friday 30 October 2015

Pencil sketch of the Poet's Cottage Camross

This plein air pencil sketch of the Poet's cottage in Camross village was completed over a couple of sessions. It took about two and a half hours in total (most of the time was spent drawing the stone work). I might add watercolour or ink washes to it if the mood takes me then again perhaps its best to leave well enough alone.

The Poet's Cottage Camross - A4 size

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Jack - Commission

This is a commissioned painting of Jack. He is placid horse who loves a nice apple. The painting shall reside in the window of Jack's stable so has been given a good few coats of varnish to protect it from the weather.

Jack - Acrylic on ply - 23 X 35 inches

Jack in his new home

Friday 16 October 2015

Monty & Roly - Commissions

These are Monty & Roly, two commissioned oil paintings of champion Irish Springer Spaniels just finished today. The paint will need to dry for a week or two longer, hence the bad photos trying to avoid glare from the wet oil paint.
Monty - Oil on canvas - 16 X 20 inches

Roly - Oil on canvas - 16 X 20 inches

Wednesday 14 October 2015

Hotchpotch from my sketch books

Once again, here are a random selection of drawings from my sketch books (some good, some bad). Nearly all drawings were completed in 25 minutes or less. Various mediums were used - charcoal, colour pencil, graphite, ink and watercolour. The drawings are on cartridge paper no greater than A4 size, with the exception of the charcoal still life which is A3 on newsprint paper. Some of these drawings are unfinished and shall remain so.

Saturday 3 October 2015

A perfect Commission

This stylized painting is a commissioned piece for Rahanni Healer Liz Phelan. A while ago Liz asked me would I be interested in taking on a commission which she would be giving as a gift to her fellow Healer Mags Harrison. Liz warned that the piece could be radically different in style from my  usual work.

Intrigued, I accepted the brief and we began to discuss concepts for the painting. I painted a watercolour sketch for Liz with my interpretation of our initial discussions. As the actual painting began to progress we consulted as to which elements needed to be added or modified to reflect the spirit of Mags.

As to the mechanics of the painting, my usual colour palette went flying out of the window on this piece. When would I normally use a hot orange pigment or even fluorescent or metallic paints? Still I learned a lot working on this piece, most importantly, listen to your client. All in all this is the perfect example of how a commission should work. I hope both Liz and Mags are pleased with the end result and my thanks to them both.

Angel - Acrylic on canvas - 50cm X 70cm 

Unfinished portrait detail

If you have an idea that you might be interested in commissioning to a finished painting please email me at the address above to discuss. I promise I don't bite!

Monday 21 September 2015

Plein air for Culture Night

Thanks to Laois Arts office for hosting a Plein Air afternoon at the Rock of Dunamaise last Friday 18th September as part of the Culture Night events, lead by artist Jock Nichol. A lot of the gang that took part in the Plein Air week at Stradbally in July were back again plus a few new faces. I used watercolours as we were limited to an hour and a half painting time.
Jock on the Rock

View from the fort entrance gate

The same view in watercolour (Size - 42cm x 30cm)

Monica O'Meara working overtime
I could have done another pass of watercolour washes across my work but  I was too busy talking to be concerned by that. Still it was great to catch up with everyone and I am sure everyone really enjoyed the Plein Air afternoon.

Friday 4 September 2015

Lacca Church again

Here is an other view of Lacca church painted last Sunday. The photo is a bit washed out I am afraid.
Lacca Church - W&N Cotman CP Watercolour paper - 14 x 10 inches


Wednesday 19 August 2015

Recent watercolours

Here are two watercolour sketches done during the month of August. Both are 14 x 10 inches on W&N Cotman 140lbs cold pressed paper.

Lacca Church

Reminds me of the song- By the shores of Lough Ree

Friday 14 August 2015

Oil sketch - Nymph of the garden

This is an oil sketch of a statue in our garden with comfrey growing around the base. I enjoyed sitting under the birch trees painting this, but I am still dealing with the after effects of the insect bites. Nothing much is resolved in this picture but I had fun lashing on the paint.

Garden Nymph - Oil on canvas - 40cm x 40cm

Thursday 30 July 2015

Capturing the light

This beautiful location is at Forest, Mountrath. It is easy to miss this view when you drive past. I attempted to capture the glorious light in this painting using a limited palette (no sap green).
I might re-visit again when the cereal crop has ripened.

Where does it go? - Oil on canvas - 16 x 20inches


Tuesday 28 July 2015

Building on last weeks workshop

Here is a Plein air painting of part our garden. This picture is for my wife as I usually park my car blocking this view from the house. The photo is a little washed out possibly because of the sheen from the wet oil paints.

Garden view - Oil on canvas - 40cm x 40cm

Saturday 25 July 2015

More from Plein Air week

Our most enjoyable week on the Cosby Estate, Stradbally painting en Plein air has come to an end. Tonight as I clean my palette and brushes I feel quite drained but satisfied by the experience. It was great to see the different approaches of the other artists and also to make many new friends. Jock Nichol has helped us to really see the landscape. Here is a small selection of photos taken during the week.

Muireann Ni Chonaill opening Jock Nichol's Plein Air exhibition and week-long workshop

Stradbally Hall (would have spent all week on this to finish) - Oil on canvas- 14 x 18 inches

An attentive bunch
Jock making it look so simple
I make it look so laboured

View from my easel
Completed oil on canvas - 14 x 18 inches
Closing exhibition

Closing exhibition

For more visit:  www.arthouse.ie

Friday 24 July 2015

Plein Air week-long art course with Jock Nichol

Sadly, tomorrow is the last day of a week-long Plein Air art course with artist Jock Nichol. Laois Arts Officer, Muireann Ni Chonaill and her team at the Arthouse, Stradbally have done a wonderful job organizing the course. We have worked each day in the beautiful grounds of the Cosby Estate, Stadbally and produced some varied and interesting works. If you have a spare few minutes why not pop in to view the exhibition.

Check out the Arthouse on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/thearthouseandlibrary?fref=ts

Monday 20 July 2015

Carrickfergus Castle

Recently we stayed in Carrickfergus for a few days. As part of the trip we visited the beautiful Carrickfergus Castle. The kids had a ball learning about its history and exploring the various parts of the castle. Seeing their excited faces reminded me of when I was young and how much this castle matched the one that I imagined the Chivalric Knights of my play called home.

Each evening I ventured out of our hotel to sketch the castle. I got rained on twice so the first of my watercolour sketches were rather smudged. However I did one drawing in pencil and did a crude block in of colour before the light faded. I finished this in the studio when we returned home.

Carrickfergus Castle - Watercolour 10 x 14 inches

Tuesday 7 July 2015

Another bit of fun for Castletown Tidy Towns

Here is another bit of fun painted in Acrylics on a door of the stables at the old Mill in Castletown. I hope these chickens settle in well.
87cm x 76cm

The photograph of the ladies new home isn't great as it is a miserable dark and wet evening.