Posted by: Julie Duell | October 4, 2008

IRELAND – ARTISTIC LOOK

 

                        

          Above: Acrylic study by Julie of Glengarriff cottages in west Cork.

 

Hello all & welcome!

In August/Sept. 2007 Tony and I (as 2 recycled teenagers) spent the most wonderful, inspirational visit to Ireland and fell in love with it.  We flew into Dublin and spent lots of time in County Carlow, later travelling by car down to West Cork & the southern most tip of Ireland (Cape Mizen).

As well as some of the artwork it inspired, we would like to share overall impressions with you via our photographs.   

The first thing we noticed, apart from the incredible emerald green (so different from Australia’s colouring)  was the use of stone everywhere in buildings and fences…

Some of the fences were built with a stile to enable humans to climb over, but still keep animals in.  It reminded me of the old rhyme “There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile – He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile!” 

Because of the moist climate, beautiful mosses, lichens & tiny plants grow on rocks everywhere. We found them absolutely enchanting. Nature is so quick to soften and embellish whatever man builds in this charming part of the world…

This natural blend of man-made and natural growth in parts was spectacular – as in these ivy coloured buildings…

 

In every town we visited from Dublin to Glengarriff, the buildings were painted in bright colours and flowers festooned window boxes and lamp-posts.  The people were as colourful as the towns and always ready for a laugh!  It was truly delightful! 

Above: A small ‘same day’ watercolour impression from memory of Killkenny.

Below: Photos of various wonderfully coloured buildings.

  

    

 

   

We felt there was a gentleness about Ireland – from the soft misty rain on the mosses to the twittering birds in the hedgerows and generally the unhurried humour of the people.  Some of our happiest hours there were wandering the narrow lanes lined with tall hedges (which act as wildlife corridors), picking blackberries to eat and thistles for the ponies where we were staying. Every now and again a black faced sheep would come to the fence to greet us, and we could glimpse here and there remnants of the ancient roads just wide enough for a donkey cart.

    

We sampled the trains, starting out with a trip to Dublin on a Sunday with hundreds of footie fans from Waterford. Below is picturesque Kildare Station.

   

We headed, as usual, for the Art Galleries past the famous statue to Mollie Malone of “Cockles & Mussels” fame. Do you know the song?

and Grafton Street, famous for its buskers…

   

  

After a feast of jigs and ballads, we again made for the Gallery – then had to flatten against  building as rain showered down.  Suddenly, from around a corner appeared a laughing procession of colourful people tripping along sharing umbrellas…

This later inspired the painting below:

Other art studies were inspired along the way – this one in pastels from a ‘home coming’ scene glimpsed from the car.  I had to combine my memory of the people & dog with the reference photo taken as we whizzed past. 

  

I developed the next pastel study from a quick sketch done in an Irish tearoom in Glengarriff…

Then I had fun with this colourful corner in Bantry, exaggerating the quaint nature of the whacky buildings and steep streets…

 

Tony then did a lovely charcoal sketch of his beautiful grand-daughter…

    

Below are some small pastel & watercolour studies I did while we were in Carlow. Tony did some lovely ones too but unfortunately forgot to photograph them before they left his hands…

  

The pattern of sunshine and rain made for great skies the whole time we were there…

 

So we had a lovely time viewing the country through artistic eyes and weaving in small artworks as we went along.  It really enhanced our appreciation of everything we saw.

   

Still more surprises lay in store for us during our visit to Ireland…

A heatwave with a day on a sandy beach at Crookhaven with fair Irish skins going lobster pink in the hot sun…

 

A visit to Garnish Island, in a tiny ferry blown by a strong icy wind – only to find the other side of this beautiful gardened island sheltered and sunny…

  

Garnish Island is near Glengarriff in West Cork…a sheltered fissure in the coastline where seals bask on the rocks and fishing prevails…

Gorgeous gardens…

Magnificent old castles…

 

and a walking stick shop in readiness for exploring some of KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK – rich with mosses, ferns and lakes in an old growth forest…

 

Here, Tony’s grandson spotted a leprochaun or two which he drew for us…

 

 

“If you ever go across the sea to Ireland” as the song says, we hope you get to take a jaunting ride at Killarney and maybe even strike a hot enough day to go for a swim!

 

It truly is a beautiful place!

Thanks for sharing and we would love to hear your stories too.

Julie and Tony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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