While I was recently sorting through several large correspondence boxes (organising/ culling/ amalgamating) I came across an envelope full of pages from small (only about 5 inches x 3 inches) notebooks I kept in 1981, after I finished art school. I had obviously already culled them at some previous date, only keeping pages that I thought were interesting. I know that these pages came from several different notebooks as there were two back pages in the envelope. One of the back pages, along with doodles, has an advert for a storefront for rent. I never lived in or rented a shop but I must have been thinking of it as an option in my early Toronto days. One of the doodles represents an image of an egg and its shadows that I had previously created as a large silkscreen print in my 2nd year of art school, so obviously the image stayed with me.
Wednesday, 12 May 2021
Wednesday, 5 May 2021
Along with numerous writers world wide, I spent the month of April partipating in Na/GloPoWriMo (National/Global Poetry Writing Month) as I have done for the past five years. The premise is to write a poem daily based on a specific (optinal) prompt. In addition, there are links to both live and pre-recorded poetry readings, which are amazing to follow; not all live events work with the differences in time zones, but some do. These are great introductions to the work of other poets that may have been previously unknown to you, or even reminders to listen to known poets. Following the prompts has led to writing unexpected poems and learning about other poem forms. Some of the poems written during NaPoWriMo I have continued to work on, revising and tweaking, and eventually publishing. Although I began taking part in 2017, during several non-April months, I have looked back at the archive and worked on prompts for several previous years (working backwards I have one more year, 2013, to finish, which I plan to complete by the end of this year).
Wednesday, 28 April 2021
Every year, I think since 2013, I have taken part in the Incognito fundraiser for the Jack & Jill Children's Foundation. This foundation provides in-home and respite care for young children with neuro-developmental issues and their families. The premise of the fundraiser is that the artist creates up to three images on specific sized cards and only signs the back of the card; all cards have the same price-tag, regardless of who created them (well-known artists and public personalities take part, as well as lesser-known people!); the identity of the maker is only revealed when the sale is done.
Wednesday, 21 April 2021
In February I had taken a free portrait drawing workshop from Raw Umber Studios and greatly enjoyed it. I blogged about it here. A few friends had also taken the workshop at the same time and we posted (via whatsapp) pictures to each other, after which we decided we would do something similar again. With some simple google research I found that there were various drawing workshops available online and even Raw Umber Studios had its own YouTube channel where they posted some previous portrait drawing workshops. So another session was planned with my friends, where we all watched the same video. Although the format was exactly the same, with workshop facilitation by instructor Lizet Dingemans, there was not the livestream capability of having real-time questions answered. This, however, was not a huge deterrent for any of us, as we weren't availing of the question and answer facility anyway. We decided on the model "Heather" and got to work. As with the previous workshop, there were three "poses" (well-lit photographs) starting with a basic ten minute pose.
Wednesday, 14 April 2021
I can't remember how I heard about this project, but after reading about it, I decided to take part. "Pluid" means "comfort blanket" in Irish, and the point of the call-out was to think of ways we, as individuals, have found solace in this past year of covid lockdowns and isolation/separation from our usual life interactions.
Wednesday, 7 April 2021
In the past year especially, I have seen quite a lot of open calls for online opportunities. As I had recently dealt with destroying a large oilstick work from 1989 but couldn't part (yet) with a number of elements from the painting/drawing (I blogged about it here) the open call for "Open Fragment" was serendipitous! As recent work was requested I wrote to the curators for clarification - while the original work was created in 1989, the fragments created by destroying Sea of Roses could be seen as new works from 2021.
Wednesday, 31 March 2021
A couple of weeks ago I was excited to take part in a Zoom workshop on contact printing, a simple and straightforward technique of making monoprints that has somehow managed to elude me. The workshop was put on by Graphic Studio Dublin (which has also been hosting fabulous artist talks every Friday morning) and facilitated by artist Clare Henderson who had sent out materials packs in advance of the workshop. Although I had tried this technique before, I was never able to get good results so was really looking forward to actual instruction to help me come to grips with it. As with other remote workshops that I have taken over lockdown, I commandeered the kitchen for a workspace.
Wednesday, 24 March 2021
I am working slowly but steadily on the large painting, Knockeen, which is based on my memories of the place and events of my time at the second house I lived in, in Kerry, from the spring of 1995 to the fall of '96 (when I returned to Bray). To bring you up to speed, I previously blogged about starting this painting here and its very early stages here. In the last week of February it looked like this.
Wednesday, 17 March 2021
Since my child was very little, we marked each month with seasonal decorations, so there was always something to look forward to. Many of the decorations are homemade and used every year, stored for annual use. I made paper shamrocks of varying sizes which could be blue-tacked up in any number of configurations. Here are some shamrocks with the LED lights on the glass bricks in the kitchen.