Season's Greetings and a very happy xmas to everyone. Remembering loved ones both near and far, walking this earth or speckled among the stars, always with much joy. Above all keep safe and well in this our second pandemic holiday.
Wednesday, 22 December 2021
Wednesday, 15 December 2021
Every year, for several weeks in the month of December, Signal Arts Centre gets in to the seasonal spirit and switches its purpose from a gallery to be a venue for local artisans and hosts a lively craft fair.
Wednesday, 8 December 2021
One of the things I clearly intended to do during this year's studio residency at Signal Arts Centre, was make some more books. I had a fabric sampler folder and thought I would make a number of cloth covered books for Signal's annual Christmas Craft Fair. Having this in mind, I bought a pair of pinking shears in order to cut the cloth but the other very important aspect of bookbinding is measure, measure and measure!
Wednesday, 1 December 2021
On a cold but dry Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago, I made my way to Rathfarnham for the specific purpose of seeing a couple of exhibitions at two OPW museums that are near to each other. I previously blogged about the Mary Ruth Walsh exhibition at Rathfarnham Castle here, but on the way to the castle, I first visited the Pearse Museum. Please note that due to covid protocols one must phone first and specify the time of a visit. I had seen pictures of the exhibition in a recent issue of VAN, the Visual Artists Ireland newsletter, and was intrigued enough that I wanted to see the work IRL (in real life).
Though it is impossible not to be overwhelmed by Janet Mullarney's sculptural work hanging in the middle of the first room, the set-up also forced me to carefully wend my way around the perimeter of the room to look at works individually (taking care not to step backwards!).
Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Imagine my delight when I saw all the images in cyanotype (my current obsession) in the Salon!
Wednesday, 17 November 2021
Each morning at Signal studio, I start the day with a self-portrait in a dedicated sketchbook. The medium that I decide to use in my sketch entirely depends on my mood that particular day. I enjoy doing this daily exercise as a warm-up and have a variety of media from which to choose. I am surprised that I didn't blog more about my daily self-portraits while at Signal studio in previous years, but I dedicated a post to them in 2017 and two posts in 2020 (here & here). Last week I included a selfie in my post about starting this year's residency, here. For posts about this residency in previous years (since 2017) just do a search for Signal Arts Centre within this blog.
Generally I do a fairly straightforward selfie, but this day I must have felt like the hand was a "sigh" gesture and included it! I think the sketch was done with a 6B pencil.
Wednesday, 10 November 2021
As I mentioned in a recent blog, I started my 4th studio residency at Signal Arts Centre a few weeks ago. As in previous years, I set myself the task of having at least three things daily that I was to complete. I really enjoy the warm-up exercise of a self-portrait each day; it is a good drawing exercise and good for exploring different media on the same format. This one is from the first week of the residency; I think it was done with a 6B pencil.
Wednesday, 3 November 2021
The final painting that I wanted to do for the Memory Is My Homeland series had to do with the first house that I rented (with my then boyfriend, now husband) in Kerry after returning to Ireland in the early 1990s. As I have been creating this body of work for the better part of three years, simply search within this blog to see other paintings, prints and drawings that are part of this series, most of which will be shown next spring at Rathfarnham Castle in an exhibition of that name. Before I had decided on the final title of the series, I was referring to it as The Home Project.
We had ended our European travels in the spring of 1992 in Ireland, and had gone down to Kells Bay in Kerry to visit a Dublin friend who had moved there. On returning to Ireland this friend (easily) convinced us to move to this beautiful village and even found us a place to live, beside this bridge whose name gave itself to the house we lived in, as a postal address.
As with most of my work, I have a very clear idea of what my image will be before I put any media down. The green and blue blurs of paint denote to me the background of sky and hill; I have sketched out the bridge itself with a yellow line.
Wednesday, 27 October 2021
My fourth residency (for information on previous residencies simply do a search on this blog for Signal Arts Centre) in the Signal studio began Oct 11. While I like working at my home studio, the ten weeks at Signal pulls me out of my regular routine and puts me in a specific project routine. Since I have all the work done for my solo exhibition (Memory Is My Homeland at Rathfarnham Castle, Feb 16-Mar 20 2022) I decided that this year my main focus in Signal would be my writing. So when I packed up I had considerably less stuff to transport down to Signal Arts Centre than in previous years. I still had some visual art supplies to bring, as I decided, as usual, that I would give myself three daily tasks to complete while at the studio: as well as writing, I would be making a self portrait sketch and do some bookbinding work (making blank books for the annual craft fair and for some gifts). The photo below shows the various packed things awaiting transport from my home to the studio on the Monday morning of Oct 11.
Wednesday, 20 October 2021
During the past year or so, one of my joys has been to watch artist talks via zoom when live, or later via YouTube when available. An artist himself, Alan Keane recognised the desire of other artists to see what their peers (known and known) were up to during the pandemic and decided to host a series of live but remote video interviews with artists in their studios. The interviews were held weekly on a Saturday morning for about an hour, during which the artist would give a virtual tour of their studio, talk about their practice and be open to a Q & A. While I was only able to attend one event live, it was a brilliant format, and I am so glad the sessions are available on Keane's YouTube Channel, here.
In another recognition of this being such a valuable resource of living Irish artists, Keane turned the series into a beautiful book "The Source". Both the book title and the series title are a deep nod to creative inspiration. I attended the book launch at the United Arts Club in Dublin a few days ago, and was so delighted to meet Mr Keane and to collect my copy of the book.
At the book launch, Alan Keane assured me that Series 2 of The Artist's Well was due to start in a few weeks. Looking forward to that!
Wednesday, 13 October 2021
A few weeks ago I blogged about the rough wall textures that I find so attractive at Rathfarnham Castle (see here) but there are also other things about the architectural restoration that really catch my eye too.
In the hallway on the second floor, there is a small but deep "window". Of course, I have been obsessed by stone windows for a long time: my series of paintings from the late 1980s to the early 1990s, which formed the "My Tower of Strength" exhibitions, are based on stone windows in ecclesiastical ruins I have seen throughout Ireland. This is not so much a window, but an alcove, and there is another in The Pistol Loop Room. Perhaps they were once windows?