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 27 October 2021
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?
Wednesday 6 October 2021
As with the Kingston Road painting (here) I had a pretty clear idea of what image I wanted to represent my home when I moved back to the town of Bray from rural Kerry in 1996. Prior to giving all the walls a makeover paint job before moving in, I was horrified to find the stairwell was home to dormant but still living butterflies. My fear of butterflies comes from many years of seeming to be a target for both swarms and singular colourful insects in Toronto as they dive-bombed my curly head. My husband carefully collected the butterflies and set them free - once outside they shook off their stasis. So creating this painting was a bit cathartic for me and I am happy with the resulting overall image of rebirth. I started the painting at the end of August with composition outlines.