Easter 2012 – Street Art

I had thought of doing some street Art in relation to the Easter season. As I had done ” the Praying Hands” by Durer for RTE’s the Angelus, it was obvious that something in this line could be done. I had been in Madrid and visited the Prada gallery and seen some of Caravaggio’s work. Also, there is the famous Caravaggio in the Dublin National gallery. I like Caravaggio. So, for the Easter, I thought of doing a replica of Caravaggio’s ” the Entombment of Christ”. This involved 6 figures, in an arrangement that was not too difficult as the light and shade hid some of the feactures. I liked it, as it was an Easter theme and it would also prompt thought on the Gospel message of the Ressurection of Christ. I printed off a load of leaflets to give to passer’s by on the topic as I drew it. It was a good time. It took 26 hours over 2 1/2 days to complete. It was vandalized one night while I was not there, but I managed to fix it the next day with 6 hours of work. Eventually got it finished on Easter Sunday at about 3pm, about an hour and a half before the rain came and started to wash it all away. Still, it was worth it , as the tempory ” gift to the city” nature of Street Art appeals to me. I think people want to own and keep things, but street Art is not for keeping, and it is temporary, and will be washed away. If you are not there to see it, you miss it. We can’t own Street art. I like that. it is personal, immediate and intimate. Not for storing away.

Early Snow in Ballincollig

Beginning a large watercolour for Fiona and Peter Simpson. A bit of a challege, as lots of trees and snow on the ground. So I will have to apply lots of block at the beginning to leave room for the show between the trees and on the branches. It will be a tedious job, but I think it will give a great effect. So we will have to wait a while and see. I am only applying the sky and background “ Autumnal “ colours that Fiona asked for ( Late November had an unusal scene in Ireland in 2010, as we had an early snowfall when there were still leaves on the trees in good Autumn colours….so maybe this painting will look seasonally cofused )

Derryclare Lough

I just left the Pastel of Derryclare Lough with Gary Hill in Mullingar to frame. This is a large pastel of the 12 Pins in snow ( a rare sight, but taken from a photo I took there new years eve 2009 as the cold snap began for January 2010 ( the time Mark and I went up Carrantwohill in deep snow). I am not sure how this picture looks when framed, so I await the result. The picture had good tones in the clouds until I sprayed it with Fixative to fix the pastels. It darkened everything, and the clouds look a bit odd as a result. It also darkened some of the grasses in the foreground, so I had to reapply some light straw colours to the foreground grasses again, to get back to the effect I originally had before “fixing” the picture. The term “fixing” is not really a good term, as it didn’t fix much.

The Silent Valley in the Mournes

I eventually found a view of the Silent valley in the Mournes when I was doing a sponsored walk there in August for the Teen Challenge charity. We did the Mourne wall, and I am glad to say I completed the entire wall in 10.5 hours. As I went up toward slieve Commedagh, there is a good view down the silent valley to the reservoir. It has Binnian on the left and Bernagh on the right. I think this one will be a good reminder for Churghua and Peter as a memoir of their first date, thanks to Lorraine thoughtfulness.

Lough Mask

Margaret Mulroe, my neighbour in Tourmakeady, Co.Mayo, asked me to do a picture for her son, also called Martin, as a gift for his new house. He built a superb new house in a field beside Sean and Margaret’s house ( his parents ). He had been refused planning permission to have his house built on a site nearer to the lake, with a great view. So he had to settle for a site a small distance from the lake, with the bog in between. However, his architect was a smart person and they have their living room on the first floor, with a huge window from the roof all the way to the ground. It is an enormous window, and it allows those inside to look over to the bog to the lake. Martin likes to fish on the lake shore, and I know a spot he likes, near the little bay with the beach, which is probably visible from his window. The scene I chose for Martin’s house is an oil of that location, the lake, the island offshore, the bend in the small bay, and the view of the mountains on the opposite shore. It is done on 3 canvases, as to be large. This is so that when it is hung in Martin’s new house, it will not be like a postage stamp on his huge walls. His house has fantastically large wall spaces, and I look forward to seeing this picture of lough Mask hanging on it, with a view out the large windows over the lake to the same location. It will be interesting.

Glendalough Watercolour

I just finished the Glendalough Watercolour. My friend Lorraine asked for a picture for some friends to remind them of their first date. I thought it was glendalough, but after painting it, she was convinced that their first “special moment” was in the Mourne mountains, in county Down, on a hiking weekend. So I will have to consider some scene from the Mournes for them instead. But I like the Glendalough picture myself, as it is a place I really love, and no matter how many times I visit there, I can still think of the monks living up there a thousand years ago in such a beautiful and inspiring place. I sort of envy them. So I am glad to still have the Glendalough picture in my house…for the moment. I really like the reflections in the water, and the transparency of the water showing the gravel beneath the water in the foreground. I also experimented with a different technique for clouds using watercolour, and I think it worked well.

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