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PAINTING IN THE WEST OF IRELAND

I had the opportunity recently to visit Connemara in the west of Ireland to paint for the first time. The weather was very good, unusual for this part of the world, and I made full use of my time. It is a region that has changed little in the last one hundred years and once you turn off the main roads its like stepping back in time, both visually, and in the lifestyle of the people.

The oil painting top and the two watercolours below were all painted along the same road and at any point I could have stopped, set up my easel, and found a subject. The local people were both helpful and friendly, I got the impression they are used to artists and leave you alone to get on with your work. 
The two paintings above were painted along a road known locally as 'The Bog Road.' At first I did not want to paint there, I normally like some structure in my work but I soon changed my mind. Both paintings are small (by my standards) and were done quickly. The first an oil, painted as the sun was just breaking through in the morning and catching the side of the mountains. The second, a watercolour, painted a couple of days later as the mist came down and concealed the upper parts of the mountains.
The little harbour in the oil painting above proved another source of inspiration and was painted from several angles. The boat in the foreground and the blue upturned one on the bank are Currach's. A traditional design unique to the west of Ireland and still used today. I was told by a local man that the small building with the green roof was, in the past, lived in. It is hard to believe how poor people were in this beautiful place.
Post published by Tomas King 21st June 2015  
  
 

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