NEWSFLASH!!!! I have been awarded an Art.inks Bursary to do this work on the bog and its environs! From the mountain to the bog, is a working title for the booklet that I will be able to make


On site, plein air sketch using fine-line pens and homemade inks. Autumn 2021


I am so pleased that I have been awarded a bursary for Artlinks, a funding body run by an amalgamation of 4 local arts offices, Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford,Waterford.

This bursary allows me to continue my work on a nearby protected raised bog.

In the midst of the winter when I was unable to get down to the bog I realised I could actually see it from where I live. This allowed me to broaden my viewpoints and as this interest started during the time of Covid, I decided to broaden the investigation to within 5 k of the bog.

The bog in question is called Redbog and Iwas introduced to it by an artist friend, Jules Michael. She had asked me to get involved with her and a group of other artists who were trying to investigate the history and gather stories about the bog. They asked me to get involved as I live so close by and know quite a few people in the area. It soon became obvious that the story of the bog was not what was expected.

There was not much ’Meas’ put on the bog by the older people it seems. I was unable to keep working with the group due to my own work but they went on to work with the children in the local school and did a great job in raising awareness for the next generation. Thanks to the @drumminbog group the bog has a bright future, even if its past is murky!

But the bog has become a bit an obsession for me. I’m not sure why but it keeps me sane…..ish….

As I became interested in the bog I also became interested in the kind of materials we artists use.

lets face it acrylics are pure plastic, so that addiction has to stop.

That doesn’t bother me too much as I like watercolours and charcoal.

Homemade charcoal


Some years ago I started making my own charcoal and was always very pleased with the subtle colours I got.

I also played around with eco printing on fabric, so i have been working towards making my own inks and pigments.

In recent months having gotten used to online workshops during lockdown I signed myself up for a few online courses to fast forward my skills. I also find Instagram fantastic for inspiration.

plant based inks and verdegris, from copper and vinegar

On the bog my sketches are done in sketchbooks as they are not probably very lightfast if exposed to a lot of light. many of what are called plant pigments or inks are fugitive; which means they probably lose their colour and become a neutral grey probably.

lightfastness can also be an issue. This is why I was keen to do a book to preserve the initial results. The sketchbook work will stay in the sketchbooks and so will not be exposed to light for any lengths of time. This will preserve them for time immemorial 😂😂

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Catch up from St Mullins to Cill Rialig and back to Redbog, Drummin, St Mullins November 2021


Early November I was so lucky to spend 10 days on retreat in Cill Rialig artists retreat on Bolus Head, co Kerry.

Its a magical inspiring place like nowhere else I’ve been. i am sharing some photos and the three finished paintings I did there.

I got up early with the sun everyday and went sketching up the hill to a spot over a deserted village. from there I used a concertina sketchbook and did a 360c extended drawing/watercolour sketch over about 7 of the days. I travelled to Valencia island where I visited a Dolmen and a Holy well. On the journey i stopped to search for another Dolmen called Diarmuid and Grainnes Bed. There I encountered a scene from the depths of time, harriers following a hare. it was all magical.

I stopped and walked up the Kerry Cliffs and nearly got blown over. I had a lovely coffee, bun and chat with the proprietor in an old railway carriage.

view looking down from my daily sketchspot on Bolus head
one sketch from day one
Diarmuid and Grainnes Bed Coom Wedge tomb
St Brendans Well on Valencia Island
Kerry Cliff view
Moonstones Bolus Head
Disused Cottage Coom Ballinskelligs
Old Cottage Valencia Isalns
Gate to the Moonstones, Cill Rialig

Back to the Bog, St Mullins

Redbog St Mullins is a protected rare raised bog. one of the very few remaining in Ireland.

Since returning from Kerry I have been drawn to this bog and try to get every week and sketch. I am using my own homemade inks with ink pens to catch the essence of a year on the bog. Over Christmas when I couldn’t get down I realised I could see it from my studio which is in the hills above the bog.
I also walk up the hill/mountain behind us and was so taken by these orchard of Skeogh bushes next to an old abandoned homestead at the foot of the Blackstairs mountain

In the middle of Redbog

Sketch using ink pen and walnut ink

studio watercolour using handmade Belgian watercolours on handmade paper
iew of Redbog……down the valley from my studio in Dranagh
Sketch from studio using homemade inks
A magical place at the top of the road

Watercolour of the Fairy tree
Little and large watercolour of view of Bog From Studio
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Pop up show



mixed media on paper €850 framed

Making art for the past year has been a saviour. I found it fulfilled the role of what I call ‘a painting a day keeps the doctor away. I reverted to my teenage habit of just drawing and painting horses mostly as well as doing lots of online stuff.
I took 3 classes, one on felting, one on Art and the environment….hoping to make my practice more ecologically sound, to use materials that are not harmful to nature or our septic tank.
I made loads of art.
I am having a pop up show of some of the work I’ve done in the past few years. I have invited two young ceramic artists to show with me. I really think their work is different Bryan Barrett and Edeline Kent

official opening 7th August @ 4 pm

here are the details

6th to the 15th of August

Low St

Thomastown

Co Kilkenny

R95 E2Y7

11 am to 6pm daily.

phone 0872236686

Wild things, mixed media on paper €950 unframed
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Art and life during a Pandemic


What a strange time we live in. I arrived back from Kerala after my amazing time running a trial painting course for Art Holidays Kerala in the middle of January 2020. We were full of ideas for January 2021. Little did we know we were going nowhere for a while.

I feel so grateful for that opportunity. I am not a person who travels regularly but when I do I like it to be memorable. I think we all need to develop that sense of awe for travel again. To me going away should be amazing in a sense of exotic and completely different experiences.

Anyway I was full of plans for an exhibition of work done in response to India. This never happened. I did spend the first year of the pandemic working as a carer and tutor for people with additional and challenging needs. This year I’ve been teaching second chance leaving certificate students as well as my lovely open studio students in KCAT, inclusive centre for students of all needs

Here

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2020


you could not dream it up could you?

This year has been one of the most amazing I’ve had in my life.
in early January I was invited to be a tutor on the trip of a lifetime in a remote part of Kerala, India, with Art Holidays Kerala.

I was so inspired there and on my return and I was all fired up to paint up a storm in response to the trip.

Here are some of my watercolours from my photos.
I will write another blog dealing exclusively with the trip and the work so far resulting from it

A couple of women from the fish market in Thallassery, Kerala, January 2020

I also stated a new short term job as art tutor in the Watergarden, Thomastown, co Kilkenny

Then

COVID 19 changed all our lives.

So I ended up working in Jerpoint community as a carer/cleaner/art tutor.

Every minute seemed precious and at weekend in August I went plain air painting.
in the photo above I have won first prize on the first day in the Wexford Plein air festival!

it’s been a rollercoaster of a time.

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Masseys and more


Masseys are a kind of tractor to those who do not know.

Mary’s Massey

Here is a little Massey that is still working. Like an old farmer it will work till the days it dies. It could not care less about fashion just practicality. I love these old tractors for their character and strength. They are slow, low tech., easy to fix…..if you can get parts. Ours, the one below is a David Brown and is used to run the log splitter and pull a little Harrow. As I am not a true countrywoman I’m not sure what the others are 😂😂😊

David Brown
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February 2019


A watercolour from a large charcoal sketch from a photograph of a neighbours 13.2 Palomino stallion

I am very busy preparing for my exciting times ahead.

Kerala next January, imagine sun sea and painting as well as experiencing a new country. I am so excited and will be running some watercolour/yoga weekends in conjunction with Mulvarra House St Mullins

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Exciting times ahead


Boss Sardinia October 2017

2018 was a busy year with its challenges both personal and business wise.

I was accepted in the very prestigious Craft group ‘Form’ Designed and made in Carlow. I am concentrating on my textiles for this group as it is a craft group.

Freemotion stitching on a synthetic felt vessel
Batik and Nunn Felted silk chiffon wraps

Ive been asked to facilitate a watercolour workshop in Kerala in January 2020. I’m beyond excited about it!

I’ll be collaborating with Mulvarra House in St Mullins, a lovely spot overlooking Brandon Hill Andy the river, running painting weekends and the like.

I got dug I to my watercolours as well and had a very successful year between exhibiting in Bally Maloe in their beautiful exhibition space and made some nice sales there.


I participated in Art in the open in Wexford at the end of June.

A little boat at the Safe Wexford

I showed some work in Thomastown Scouts Den in August where I must say I was pleased with sales …….not a tractor left!

Nicks David’s Brown SOLD

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Kilkenny Arts Festival….2017


Around the Mountain

An Exhibition of recent watercolours from my meanderings to and from the Mountain.

The Scouts Den. (the old girls national school) and the Kilkenny Pop Up Art Gallery John’s Bridge Kilkenny

i don’t come off the mountain much except to go to work, for a variety of reasons.

Below are a few of the paintings that Were in the Show

 

 

 

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The year to date


Boy have I been busy. I had a piece accepted for the Royal Watercolour Society Contemporary Exhibition in The Bankside Gallery in London…..right next to Tate Modern!!! So Exciting and very expensive to Ship a painting by Art courier to UK. It was well worth it though. I went over thanks to funding from Carlow CoCo Arts Acts Grant….

IMG_0448

 

 

Last Autumn I spent a good while experimenting with making my own inks from Walnuts and Acorns…Here are some  of the resulting works….

 

I put three postcard sized works into the Jack and Jill Foundation show Incognito in  the Solomon Gallery. A Fundraiser where postcard size works by all kinds of artists are for sale for €50. The names are not seen until the work is bought.

Here are two of mine. They are distorted here as they are 5×7 not square

 

 

 

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