It’s about time I uploaded this post, more than three months after I started it. Last September, I participated in Dublin’s Culture night 2019 by painting a nocturne in oils at St Stephen’s Green, just outside the Stephens Green Club at the junction of Kildare Street and the Green.
This is me at around 6pm. Plenty of light to get the structure drawn out with a light mix of burnt umber oils and turps.
As you can see, the light is starting to fade at this point. Also, I realised that I should have brought some kind of light with me! My excuse is that I haven’t painted a nocturne from life very often.
So I did what I could with the receding light and realised that I’d have to complete the painting in my studio. There was plenty of life around and I had a bit of a crowd around me for most of the time. That doesnt faze me at all; I enjoy talking to people.
Around this time, a chap sat down on the other side of that traffic light control box you can see on the right and began playing the tin whistle, so I was accompanied by ‘The Fields of Athenry’ for a good hour.
I’m really looking forward to 2020 and all the en plein air paintings I’m going to do. Do get in touch -I’m always delighted to hear from people. Maybe we’ll encounter each other in the coming months when the waether improves. Until then…
A Stephens Green Nocturne. Oils on stretched canvas 20″ x 20″ Collectors can call me on 086 247 0737 to arrange a viewing.
I would never try to pass myself off as someone with any knowledge about mental health but you do hear a lot about how art is used in therapy to help relieve stress. The buzzwords du jour are ‘mindfulness’ and ‘wellness’ but I’m not going to make any extravagant claims for what happens in my art class. I will say this; there’s always a slight frisson of anxiety and tension at the start of my class which gives way to quiet and concentration as we progress towards the end of the 2.5 hours.
Students always tell me after class that the time flew by which is as it should be. That quiet time is when you’re flying -there’s only one task to do and you have to exclude everything else; you have to be ‘in the moment’.
From my own experience, you need about 4 uninterrupted hours on an art project: No mobile phones, no internet. I often play music though – I find it helps.
30 minutes of the time to build towards that moment when you begin soaring and 3 hours up there in the firmament and then another short period to come back to earth. Usually because I’m hungry!
Plein Air Painting at Culture Night Dublin September 2019
I’m not officially part of this coming Friday’s Culture Night Dublin programme. I always forget to work it into my plans – and my studio is too far away from the centre of town to include it on the itinerary.
However; instead I’m going to do a bit of guerrilla participation and head down to the South Georgian Quarter (the area between Grafton Street and Merrion Square) to paint a streetscape nocturne. Most likely in Molesworth Street but I’ll post up on Facebook my exact location once I’ve settled on it and if you’re around, do say hello. I’ll get set up at about 6.30pm and paint away until I get tired or arrested…
I really hope to see you!
Paint small; paint oils; paint often!
Learn to paint en plein air landscape painting
In the brighter months, I run painting workshops and events in venues around the country (and this year in sunny countries!) I’ve hosted groups in An Grianán, County Louth, beautiful Grangecon in County Wicklow and Wexford in the sunny south east of Ireland. Click on the links below to see what’s coming up this year and BOOK EARLY!
If you want me to run an exciting and creative teambuilding workshop, contact me directly on 086 247 0737
Painting in Rathmines in the summer of 2019. This week, I took advantage of Tuesday’s brilliant sunshine to go out in Rathmines to paint en plein air ( a fancy French way of saying out in the open). The subject was the ‘Four Faced Liar’, as the Rathmines town hall clock is called by generations of confused Dubs. I set up outsideArtmines art supplies shop, right at the pavement’s edge where I was close to being brained by bus wing mirrors.
I spoke to several passers-by some of them painters others just interested. I also got a nice mug of tea from Laura in Artmines who came out for a chat -and from the owner Soma. Mr Ali, who owns the Turkish barber came out with a little glass of Turkish tea and a couple of Turkish pastries. Delicious.
It was gratifying to see that people are generally very interested in what I was doing. A few remarked that it made life more interesting to see this kind of activity. Some told me about their own practice in painting. I handed out many leaflets for my art classes in Dublin, so it was a very useful enterprise to be out in public. Thank you to you all for being so supportive; I have to say I was nervous at the outset. It’s one thing standing in a rural beauty spot to paint -and another to be in a crowded city street and probably to be in everyone’s way.