Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Cat and the Singer(Part two)



I posted a pencil sketch of this in February and I have finally managed to finish painting it. The incentive was that somebody bought it before it was finished so the pressure was on. Its a small oil on canvas, 11”x8”, it took a while to finish, the weather has been so damp the paint would not dry, so I couldn’t get the detail in.

Friday, December 16, 2011

It’s Cold

It’s cold, very cold, I hate the cold, my studio is cold. Did I say I hate the cold.

Compared to this time last year it is almost humid at 1C but I just cannot get warm, old age creeping up?

It’s very hard to paint when your feet are cold and my studio is very hard to heat. Have I moaned enough…ok.


Thought this might bring a smile to your faces. I have been working on this for a while, acrylic on paper, my grandson about 6 months ago. I thought it was finished until I just put up the picture and I realised I haven’t painted in the zip on the right hand side , so I will call it a work in progress, especially as I now see several things that can be improved.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Piper of Lismore

I’m working on several pieces at the moment, but this one is giving me the greatest difficulty. As I am not very good at faces I can’t decide how much detail I should try to put in….or not!
Also I’m not sure whether there should be another child on the left foreground. As usual I am looking for opinions and critiques.
I got the idea for the painting from a photo I had of this lad playing tin whistle at a farmers market, and I made the rest up around him.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sketching Session


Sketching session

This is my sketch from the second sketching session my group had. It was up to me to pick the subject, hence the not very imaginative still life. Anyway everyone seemed to enjoy it and it kept us from the wine for nearly an hour, so thats good, ….isn’t it?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


My art group meets every Thursday night, in each others houses, as we seemed to be descending into a drinking group, we decided that each week the host would put together a still life that we would sketch.IMG_7256

This turned out to be a brilliant idea as we all made an effort, This is my idea of the first still life, I used a black pen to sketch with and put in the colours later, from memory.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Work in progress finished (I think!)


I keep fiddling with this, so it must be finished, I would be interested to hear opinions. I was tempted to put a couple of people in the right foreground but thought it might close down the view a bit.

Have been busy of late putting together an order of prints for the Kilkenny Group of shops, its the first order from them so hopefully they will sell well and result in more orders. Needless to say my large format printer decided to pack up at this time and I had to get them printed elsewhere.

Have to say I was not impressed by the Canon company, although its one of their printers, an iPF5000, they have no clue who fixes them in Ireland, so if anyone has had similar problems you might let me know.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Work in Progress(again)

I have been working on this on and off for the last week or so, it’s coming along, but I think its getting a bit fussy so I think I may change a few things.There are a few more people to go in but don’t want to fill it up too much, mind you ,it is a city scene, so I suppose there has to be a few people!
Spent a great day on Sunday last painting  “Plein Air” in the grounds of Ballymaloe Country House  and restaurant with a brilliant group of artists from South West Pleineire. I am ashamed to say that after 25 or so years painting this was my first serious attempt to paint outside, and it was brilliant, even though I produced two paintings that are total rubbish, I had a great time. Everyone in the group was friendly and supportive, and I can’t wait to go again.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Work in progress (progressing)


The painting is progressing as you can see, I have most of the shapes blocked in and now its time to start refining and defining the values and to start putting in some of the details…this is where it could all go sadly wrong.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Work in progress


I took some pics in Cork city at the beginning of the year and have done nothing with them since. After playing around with the crop tool, came up with this, and finally started painting it on Sunday. The following are a few WIP shots, I will try to remember to keep doing it so I can show the progress.




As you can see I sketched the image in with a brush and have just started blocking in the main forms. I want to keep it quite loose without to much definition but plenty of light , we will see what happens.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cock a doodle doo

The weather has been so miserable that all you can do is paint. We were promised an Indian summer but the weather totally bi-passed my part of Ireland, Dublin had 25C we had 15C. Never mind at least I did  some work



Still on the birds but this time a farmyard cockerel, on of my friends keeps 40 or so hens and 2 cockerels along with assorted dogs and cats and ducks.


I decided to put a few distant birds in this one, I don’t think it makes a huge difference but adds a bit of life to the background.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

For the birds


Kittiwakes. Acrylic on paper.

Just finished this piece, I took a photo of these two Kittiwakes a couple of years ago on Ballycotton pier.I tried painting them several times but couldn’t get them into context. I’m happy enough with this although I think  I’m going to put a few flying birds in the distance.

I have loads of scraps of acrylic paper in the studio, either students work or my own that didn’t work out, so I am using it up at the moment trying out different techniques and mediums. It’s only taken me 20 years or so to try “slow drying” medium with acrylics, what a dinosaur! This has encouraged me to use glaze medium and who knows what else in the future. I will post the results as they happen…or not. Open to ideas for other mediums.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Greeting Cards


I have added a new page to my blog showing some of my greeting cards. At the moment they are for sale on my Etsy shop 

or you can contact me directly at .

I will  add more images as I get them printed. Don’t forget to look at my “Paintings for Sale “ page which I will be updating in the next week or so.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Second posting


After much deliberation decided to put a spider and web and a snail into the picture. I used a pen and nib dipped into acrylic paint for the web but some parts came out to thick, so I am not very happy with it, but I think it adds a bit of life to the painting

Thursday, August 25, 2011

More runners

Just finished this, acrylic  and black fineliner on acrylic paper, quite please with the overall effect but made a bit of a mess of the right hand front runners face. The background was painted using a matt glazing medium, but I don’t think I am getting it right. I keep practising glazes but I never seem to achieve quite what I want.
I have started a version of this one in coloured pencil ,will post it when finished.
Just a reminder that if you are in the Midleton area between 5th and 10th September, call into INA McCARTHY for FLOWERS in the Main St, where 20 something of my art class members are exhibiting.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Coloured Pencil



For the last couple of weeks I have been practising   with coloured pencils. I really  like the feel of them, but you do need infinite patience with all the layering you have to do compared to using paint. I got the original image for this on the internet, Wet Canvas I think, which was the watering can, box and the flower pots inside the box, I added a couple of flower pots and the foreground and background flowers from my own references and imagination.Looking at it again, I have decided it needs a spider in a spiders web, maybe strung from the spout to one of the pots. I will have to use Goauche or Acrylic for this as the background is too dark to add a web with pencil.


I have another coloured pencil work nearly finished, based on this photo from the Ballycotton 10 road race this year.I will post it in the next week or so.

September 5th sees the opening an exhibition   of paintings  by  a group of artists  from my classes at INA McCARTHY for FLOWERS, Midleton Co Cork. This is their first exhibition and over 20 artists are involved,  everyone has a style of their own, so if you are anywhere near the area it’s worth a look.

Monday, August 15, 2011



Just to let anyone in the area know.I am currently exhibiting with the Old Road Painters group, in the gallery at INA McCARTHY for FLOWERS, Main Street Midleton.Call in if you’re close.

Friday, August 5, 2011



Having taken loads of photo’s of the Ballycotton 10 Road race, in March, I thought maybe I should do something with them. I am constantly trying to change my style and I have a couple of ideas about the background , rather than using what’s in the photo, but I would be interested in ideas from others.


This is the photo I used as a reference, as you can see I have not tried to include all the runners and not tried to do recognizable faces.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Reworked Painting

I painted this a good while ago, as you can see its of a market, Kinsale Farmers Market to be precise. I was attracted to the strong light, but was never really happy with the finished painting, I felt the background was too strong and I didn’t like the figure in the bottom left foreground. Anyway for better or worse I changed it and would be interested what you all think about the changes.
Unfortunately the picture I took of this one did not come out so well, but you can see the changes I have made, the right hand figure has gone which I think opens up the picture more and the buildings at the back are less dominant, although looking at them now I need to straighten the edges, they look like they are falling over.
What do you think?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Where we live



“Storm brewing”  7”x5” Acrylic on canvas board.

Just back from a walk along the cliffs. A stunning afternoon with the sun splitting the stones and the cliff path a riot of wild flowers. How many of us take for granted the beauty of the places where we live and have to remind ourselves on a regular basis?

The picture above is of the lighthouse island off Ballycotton in different weather conditions but still nevertheless as beautiful, with the storm clouds brewing and the sky becoming darker and darker until the inevitable downpour.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Where did May go?

Can’t believe the month of May has gone, what happened to it? I seem to have nothing accomplished this month, in fact artistically have been totally in the doldrums, must be the after effects of the exhibition!
10 paintings sold altogether in the exhibition, ten more than we expected given the depths of the recession Ireland is going through. Sold two myself which at least covered my costs.
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This is another of my efforts at sketching with soft pastels, reasonably happy with it but I don’t think it has as much life as the other two I posted.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Different strokes

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A bit of a change in subject matter and media.I took photos of a couple of local horse/ponies and made sketches in the studio using soft pastels

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This particular pony had real attitude which attracted me, not sure if its a girl or a boy but it’s called “Magic”. I hope I captured its “magic” personality

Saturday, April 23, 2011

One from the autumn


Seems like forever since I posted, but I think its only a couple of weeks. Have been very busy getting ready for the upcoming exhibition and now that the pressure is off I am finding it difficult to paint. This one I did from sketches I made last autumn in a friends garden, and only finished a week or so ago.

If anyone is in the area on Friday 29th April feel free to join us at the opening at 7.00pm in the Grain Store, Ballymaloe, Co Cork.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Haven’t posted for a while, been busy trying to finish paintings for the exhibition.Still life jug

This is a small painting 7x5 inches on canvas board, I started it about 12 months ago, but it wasn’t going right so it got put away, now I’ve finished it , I think its reasonably ok. Don’t do many still lifes.


Here’s another 7x5, again was started some time ago and left, don’t know why because its a subject I know really well, as I see it from my windows at home. Any way it’s finished now and framed.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tango Dancers 3


This is the third and probably final in the series of Tango Dancers. Not quite so keen on this one , the girl seems a bit static, but will live with it before doing anything about it, it may grow on me!


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Here are the other two in the series for anyone who missed them.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dancing the tango 2


This is the second in the series of paintings of tango dancers in La Boca, in Buenos Aries.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dancing the tango


I was in Buenos Aries in October of last year, and one of the places visited was an area called “La Boca”, a magical place where all the houses are painted bright reds and greens and blues. Being a huge tourist trap there are all kinds of street traders, artists and of course tango dancers. This couple I found particularly interesting, I presume the mans costume is traditional, and I took many photos with the thought that I would eventually make a series of paintings. This is the first, I have another two on the go, they are oil on small canvas boards , 7x5 inches.

If you would like to buy an 8”x10 “ limited edition Giclee print of this image,please visit my Etsy Shop

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Another one finished


Seem to be on a roll at the moment,must be the sunshine giving me energy, another painting that was lying around for ever has been finished.Thats two this week, it could become a habit…..

At this rate I might actually have enough images for the upcoming exhibition!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Work in progress


I have finally managed to finish a couple of paintings that have been hanging around a while. This is one that I posted the other day as a work in progress, I have changed it a good bit with the addition of the tree on the right and the Grey Heron in the foreground. There is actually another heron towards the rear but it’s small and doesn’t really show here. I’m still not totally happy with the work, as I don’t like the reflection of the outermost tree on the left , but to change this I would need to get rid of the tree and that could lead to problems, so I will pretend I’m happy and hope that nobody notices.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring is here….finally

apple blossom

Just posted this on Sketching in Nature , so decided to post it here as well. Despite the cold weather we have had in the last few days, Spring is forcing itself onward, and the apple trees in my neighbours garden are full of buds. Have set myself the task of following these trees through from bud to fruit with a series of sketches , so watch this space!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Work in Progress


Here’s yet another painting I have been fighting with for quite a while, but finally I think it’s going somewhere. I am thinking of putting a large silver birch on the right hand foreground with maybe a Grey Heron sitting underneath.Still got to add a few more reflections and bits and pieces. Have a class this morning and then gonna spend the afternoon trying to finish it. Will post an update in the next couple of days .

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Upcoming exhibition


I must have been working on this picture ,on and off for at least two years, I had discarded it many times, but now, with the pressure of an exhibition looming in the Grain Store, Ballymaloe I am digging out stuff that I think may cut the mustard.

I was originally attracted by the light streaming through my kitchen door on to the plants inside, but I really struggled to achieve this light when it came to painting it.Still not sure if I have managed it ,although the photo is not great, so its hard for people to judge it.

I have also been offered an exhibition in Waves restaurant in Ballycotton starting next week on the 9th March. Because of the closeness of the other venue I have decided to exhibit only “Limited edition prints”. Anybody in the area is welcome to visit.Below are some of the images that will be on display.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Art Weekend

Hi everybody, I am back in one piece from my groups art weekend. In fairness there was quite a lot of painting done , but also a fair amount of gin and tonic and red wine consumed. The food was amazing as all the girls in the group are tremendous cooks.

The weather could have been better but I did manage a couple of outdoor sketches using my new hand made sketchbook that I got from EDM member, Vicki Holdwick.


This one was the beach just below the house we were renting, I was lucky enough that a young couple wandered into my view, which puts a nice slice of life into the sketch.

St Declans

St Declans Cathedral dates back to the 12th century, unfortunately as you can see its a ruin, but the round tower is almost perfect, not sure what age that is.

There is a lovely cafe/gallery if you are ever in Ardmore , Co Waterford, run by artist,Breda O’Brien, she has kindly asked the group to exhibit some of our work in June .