My most recent painting entitled ‘Entering The Dream’. A visual description of being immersed in my surroundings deep in the forest.
A recall of flickering light through movement, of fast changing seasonal colours, of mood and atmosphere, of sounds and scents and of the euphoric warmth that it brings to me.
The piece is painted in oils mixed with bees wax, otherwise known as ‘cold wax technique’ where I melted the wax and mix with turpentine to make a thick paste when cooled down. This is then mixed in with my oil paints to a consistency that is thick but vibrant in colour giving a mat finish and dries quicker. I surfaced the canvas with pine needles and sand letting it dry before applying the paint and wax, something I do in most of my painting.
August.. The most violet of months out in the open landscape of Ireland. Mountains covered in heather of all shades of violets. It is a magical place to walk, up there in the mountains around this time of year. Those reddened violets and purples, all about to wither into golden browns and yellows and soon to be gone until next year, when the cycle begins again..
This is a mask I was given as a gift almost 9 years ago. My good friend Ger who gave it to me said she would love to see what I could do with it and paint something of my own on it. I really loved it as it was, just a blank white smooth surface. It took about 9 years for me to finally get the urge to paint something on it and turn it into something with narrative. I wanted to paint a kind of self portrait for a while and so I thought this would best represent what I wanted to do.
When I finished it, I decided to wear it and see how it would photograph. It felt like a ‘becoming of’. Like the land we came from and back to the land we go.
For the title of the piece itself ‘Privilege Of Existence’ I had in mind my belief of how fickle and fragile our own existence is. The chance of ‘becoming’ is like a lotto in ways. Since childhood I always think of my own very existence and how being adopted makes me feel about that. Time itself is a place we survive for only an atom-size fraction, until the next cycle of generations rotate. It raises questions to me about how significant we really are, in nature and among the smallest of stars to the largest ones that we know of yet.
I painted this piece in oils and I used pieces of pine needles I found on the Djouce woods bed where I incorporated onto the mask surface before applying multiple layers of oils. I approach most of my painting in this way. I like to keep pieces I find along the way when I am out hiking and reviving then back into a kind of living state, in art and forever preserved.
Nothing but the sound of birds and the soft humid breeze here today. This was the top of one of the Wicklow mountains. Maulin, just above Crone woods. My eyes stretched so so far in all angles. I am working on a few pieces at the moment and this trip from the bottom where I parked the car to the hill top where I ended up, will be part of the paintings .