Looking out from Crone woods over Powerscourt and Djouce woods.
This came about on the top of Scarr mountain a few days ago. Looking out over the valley and onto the distant hills and forests. I followed the line of trails with my eye like a virtual map in front of me. Trying to work out my surroundings and where I was in relation to what I saw.
Plein air drawing in charcoal on cotton rag paper.
My trails, my ventures, my paths, my presence. It calls to mind a sense of living and where I’ve been in life up until now. Time has no presence, its hard to comprehend sometimes.
Plein air drawing is something I am doing a lot more of lately. It has no comparison to drawing in the studio. I get a sense of place in the studio and I work from memory. The studio forces me in to draw without a subject in the room and work from memory. When I draw out in the open, something else happens. It allows me to connect in the moment and respond there and then when something that catches my eye. In the studio I recall those moments but to bring back an image of my interpretation unlike a captured photographic image, reinforces a strong connection to the landscape and how I see it.
Trying to fix a painting.. inspired by thoughts and visual awareness from my hike today..well yesterday now.. terrains, tree felling, January sunset, tree stumps, wild winds over Lough Tay and spying on sparrow hawk trying to fly against the winds.. .
Things that caught my eye while out hill walking in some of my favourite places yesterday and today. How light changes.. How thoughts move..
I am the observer, less the creator..
This is where my painting is taking me right now.. It may look like an entirely different artist’s work but if you really look at it, it’s not.. I’m letting go of order and expectation. That being entirely from my own expectation and criticism within my own institution..
Abstraction is very hard but it’s also very freeing. It requires trust and inner connection, but to let go of question and fear..
I find myself painting over abandoned paintings lately and it comes with no hesitation when I’m returning to it.. Even the harshest of endings..
This is something I am working on at present.. I find it hard to ‘stop painting’ sometimes..it’s like my conscience is whispering to stop but I can’t. Physically, I feel compelled to work some of my paintings up and up until they are almost smothered.. that is where I ‘go’ when I surround myself with my subject..
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..