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.
The direction I want to go with my work is to give space to the painting. It needs more of a way in and an outlet. Out of curiosity I attended this years ‘Speed Curating’ at Get Together 2019 and I gained some good advise from some of Ireland’s top gallery curators. I know most of my strengths and weaknesses and with some been pointed out to me is reassuring and encouraging. Only good can come from constructive criticism and I will make relevant decisions to constantly build and improve my work. I am excited to see where it will take me.
My art is my response to nature and the surrounding landscape. My thoughts often drift from what’s on this planet to the wonder beyond our greater universe. Something that I feel needs no explanation but is always part of the work. . .
When out sketching in the open landscape today I met a sheep farmer who was walking up the hill towards where I was stood doing some sketches. He stopped to ask what I was painting and I told him I was just doing some abstracted sketches of what I’m seeing. He wondered if there was a market for that and the conversation went on to his days in school and how he hated it.. I responded with the same feeling and said how I loved the art class though. He was out walking up the hills looking for his sheep and asked if I’d seen any on my trail. That’s was it really..Its the small things..
This is my new painting ‘The Sheep Farmer’
and today’s experience prompted me to title my new series of paintings
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 was meant to be a study for a new painting but I feel it’s painted itself to a place I already.. Who knows..