Island Life

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This enormous painting continues to challenge me

It is 150cm x 240cm on primed canvas currently stapled to the wooden wall of my studio

The main debate with myself is about the horizon line. I am gradually settling to a decision to keep the horizon visible only on the left. On the right the orientation of the landscape becomes ambiguous.

Today I added a pink layer over the darker tones on the top right section and also some ochre areas. And then applied solvent and made some deep marks with a palette knife to reveal the dark blue underneath

the doorway gallery, dublin

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A small work on paper, glazed and framed


A warm, large, (80cm sq)autumn inspired piece on cradled birch panel


An even larger, (100 cm sq), framed piece on canvas, ‘Rock in the Sea’


Wintery, but warm, framed 80cm sq piece on canvas


A bold, framed, pink, red and blue abstract on board, ‘ Deeper yet and darker still’60cm sq


‘Skylight’, 90cm sq, framed oil on board

http://www.thedoorwaygallery.com/

island life

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It started like this, a huge piece of primed canvas (160 x 258cm, the end of the roll), stapled to the floor.

It took up so much of the floor that I had to stand on it to get round it



After a while working on it on the floor, I got Malachy to help me hang it sideways on the wall

And then I turned it round the right way

I taped off the edges, built up more layers and thought it was done.

But something was unbalanced

So finally I took the plunge


There she blows!

Here’s a closeup 


And here’s a photo montage


A good day!

like a stonechat on a furze bush

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I got up quite late but I was unusually fired up once I got going. Maybe it was coffee, or perhaps a sugar hit from all the Christmas chocolate

Things started off fairly sedately with lots of greys and blues and muted tones on the huge new canvas


After working for about 2 hours I went inside for a break. The range had got lovely and hot and the spud I’d put in was crispy and delicious. Got cleaned up and thought that was it for the day. Then had more coffee and chocolate and decided to go back out for a bit

Worked on the big piece some more. Then all of a sudden decided to go all out in red and pink on the 2 canvases that had been on the wall earlier, AND the little muted ones on the opposite wall AND several others






A stonechat is a small bird with a black head that makes the sound of 2 stones knocked together. They flit about madly from the top of furze (gorse) bushes, which are yellow and spike.  My surge of energy felt a bit like a transmutation (?) – like in the old tales when a person is magically changed from person to hare to bird

The header image is the railing in the bedroom – perhaps the initial spark for all the stripes – who knows where it all comes from!

laying the groundwork

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I was priming a large piece of coarse jute canvas today with gesso. A long piece 3m x 120cm, rolled out on the mucky floor of the studio.

I took photos as I worked as usual. Of the process and the light and shadows. Of me working. Of the canvas up on the wall. Of the fire.Pondering all the while on what I’ll actually paint once it’s ready



Messed with the photos on Instagram later. Cropped. Negative. Brighten. Contrast. The wee pebble embedded in the rough cement render. In blue. In yellow. The fire. The different rectangles. In triplicate.



The studio is always a painting. In a painting. Of a painting. During a painting.