island life

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!

laying the groundwork



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.

brushes for a change

This large painting on unstretched canvas, stapled directly to the painting wall, is unusual for me. I’m not using cold wax medium, but instead oil with a liquid siccative added.  This is a much wetter medium, so I am using brushes for a change instead of my usual squeegees, scrapers and rollers.


The painting was to a certain extent inspired by views like this, of Mount Errigal and the Aghlas, across the small strip of sea that separates Cruit Island from the mainland. 

This painting is to me a natural step onwards from these three, on pre-stretched box canvas, made over the last few days