Monolithic, powerful, virile?
How were the standing stones viewed 5k years ago?
What was their symbolism?
I am intrigued by how the walls were built and if and how the stones were cut
I am fascinated by the field patterns of miles of parrallel walls still repeated today
Fanning out inwards from the coastal cliffs of Mayo
I am bowled over by the intricate plans and scale drawings, in red, made by the archeologists of Ceide Fields
More questions than answers, my personal response has to be with paint
More paint layers this morning, powder pigment, solvent, scraping, rolling;
not done yet though
This is the final post on these 2 big stones paintings. I changed the shape of one of the stones because it was too symmetrical.
The two square 80cm canvases are moving along now with shapes revealing hesitantly
I sat for a bit in the clear upstairs space contemplating next moves accompanied by lovely shadows on the wall when the sun came out briefly
the stones are slowly revealing themselves through the mists of time and layers wax
today I have first made some transfers of field patterns onto the touch dry surface from last nights painting. The transfer prep is like alchemy to me, mix a paste of powder pigment and nail varnish remover (!) paint the mixture onto a sheet of tracing paper ( I dont have any, so used a thin transparent shiny paper) it dries really quickly. draw through from the back so that the marks made transfer onto the canvas.
I then rolled, transferred and squeegeed 3 or 4 different areas with 2 different greyish colours of paint and wax, then rolled and squeegeed smooth. Incidentally covering over much of the field pattern drawing in the process
With solvent revealed some more of the stone shapes that wanted to appear, blotted off with tissue. Roughly scraped and scored around and about the shapes at different angles and depths
Thinking about the community that lived in the Ceide Fields. How did they work the stones with no metal tools? They had fire to roast their cattle, what was their relationship with fire, with their animals? With the stones?
between clearing my studio rubbish ( well actually Malachy is doing that, thank you ♥) and actually painting, I have been thinking about how I am going to display all this new work. Many of the new Ceide Fields Stones series paintings are very textured and would benefit from NOT being distanced behind glass. So I think I am goung to mount them on panels. There are 15 that Ibwant to do this way, so I might need a mortgage!
The small 6 x 8″ maplike pieces are on paper and have rather irregular edges,mm so I think they will have to be behind glass, but I am hoping to work out a simple design that doesnt overwhelm them
Here are 4 of the ones that I definitely think should be on panels
small, textured works on paper or multi media board in oil and wax
sizes between 16 x 12cm and 25 x 16cm
all made in November at Ballinglen Arts Foundation, County Mayo
inspired by a trip to the neolithic field walls at Ceide Fields on the North Mayo Coast
I would love to mount these together and show in a small museum, library or somewhere interested in these 5 thousand year old artifacts from a community who lived and farmed in a time before the wheel and before the metal plough
If anyone is interested, from anywhere in the world, please contact me email@example.com