Thursday, January 31, 2008

Next Pint New York - sold

24"x30" oil on gallery wrapped canvas 1.5" deep

I have found my muse...her name is Valentia.

Today's painting is "Next Pint New York", another of my Irish series! This place makes me grin every time I think of it. It is said to be the western most place in Europe - on the far end of Valentia Island, Ireland. Across the Bay is the Dingle Peninsula, the view of it sometimes disappearing into the clouds that roll by. As the story goes, this isn't really a pub - but a commercial was filmed here.....and the side of the building is still painted "O'Shea's, Next Pint New York". It seems it's even farther away than "the middle of no-where". I sometimes imagine the poor guy who thinks he'll make it to New York from here! I've had a case of the grins ever since I saw the place! Aside from the humor, it is at the end of a long lane, surrounded by fields, bogs, and not too far from the cliffs that drop into Dingle Bay. You are standing at the edge of the Iveragh peninsula, try not to let your jaw hit the ground!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Love and Whimsy - sold

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

I was playing with some 'designy ideas & color - inspired by a combination of colors in a rose bouquet that my favorite florist in Virginia Beach would use pink and a peachy coral orange. It was a knockout! and the happiest, hottest looking colors I've ever seen put together! This florist truly created with natures finest!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sleeping Giant of Valentia - sold

Click on the painting to enlarge & see the brushwork!

12"x16" on canvas mounted on professional artboard (Raymar)

When land formations fuel the imagination, legends abound! Here on Valentia Island, in the southwest part of Ireland, is a place that has continued to charm me. I am returning to paint, to learn more stories, see more and know more of this amazing place. This is the view from my friend Mary's yard, looking west. Further up the hill, around the bend, from my friend Barbara's house, you can see the skelligs, and the extension of land that are separate pieces that make up this "giant". But the giant appears to 'sleep' with his hands folded on his chest, resting between the river and the Atlantic Ocean. Rocked to sleep by the sound of the waves, the cry of the gulls and the call of the boats. His lovely bed is surrounded by fields of grasses and there a prettier place on Earth?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Red-Haired Fiddler

7"x5" pastel on paper, matted & framed to 12"x10"

This painting was done from a sketch I did while living back in San Diego. Before I could play fiddle well enough to join in an open session (traditional Irish music) , I'd sit at the pub and listen, and sketch - usually the fiddlers. Now it's been years since I have been in a pub to sit and sketch- if there's music, I want to play tunes! My sketch books are valuable sources of ideas for me now!

This piece is matted & framed, as shown here:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Keyhole View to Little Skellig - sold

8"x6" oil on linen mounted on professional art-board (Raymar)

Here is a view of 'Little Skellig" from the ruins of St. Michaels church on top of Skellig Michael. This well preserved monastery 'on a rock' in the ocean off of southwest Ireland is 640 (or so) steps up from the base. Difficult to describe it adequately, I found a quote that helps....
"As I climbed the path winding up to the ancient constructions near the top of the cliff, I sensed that I was on the threshold of something utterly unique, though I was by no means a stranger to monasteries, which I had visited throughout Europe, and even farther afield at one time and another. But nothing in my experience had prepared me for this huddle of domes, crouching halfway to heaven in this all but inaccessible place, with an intimidating immensity of space all around, where it was easy to feel that you had reached a limit of this world. A holy place, to be sure, which would still have been so, even if it had never known the consecrated life of prayer."
- Geoffrey Moorhouse

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dingle Boats - sold

6"x8" oil on linen mounted on professional artboard (Raymar)

Last July (2007) on my way from Shannon Airport (Ireland) west to Valentia Island, we took a side trip over to the Dingle peninsula & on into town & the pier. The colorful fishing boats are just one of the fun things to see there.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Winter Moon Rising - sold

10"x10" oil on gallery wrap canvas 1.5" deep

Yesterday I was standing at the kitchen sink gathering stuff to make brownies. My neighbor's house across the street is the prettiest blue.....when the setting sun hits's so very pretty. The light hits the window glass and instantly it's orange. Add a rising full moon to the mix and it's absolutely breath-taking! I stared as the moon began to rise over the tree line. The last bits of sun illuminate the bare winter trees, turning them an orangey - red. For a few moments they are transformed from gray space to an exciting show. I grabbed my camera & ran out the door, no jacket & 20 degrees - but this show goes fast! I new I had to remember every bit until I got to paint it!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Painting at the Ruins, Ballycarberry Castle

6"x8" oil on Belgian linen mounted on professional artboard (Raymar)

Here's our fine group of friends, there are six of us all together. These three just happened to be in my view, as they chose a view from the side. The cloud cover changes rapidly here, so when you see what you like - it's important to go with it. The plein air scene I did here has been sold, this I painted from photos, notes & memory. I'm looking forward to my return visit to Ireland.

Email me regarding this painting

Friday, January 18, 2008


24"x36" oil on canvas

I'm declaring this one finally finished! This is one that started out being painted from life, was interrupted a few times.....prolonging it's finish. I do remember the day my husband brought these home! Wow, the white hydrangeas and yellow roses were so incredible (and this place is my favorite florist of all time!).

Thursday, January 17, 2008

CaherGael Ring Fort, Caherciveen, Ireland - sold

Click on this picture to enlarge!

11"x14" oil on oil primed linen mounted on board (Raymar)

This is an amazing place I've gotten to visit for the last two summers now. It's a reconstruction, but it is incredible none-the-less. It's about 6 meters high and 3 meters thick drystone wall. NO MORTAR is holding these rocks together! (which to think of it is a bit terrifying once you get your jaw off the ground....). Inside the structure is a partially rebuilt beehive hut. From the information available, this fort is from around the time of 600CE. Built for shelter and security for a family and it's livestock, this looked like a place for a rather important person of his time!

If you ever played 'fort' as a kid - you would love to visit this historical site! It was such a delight to paint the ancient stones in their varied grays, with the view out to the River Ferthy and Bally Carberry Castle! Truly a magical place!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Uphill to Antiquity (Ballycarberry Castle, Ireland)

6"x8" oil on Belgian linen mounted on professional artboard (Raymar)

This past summer while painting over in Ireland at the Ballycarberry Castle ruins, there were so many others that had come to see the place as well. This elderly gentleman must've been 85 if he was a day! He looked quite dapper in his tweed jacket and "friend-maker cap" (ok, driving cap). There was a young woman with him, perhaps related, maybe his grand-daughter. The contrast between them was striking - he was rather bent and angular where she was quite upright and curvy. He, in his conservative tweeds, and she in her flowy slacks, and gossamer tunic. At this point the hill just begins to ascend, he has already had to crawl (or somehow make his way under) some barbed wire! The rest of the way up is a fairly gentle hill, but rutted in some places.

This is one of those "allegorical paintings" - most people speak of aging as "going downhill". But what if we thought of it as an uphill climb? Yes, there would be some struggle on the way, but when we reach the pinnacle of the climb - wouldn't there be a great (or at least interesting) reward?! Yeah, I'm in for quite a climb yet to come - but I know there will be great things just ahead (hope there's not too much barbed wire!).

Email me regarding this painting

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Barracks, Caherciveen, Ireland, County Kerry - sold

11"x14" oil on oil primed linen mounted on panel (Raymar)

When I first saw this place I thought it looked like a 'fairy-tale' castle. Ireland certainly had me mesmerized....I was totally under its spell. I found out the structure was actually an out of commission barracks for the Royal Irish Constabulary. Now it's a heritage/information center & museum. It's setting by the river and the little bridge just makes it all the more romantic a view. I'm going back again for the third time this year - and I can hardly wait!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Cheer Factor Daily Thoughts on Art & Life, vol. I

IT'S FINALLY HERE & I'M THRILLED! It is 6"x8" and thin enough to carry with you anywhere. There are 50 images and quotes from my daily paintings and emails sent in the daily Cheer Factor emails I send out (email me to subscribe). It is a wonderful January treat to take some quiet time with an 'uplifting read' and beautiful images to view. Many folks have commented to me how they save these emails to look at again from time to time, or print them off to you can have 'the early edition' all in one nice book. I'm extremely pleased with the print & color quality! I have 10 copies available currently, (to 'test' the waters) priced at $40 + $5 shipping. You can purchase then via a paypal invoice on the Daily Painters website or from my ebay store site, or via snail mail. Just drop me an email (or click on the links) if you're interested!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

"This ain't no disco, Duck" - sold

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite professional artboard

Sometimes a visual image will trigger a string of mental verbeage. Songs, writings, phrases will merge as a reaction to this image and sometimes the result is pretty surprising (as in, how did that thought ever pop up?). I was looking through a string of duck photographs, considering the gestures of his movement I intended to paint. Going from shot to shot, it appeared as if he were dancing, since the photos were taken in rapid succession. Somehow the thought disco duck came into my head at the same time Sheryl Crow's song, "All I wanna do" popped in- the opening line, "this ain't no disco" and visions of watching the "sun come up over Santa Monica Boulevard" just hit me at this particular ducky move...Well he IS quite a personable little duck, this unusual neighbor of mine!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What's Up Duck? - sold

6"x6" oil on gessoed masonite artboard

This morning we ignored him. Not on purpose mind you, we were in a conversation during our walk and I wasn't about to interrupt my friend to holler a greeting at this curmudgeonly duck. Yeah, he was perturbed we didn't speak. "Hey, look at me when I'm quackin' at you." (I'm sure that's what he said!). Okay, tomorrow I'll lavish attention on him & tell him what a great duck he is. After all, until I lived here, I never had a neighborhood duck to greet me in the morning!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Thatched Roof Cottage, Ireland - sold

11"x14" oil on Belgian linen mounted on professional artboard

I've had this painted in my head before I ever picked up the brushes. It's a cottage I saw during my trip to Ireland, close to where I stayed the last two summers. And what a delight this place was to paint! This lovely cottage is built into a gentle hillside, along the back is a pile of peat bricks (I can remember that earthy smell now)- practically obscured by the colorful wildflowers that pop out of the lush grass. The weather can change so quickly there, clouds rolling in and across the island of Valentia (in the southwest of Ireland). I was at an artist's retreat hosted by a friend of mine. She has created a wonderful opportunity to enrich your artistic soul- an experience I'll never forget! We paint every day, all day long, rain or shine! Summer time in Ireland brings long daylight hours, so we pack a lot into a 24 hour day! Happily- I'm going again this summer AND I CAN HARDLY WAIT!!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Florida Tangerines, Before the Freeze - sold

8"x6" oil on Belgian linen mounted on board (Raymar professional artboard)

I just returned from visiting relatives down south. These tangerines are in the back yard of my childhood home, where I got to visit my mom just before New Years...and the big freeze. I've been wanting to paint them ever since I saw them...this is the fullest I've seen this tree hang with fruit, and the color was so beautiful. The sun coming through the green leaves against the old wood fence was a delight. What's not to love?