Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Painting at the Ruins, Ballycarberry Castle

6"x8" oil on linen mounted on board (Raymar)

This one I'm re-posting as I spent time beginning a commission piece today. I've enjoyed living with it as it brings back wonderful memories of a previous painting trip with friends! But I'm making it available for sale - "first dibs" here and on my Daily Painters Gallery as well.

Buy this painting on PayPal
Price: $125 USD plus $10 USD s/h
Or, send me an email

I got a question from another artist today who is taking her first trip over to Ireland this May and is wondering if it is too windy & wild to paint outside over there? I have lots of thoughts on this to share with fellow painters!

I have totally enjoyed my time visiting this place. I always come home with a sense of calm (and a desire to keep painting!). I usually go in summer, June or July. My friend who lives there part time stays in May as well and loves it then, too...and yes paints outside in May, too. When I'm there in summer I paint everyday, rain or shine. I would highly recommend a set-up that has one of those paint-boxes that goes on a tri-pod base for stability (and a good heavy, strong tripod). That wide leg base will keep your paint-box sturdy if and WHEN the wind kicks up a bit. Dress in layers and be prepared to wear it all at some points in the day, ....short-sleeved t-shirt, jeans (I never wore shorts there, don't need them). I bring a light-weight polar-fleece jacket and then top with a water-resistant hooded windbreaker. I have a canvas sun-hat that has a string-thing to tighten up & hold it on your head. When it gets warm, you can tie the extra around your waist or stuff them in your bag. But have it handy, you may want it before too long. Yes, you can count on wind at some point. Sun-screen is a must!

***You will probably have a bit of every kind of weather at various times during the day. Usually the rain is a gentle mist, but it can get heavier, too. I have found if you are painting on oil-primed canvas/linen (look up Raymar's panels) you can paint in the rain just fine!! HOWEVER - another friend who brought acrylic primed canvases had a miserable time...the canvas soaked up the rain and worked like Batik- resisting his oil paint! It wouldn't adhere to the canvas- it was awful! So order some oil-primed linen panels- and be happy! I did go in early March last year and it is wayyyy too windy to paint then. That's when they have severe winter gales- you can barely stand up in the stuff! But you certainly get some interesting photos. It's a different kind of beauty.

Are you going with a group, or on your own? Remember, sometimes when you're outside painting in a new environment, there are times when you'll paint something you totally hate & just want to fling....but put in safely in your box, look at it with fresh eyes later. It may not work as a 'finished' painting, but instead a great exercise in 'note-taking' for a later studio painting. OR if you have time on the spot, scrape it off and repaint, gathering enough information from the scene as you can. And the efforts made in painting outdoors, locks all that vision & sensory experience into your whole being....ready to draw from at a later point when you go back to your source material. Those are things that you never get from just taking photos of a place. If you come up with any other questions before your trip, just send me an email - perhaps I can answer them for you!

In my list of links to the right, visit Valentia Island Artists Retreat. This is a wonderful opportunity to have take a workshop/retreat and experience some of the most incredible scenery.


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