This painting is based on a black and white photograph taken on 22nd January 1943. My paternal grandfather Daniel T McCarthy is sitting on his newly bought Fordson tractor. The orange model was made from 1939 – 42. Behind the tractor is a plough. Much of the ploughs in Ireland were still horse drawn at that time. My grandfather was a forward thinking man in terms of farm machinery and this tractor was the very latest in tractor technology at that time. I didn’t know him, he died in 1973. The original photograph had a glare that obscured much of the engine detail. Also the very front of the tractor was cut off in the photo, so I had to consult the original negative plate to get it right. So I spent WAY too much time on this. I faded the colour in the sky to make it look colder and blurred the detail in the ground and background so the tractor stands out more.
This is the fourth painting of the same view, so I’ve all four seasons covered. Springs in previous years had harsh weather, so in 2011 with a pleasant April, my opportunity came.
I hadn’t painted for 6 months before I started this. I was determined to make a highly detailed painting as I was a little disappointed with the previous painting’s foreground. Based on a reference photo; the day I took it I wasn’t in the area, I was down by the prom walk in Garryvoe and noticed bales in the field on the higher ground. When I got there I found that they were in every field towards the sea. So I spent the next 6 months painting. The last 3 were spent on the foreground, doing those stubbles trying to depict the sunlight reflecting off of them. No compromise!
This is the first of my views of Garryvoe the place where I live. The view is from one of our fields, the ‘High Field’. I had been wanting to do this view for a few years before getting around to doing it. At the time, it was a very ambitious goal. The sky appealed to me a lot, I like how over in the east and south opposite to where the sun sets, the sky goes purple to a deep blue near the horizon.
Painted from 28th June to 23rd September, 2006.