This place is about two miles from home. When I was small I’d pass it everyday heading to and from primary school. Some of my father’s mother’s ancestors are buried here. The church is an old 17th century Protestant church. This is the third painting of a graveyard I’ve done. Snow is a rare thing where I live so it’s featured in only a handful of my paintings. I had trouble doing the tree over on the far left and the walls of the church, they slowed me down a lot. Once I was on the bottom third of the painting I raced through it. The light coloured shadows of dirty purple and light blue were satisfying to paint.
During my most recent exhibition at the Grainstore in Ballymaloe, it was suggested by the owner to do a picture of the house nearby. So after considering various angles, I settled on this view. There is a good sense of depth and the buildings look imposing as they ‘lean’ in with height. I did a very deep blue in the sky which I’ve never done before. I also used sap green and leaf green on the foliage on the wall and the front lawn. The Grainstore has been good to me during the two exhibitions I’ve had there and I was determined to a good job with portraying this well known building.
Painted out in the open air. This castle is based on the donjon type. It was built by the Anglo-Normans in the early 1200s as part of their drive to consolidate their power in the region. The Anglo-Normans had invaded Ireland in 1169 on the invitation of the King of Leinster. They quickly overrun two-thirds of the island. I painted this amongst the long marsh grasses next to the bank of the Womanagh river in glorious Summer weather.
Took some time to get into this, I had to translate not just from a reference photo to canvas, but also make up a colour scheme using red in every mix. Challenging but worth it! Sold.