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.
This church ruin stands a few miles from home. I was particularly pleased with how the direct sunlight and the cold shaded headstones came out. It took 3 weeks to paint.
I was working on an archaeological dig not far from the Tipperary town of Nenagh when I painted this. I was returning to my rented house from home the Sunday I started this. I’d forgotten my blue paints. I was annoyed for a while, thinking I’d have to wait another week before I’d start. Then I had the idea of doing the painting without blue and, using the colours I had, came up with an unusual colour scheme. Every day after work, I’d spend a few hours at it in the evening. I was very pleased with the result.
About half a mile from my home stands an old Medival church, surrounded by headstones dating as early as the late 18th century. It’s one of the most intact churches in the region. I was pleased with the soft indirect lighting effect on the stonework. I spent over a month painting it.