My stand at the pop up show organised by Eilis Kavanagh for culture weekend in Newbridge.

It’s been a while again. I should do shorter less considered posts I suppose. I was thinking about changing the title to ramblings into the life of a middleaged/ older woman and just documenting stuff… any ideas? Maybe that could be interesting.

Wild Garden. Sold at the pop up show. I started this on as a study for a possibly larger painting of this ‘Wild’ garden in Athleague. I may still paint the other one.

At the moment I am in Tralee, my friend is practising instrumental pieces on the guitar beside me while I write. It would be too distracting if I was seriously creating a piece of writing but it’s a great backdrop for writing down random thoughts. Tralee is a great town for shopping – I went for a wander around the centre yesterday- it’s so much nicer to wander down streets and discover little squares and side streets with lots of interesting shops than to be in a noisy shopping centre. There were at least three great shoe shops – and a lot of shops I didn’t dare look in- too tempting. I did buy a lovely hat though- I lost my favourite grey one in the Lord Edward pub at the Sunflower sessions last week, though I’m still holding out the possibility that it will come back to me.

Coastal study of the view of the islands from the cottages at Cill Rialaig.

Painting of Donnelly’s Hollow on the Curragh.

I took part in a pop up shop in the town hall in Newbridge on the 23 September- culture weekend. I used the date  as a focus to get as much work as possible finished. Happy but exhausted by the end of it. I finished this painting of the wild garden that I had started in Cill Rialaig (you can see how it developed from those posts) and some others that I had previously worked on. Four finished paintings- wow! First time in many years.  I began to loosen up on the other sketches I made there so I’m looking forward to continuing. Years ago when I painted a lot I got the greatest satisfaction from painting onsite outdoors- the time limit gives the work an immediacy and the urgency to capture the scene with the restrictions of outdoor painting and a vibrancy that is hard to replicate in the studio. Some of the best work comes when you lose all sense of any other reality.

Most of the work though went into finishing some prints. Printmaking can be very frustrating at times – it’s so hard to predict results / get exactly what you want because of the process involved even with a painterly medium like Carborundum.    But you know how it is when sometimes you have been struggling for a while and then suddenly you feel as if you have got to another level and things begin to flow…this was part of the reason I felt so happy at the end of the process- and had some new finished prints that have been hanging around for a while. I’ll save them for the next post…soon!!

Meanwhile I have a guilt thing about my writing- the ongoing struggle. I know, I know, I should concentrate on one or the other at this stage- but it is what it is as they say.  I am part of a group that meet in the Irish Writers centre once a month and I realise that I have written nothing since we met last month.   So back to writing first thing in the morning when I get back.

Meanwhile the notes of the guitar are swirling around in my head- some of the chords are so beautiful.  The fire is lit beside me. When the notes pause I pause too. Through the partly open door I see the sun shining through the kitchen window, lighting up the Aloe Vera plant whose leaves are at least a foot long and stretching out in all directions.

I don’t know the tune, it’s something classical with notes running up and down then slowing, and louder on the base notes.  It reminds me of some ad …or wandering  in to a square in a small street in an Italian town…with cobbled streets and old ladies on balconies….and cats.

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