Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Irish Fireside Article

For your reading pleasure, an article I wrote for the site, Irish Fireside.   I am not a writer, although I enjoy writing, and am working on a few things for my own enjoyment.  I wanted to share a little of my experiences in Ireland with the Art in the Open plein air painting festival.  Irish Fireside also has a section called The Artists' Eye, on which I had a painted featured.  Enjoy the site.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Dublin, and Headed Home

 Train ride from Galway to Dublin
 River Liffey, Dublin
 Temple Bar
View from my hotel the last evening in Ireland

I decided that I would take the train from Galway back to Dublin.  I love trains, and thought that would be a different way to end the trip.  I got back to Dublin, and had a little while to kill until I could get into my room at the hotel.  I found I had to take my luggage to a left luggage location other than the train/bus station.  I had long since decided that I would need to lighten the weight of my painting supplies for future trips.  I found wandered around Dublin, mostly the Temple Bar and Grafton Street area.  I thought how I should be going into the museums, but by this time I was getting tired, and so just wandered around.  Later in the day, I found I had to take a cab to the hotel, which was an experience in itself, since the cabbie couldn't find the hotel.  But, in typical Irish fashion, I had a great talk with the cabbie, and other than knowing my tab was heading skyward, had a nice ride.  I had booked in a hotel near the airport to make things easy in the morning.  To make it a bit more special, I found reviews that talked about the horses grazing all around the hotel.  Perfect!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ireland: Connemara and the Picnic

 driving towards Connemara

 Connemara, notice the stone wall going straight up the hill

 peat bogs, where they have been digging peat.  It is drying in the little piles
 Kyemore Abbey, Connemara
 Ciara being watched by Chica
 Ciara and the dogs, Chica and Tazz
 Peat bogs, Connemara
 Tazz being sure that his people are coming back, and he won't be left with the Yank!
 You suppose they pay this Connemara Pony to pose for the tourists?!
 Roundstone Quay
 Our picnic spot!

For those of you wanting to see paintings, they are coming, I promise!  But I also have to post pictures from Ireland.  It was such an amazing, wonderful experience, that I want to get the pictures out there, to share with all of you.  I am trying to hang onto the feeling that you get from travel.  It opens your eyes to other places, other people, other ways of doing things.  It makes things seem new to you again when you come back to your everyday life.  

Two quotes from Mark Twain, which I find so "right-on":

"...nothing so liberalizes a man and expands the kindly instincts that nature put in him as travel and contact with many kinds of people."
- Letter to San Francisco Alta California, dated May 18th, 1867; published June 23, 1867

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."
Innocents Abroad

Friday, August 12, 2011

Headford & Cong, Ireland

At Antjie, Davey & Ciara's house, an African bonfire in Ireland
 One of the gardens
 first lunch, blue flowers in the salad
 The "Quiet Man" cottage, used in the film with John Wayne and Marueen O'Hara

 Cong Art Gallery - same building as the hotel
 Cong Abbey from the 1200's
 Cong cat
Artist John Dinan's painting

I rode the bus into Headford, a small town outside of Galway.  There I was picked up by Antjie Henn, who, along with her husband and daughter, are South Africans living in Ireland.  Antjie is a Parelli practitioner, which is how I found her.  They were so warm and welcoming, inviting me into her home for three nights.  The first full day, they dropped me off in Cong, a really lovely little village,  One of the artists from the festival, in Wexfor, John Dinan lives in Cong, and I was able to see him, his wife, and some other artists.  I didn't paint, but I sketched quite a bit in the abbey, and the middle of Cong.

Cong is known for being the town where the John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara film, "The Quiet Man" was filmed in 1952.  The cottage is there, a pub, and there is a tour and museum to the film.  I was told that at the end of August, there will be a "Quiet Man Festival", complete with Maureen O'Hara at age 91.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bus from Doolin to Galway, Ireland

View from the bus of The Burren

More Burren

More Burren

and more.... Burren

Yep...and...one last shot of The Burren

Galway Bay

cool castle!

Sadly I picked myself up and had to leave Doolin, to head to Galway, to then meet up with the wonderful people I would then be staying with for three nights.  Catching the bus is pretty easy in Doolin.  You buy a ticket from the Doolin Hostel, and wait for the bus.  I was able to buy the ticket all the way to Headford where I would meet up with my hosts.

I did not get to step foot in The Burren, which I had hoped to do, just not quite enough time.  A really fascinating area, Boireann in Irish, meaning "great rock", it stretches for basically 250 square kilometers. I'll let you do the conversion to miles.  Made up of what is known as limestone pavement, it holds some flowers that I hear only grow there.  There are more than 90 megalithic tombs throughout The Burren.  It would have been an interesting place to paint.  Ah well....next time.....

Past Galway Bay, and into Galway, and on to Headford.....

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Art in the Open 2011

Wonderful video done that shows so many of the wonderful friends and painting places in Wexford, Ireland with Art in the Open!!  See if you recognize the person in the straw hat and pink shirt!

Doolin and Beyond

Doolin, Ireland (the village)
morning walking near Doolin
Doolin Quay (harbor, pronounced "key")
Dusty the Dolphin in Doolin harbor
Innis Oirre/Innisheer (English/Irish), smallest of the three Aran Islands
Cilffs of Mohr
Cliffs of Mohr
Cliffs of Mohr

I am way behind in posting to the blog.  I haven't been able to get into a place where an internet signal was available.  I traveled from Wexford, by bus to the west of Ireland, to Doolin.  There are so many great stories, and pictures, and people from the travels, that I may be posting them way out of order, as now I am in Headford, near Connemara.

But back to Doolin.  Reknowned for its traditional, "trad" music, it was a real treat to be there.  I had thought I would paint, but I was not figuring in travel days.  Travel in Ireland isn't hard, just time consuming.  I had planned to hire a car, but decided that was too much, so I took the bus.  I'm glad I did.  I met people, got to snooze, and didn't have to worry about driving on the left, traffic, rain, and the Irish signs, or lack thereof.