I have just spent a week painting in Donegal with four other artists. When I send out the information letters, with a list of materials, I always include raincoats, woolly jumpers and sturdy shoes in addition to suntan cream and a sunhat! Anyone who has painted in Ireland is prepared for glorious sunshine interspersed with showers and indeed that can be the reason for wonderful “light shows” and magnificent cloud formations over an ancient, majestic landscape. However this year, on a couple of days, the sky fell and hovered just above our heads like a heavy grey blanket. On one such day we took ourselves off to the Glebe Gallery, beside Lake Gartan near Letterkenny, to see the exhibition “Burst the Heart Open – A Celebration of Irish Painting” http://www.eaf.ie/detail.php?id=12 On view are works from artists such as Sean Scully, Derek Hill, Sean McSweeney, Jack Yeats, Ciaran Lennon and Patrick Collins amongst many others. Open until August 28th and well worth a visit. While you’re there take a tour round the fabulous Glebe House which was the home of Derek Hill and houses an amazing array of international art.
On the way home we visited the studio of Donegal artist Stephen Bennett, near Ardara. Stephen used to be in advertising working for Saatchi and Saatchi in London until he returned to Donegal with his wife and started painting the beautiful Donegal countryside and it’s people in his own inimitable bold style. Check out his website and call in if you’re in the area. http://www.stephenbennett.net/
An intrepid artist – this piece of coastline is only reached at low tide!
Trying to capture the movements of a wave crashing against the rocks in soft pastels (Rosie McClelland)
Sketch in oil pastels (Rosie McClelland)
Well on a wet day there’s nothing else for it but to retreat to a Donegal pub for lunch!
Nancy’s in Ardara
Wild flowers along every wayside oil pastel sketch (Rosie McClelland)
We spent a morning at Killybegs harbour- below are a few quick impressions
I love using oil pastels for the instant saturated colour and quick coverage
It was a small group this year, about half the size of previous years but nevertheless, despite rain, we produced a lot of work, had a lot of laughs and drank our fair share of wine! Thank you for the good company.