During this summer’s Donegal Sketching Holiday I gave each participant a sheet of a postcard-sized watercolour pad. The image they painted or drew had to reflect the pretty village of Kilcar where we were sketching at the time and, of course, they didn’t disappoint…..
But let’s go back to the first morning in Rosbeg. We started off making marks as we walked – a great way of sharpening the observational skills and becoming familiar with your surroundings
Placing yourself in front of a panoramic view can be daunting as to where to start so I handed each person a piece of drawing paper, 45cms square, which I had folded and pressed together to form a “pad” approx 15 cms sq. The first drawing/painting within this square was to be of the middle-distance. They were then to fold out the side “wings” and draw/paint whatever was on either side of their original square – ditto for the top and bottom “wings” (are you still with me?). This was aimed to sharpen spatial awareness and also to explore compositional aspects of the scene.
If I were to say the weather was perfect, I would be lying, there were a lot of showers but it was warm enough and the clouds were dramatic and painterly ( we Irish know how to spin a weather story!). However, by the time we got to Maghera on Monday afternoon the rain had set in so sketching time and the outlook were limited. Rossy still managed to get down some quick watercolour marks of the “Granny” (Pass) before it disappeared!
These were a couple I did the week before when I was out scouting for locations – maybe next year we’ll make it ……
Never to be defeated by rain or wind, we stopped, on the way home, at Killybegs Harbour and sketched from the shelter of our cars
Tuesday morning was ceramics time and the potter, Alan Snape, had another brilliant project planned and what could be more fitting for Donegal….
..than a flock of sheep?
We spent Tuesday afternoon at Kilcar. I’ve already shown the postcards so here are some of the rest
One of my favourite places in Donegal is the beautiful, deserted village of An Port. The first time I visited here (around 30 years ago) it seemed like the end of the world – empty – wild – elemental. This year we arrived down to find half a dozen cars, 3 camper vans and two coaches full of Spanish walkers! I suppose it was only a matter of time before the rest of the world caught on to the magic of Donegal and in particular these hidden gems. The Wild Atlantic Way has helped put the Atlantic coast on the tourist map and it is certainly good for the local economy. The Spanish walkers eventually made their way across the mountain path towards Glencolumbcille where the coaches would be waiting for them, leaving us to our sketching…..
Rossy McConaghy watercolour; acrylics
Roberta Lindsay watercolour pens; mixed media
Patricia Wilson watercolour; oil pastels
Pamela Greene watercolour; pastels
Oonagh Catchpole watercolour; pastels; watercolour pens
Margaret Finlay pastels
Helen Mckelvey watercolour
Geraldine Snape frottage; assemblage
Rosie McClelland oil pastel; oil pastel on acrylic monoprint
Another fun-filled and productive workshop comes to an end. My thanks to everyone who took part, to the potter, Alan Snape and my helper, sister and fellow artist Gerry Snape. Thank you Donegal for your hospitality especially Ethna from Inishduff B & B who, quite frankly, spoils her guests, the Tara Hotel, Killybegs and the Rusty Mackerel, Teelin where we had fabulous meals.
Until next year……….