Donegal, Uncategorized, Workshops

A Postcard from Donegal August 2019

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!Rossy5

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?

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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

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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……….

 

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Donegal, Holiday, On Location, Sketching, Uncategorized

Donegal Sketching August 2016

Another long overdue blog!20160808_115644_resized

Monday August 8  – The deserted fishing village of Port was our first venue. A windswept but sunny day creating a continually changing light show….

       Tuesday August 9     Assaranca Waterfall and Ardara Town

 

Wednesday August 10 – A wet day so drawing exercises inside the cottage using Donegal’s wild flowers20160825_161811_resized

‘Losing control’- Sketching with charcoal taped onto the end of a paintbrush                   (left to right Margaret F, Kay McC, Karen W, Gavin H)

‘Large and Small Scale’ – drawing with a paintbrush and black ink on scrolled paper, pen and ink on small scale card. (left Kay McC, right Pamela G)

Subtraction drawings with charcoal and putty rubber.(left Pamela G, right Gavin H)

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Brambles (Margaret)

Thank you to all who took part!

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On Location, Uncategorized, Workshops

Sketching in Donegal August 2014

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Just a few images from this year’s sketching workshop in Donegal.

Eight painters took part over 4 days starting on the Sunday evening with a meal and a chance for everyone to get to know each other followed by a short talk on what to expect over the coming days.

The weather when I travelled down from Belfast on the Saturday was horrific. The rain was coming down in stair rods and Sunday wasn’t much better! Just as I was expecting to put plan B into operation, on Monday morning the sun came out and we were off to our first location, Maghera waterfall (above) and later across the dunes and down to the beach and caves (below)

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Making marks to convey the movement of the water and texture of the vegetation.

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Moving into colour and making colour notes

On Tuesday we travelled down to the very tip of St John’s Point for a panoramic view of the Sligo mountains across to Sliabh Liag.

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Tonal sketch capturing depth and atmospheric perspective

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Negative drawing of  ragwort

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Not a bad place to have a picnic!

The plan for the final day was to sketch around the Church graveyard and megalithic Ogham stone in Glencolumbcille, beautifully nestling in a valley surrounded by rolling hills. As we settled in to sketch and, in some cases, take rubbings from the ancient stones, the rain set in.

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Now, in my experience, rain in the hills doesn’t always mean rain elsewhere in Donegal so we set off for a favourite spot of mine- a peaceful little harbour on the coastal road between Kilcar and Carraig with a spot of retail therapy on the way at Glencolumbcille Woollen Mill and Kilcar’s Design Weaving Studio. Sure enough we managed to escape the rain here and spent a peaceful afternoon with nothing but the sound of lapping water and seagulls crying.

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Thank you to all who took part on the course you were amazing –

Brid, Margaret, Kay, Pamela, Karen, Sue, Mandy, Bernie.

Thank you Gerry (big sis) for all your help.

Thank you to Ethna at Inishduff House  who, as always, provided excellent hospitality and accommodation

Thank you for the good company and delicious food at Kitty Kelly’s

The images above are just a small example of the work produced and my apologies to those who had to leave early and whose work has not appeared here – I stupidly forgot to take photos before you left.

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Da dah!!