Drawings from the old sod…

This blog is showing the pencil sketches from a recent Ireland trip. These were mostly page-grabs, if you like, hasty sketches put down from a passing car, from a coffee-shop window peering into a fog or over the side of the returning ferry…

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Included in the Sligo part Kathleen’s Yorkshire Terrier, as a big a challenge as any mountain – where do you start? Still, Oscar was easy going and a fairly good model. When in doubt, draw the dog…

Oscar (6×8″)m Pencil

Our brief tour of the Sligo area was very short and left me wanting to spend a couple of days just painting what I’d seen. We had a quick look around Lissadell House and its grounds – a grand stone home, set off the road amongst the woodlands, that bordered onto Sligo Bay. The park benches at Lissadell had wonderful serpentine iron supports, which put me in mind of the figured bench supports I’d found in Ramsgate, and later in their original form in Plymouth, on my Footsteps of Turner Tour from the previous year.

Park Bench and Dog Vignette(6×8″)m Pencil

All around, the countryside offered everything that a landscape painter could wish for, but with only a couple of days settled and with no transport of my own, time became the factor that reduced what was available to me before we set off across the border…

Dungannon Alleyway (6×8″)m Pencil

There are few major visual points of interest in Dungannon. ‘There aren’t any…’ I was assured by one of the town’s Portugese residents, when I asked her where I might find ‘the sights’, once the fog had lifted. But, having much experience in this area, I knew that things would change with the light. They did. But not hugely.

Dungannon Fog (6×8″)m Pencil

The fog did the town some favours and for me, in the absence of some magnificent, or even mildly engaging, vista the fog gave me a chance to try out my bad-weather working. Up on the Hill of the O’Neills I managed a painting of the few rooftops visible from this historic viewpoint, before the lure of hot coffee removed me from the summit.

Dungannon Park Vignette (6×8″)m Pencil

Even at its most wind-swept, the park in Dungannon had some interest, in the shape of the lake. That, plus I’d discovered where I could get a decent hot snack over in Moygashel, if I walked right across the park.  Once the sun came out, the trees and bushes glowed in their autumnal best, even the bacon sandwich tasted better too, and I got busy with the paints…

Leaving Dublin 2 (16×12)m Pencil

Catching the ferry from Dublin Port gave me a last chance to record my impressions of the country with a couple of striking views, as we pulled away towards Holyhead. Only a short trip, but one which left a deep impression.

To be continued…

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