Welcome to my etsy shop!

Welcome to my brand new online shop with etsy.com!
I am very excited to be part of the etsy community of makers and artists at last and I invite you to browse my paintings and shop at your leisure. Click on the link in the sidebar opposite to go straight there.

I will shortly provide more easy links to etsy from here and visa versa to make it all a bit smoother. I am experiencing a very sharp learning curve here folks so bear with me!!

Here’s a sample below of what you will find in the shop.


Painting by Deborah Watkins


This painting is of a scene just outside Clifden. I was standing on a hill near Clifden castle looking down at a little outcrop of trees near the water. The ground in front of the trees was waterlogged and reflected all kinds of shapes and colours which I deepened for effect here. I allowed the paint to bleed which became part of the piece and for me it resembles both the trees and the reflection of the land on the other side of the bay.
I love to receive your comments so don’t be shy and let me know what you think..

Is it finished?

This is a question I ask myself at some point with every painting. Sometimes it is easy to decide that yes, I have done enough and I should stop now. Sometimes it is not so easy.
Usually, I will allow myself to ‘sleep on it’ for a while and see the painting afresh when I look at it first thing in the morning, for example.
Occasionally, G will look over my shoulder and say – ‘don’t touch that, put your brushes down, it’s done’. One such time, I was incredulous that this was his opinion when I had thought that I was only getting started! (Btw, G is a full-time painter and gallery owner so I do put good stock in his opinions).
The thing to be avoided at all costs is overworking a painting and so the quality that I am always striving for myself is a freshness of touch. I believe that this comes with practice and confidence although it is by no means guaranteed every time, no matter how well practiced and confident one might feel! The viewer is always entitled to disagree with the results in any case and I do like to get the opinion of others. So, in this vein, I present to you the hen painting I started last week. This first photo was taken at an in between stage – I was reluctant to do much with the hen figure here and just added a little to the background.


Painting of hen, in progress



This is the finished painting below taken from two angles. I’ve used a 4 x 4 ” canvas which is almost 1. 5″ deep. I am enjoying working on these little blocks because straight away, the painting becomes a solid thing. I continue the background loosely around the edges, shown in the last photograph to really maximize the character of the painting as an object.


Finished Painting of hen 1



Finished Painting of hen 2



The question remains however, is it finished? I think so in this case but what do you think?


Hello Saturday!
I plan to update my blog most days Monday through to Friday from now on BUT I am breaking that rule today as I’ve only just got my blog engine started and it wants to keep running..
This brings me to our two hens, ‘Lily’ and ‘Gertrude’ – my three daughters settled on these names after much debate and discussion. We bought them two years ago this Summer and they are one hundred per cent part of the family now. Apart from being great company – they sit at our back door and they follow me around outside – they provide us with one egg each every day, almost without fail.


Photo of two hens



Photo of hens



I really enjoy watching them mooch around our back garden and I love the shapes that their bodies make when they are scratching and foraging. I especially like their tail feathers when they bend over as they look like old fashioned bloomers! I have done lots of hen paintings since they arrived. Here’s one I’ve started recently below..


Painting of a hen, stage 1



I’m going to finish this one over the week end and I’ll post up the results next week. I like the freshness that it has at this stage so I hope that I don’t lose that by overworking it. We’ll see…


This is Clifden, the town where I live. It’s known as the capital of Connemara and we are right on the edge of the West coast of Ireland.  It is a glorious place to live and work, surrounded by dramatic mountains and beautiful coastline.


Photo of Clifden
( photo by Bert Kaufmann)  http://www.flickr.com/photos/22746515@N02/2409325025/



Photo of Clifden bay


I took this next photo, just outside the town on the coast. I often go for walks along here with my family and I used this picture as a reference for the painting below.


Painting of Clifden bay



I mostly use acrylic paint and ink in my paintings. When I use them together, the colours bleed in to each other which can create interesting effects. You can see this in the top right hand corner of this painting. This effect particularly harks me back to the glazes of my old ceramic career. I decided to apply the paint in different ways in this piece also, thick in some areas and almost washed out in others to give the painting surface some diversity. What do you think?

Welcome to my blog!

I have been thinking (and talking) about this blog and my soon to open on line shop with etsy.com since Christmas. It is now almost the end of February and I am very excited to be here at last!
My plan is to share my thoughts about living and working in Connemara in relation to my paintings and the things that I draw my inspiration from.
It’s a big learning curve for me so I hope that the blog will develop as I go along and that some of you will stay with me.



Cleggan coast painting


This is my most recent painting and the one that I have used in my banner. It is based on a part of the coastline near Cleggan which is about seven miles away. The photo underneath is one I used for reference while painting.


Cleggan coast photo



I use photographs to help me make decisions about composition, particularly with the landscapes. I also use them as a starting point for colour choices. The work then takes on a life of its own and my intention thereafter is to evoke the atmosphere of the place, the weather and what it felt like to be there that day. I try to conjure this up in my head when I have my paints ready in front of me. This was a beautiful dry day (unusual in February!) but there was unease in the air and the promise of a rain storm. The afternoon closed in to the evening during the short time that I spent there.