Miry Place

I’ve started a couple of paintings based on some photographs I took out near the coast at Aughrus recently. This is how the first one began.

 

First stage of 'Miry Place' painting by Deborah Watkins

 

 

 

I want the main part of the painting to have a golden glow (this is how the grasses appeared when I saw them) so I’ve used lots of gold paint in broad strokes across the page. I’ve sketched in the sky using a combination of blue and white paint and I’ve left a space for the bog pool in the centre of the piece. Here’s the next stage below.

 

Second stage of 'Miry Place' painting by Deborah Watkins

 

 

 

I’ve played with different consistencies of paint and ink and I’ve used brushes of different widths to vary the effects. I like the movement that a large sweeping brush stroke gives and I also enjoy the way watery paint pools around thicker clumps of colour. I’ve tried to keep all the colours as fresh as I can, not allowing them to muddy too much and washing my brushes often between applications. I want this dark bog pool to be the focus so I’ve used dark blue and brown inks for the central shape and surrounded it with light and metallic shades to describe  the grasses.

Here’s how the second painting started below.

 

First stage of second bog painting by Deborah Watkins

 

 

 

I’ve used blue, purple and white paint to sketch in the sky and clouds and I’ve outlined a broad shape in red to describe the russet coloured ferns I saw in the bog that day. Here’s the next stage.

 

Next stage of second bog painting

 

 

 

Oooo I like it here! Something about that red and green together – these colours appealed to me when I took the photographs in Aughrus. I love the way the blue ( a watery pool ) has bled in to the cream and pink paint. I’m sorry in a way not to have left it here as the colours are lovely and fresh and true to how they were. It does look very unfinished however and so I continued working on it as you can see below.

 

 

Last stage of Miry place painting by Deborah Watkins

 

 

I’ve gone in with lots of colour to the extent that I’ve had to stop at this point so that it doesn’t become too sludgy. I’ve tried to give the area on the left of the piece a vertical direction to suggest some tall grass shapes. The dark blue shape across the centre describes a wet pool and beneath that some green plants. I’ve more to do on both of these paintings but I’ll have to wait a day or two until the paint has dried completely.

 

 

Returning – Coastline Bog

Close up of stampler stapler

It’s good to be back. We’ve had a wonderful holiday in the magnificent city of Paris, a special family treat that we have enjoyed immensely and which was as exciting and fun as we could have imagined, but more about that in my next post..

There’s truth in the adage that travel that makes the return home all the sweeter – the first sight of the Twelve Bens felt like a welcome home party after our long journey, all hazy and blue in the evening sun.

Feeling full of enthusiasm, I got back to work at the week end and went out with my camera to Aughrus Mor, just North of Clifden. It is a flat low lying area of rock and bog that stretches right out to the sea. It’s always windy here and the breeze seemed to accelerate as I moved closer to the water. Although I went out with the intention of taking pictures of the sea and islands off shore, I found myself looking at the ground at my feet – a lovely combination of stone, bog and some wonderful cushiony soft grasses. I love the feel of these spongy plants, a mantle of spongy softness under every step.

 

Photo of Bog

 

 

 

 

The earth was broken by a number of  bog pools, each one a different  combination of curling edges and the stillness of the water contained reflected the colours in the sky.

 

Photo of Bog Pool by Deborah Watkins

 

 

 

 

This small one was eerily hidden and reminded me of the mythical bog holes that people warn you about, the kind through which people are supposed to disappear after dark, never to be seen again ‘beware of the bog holes, you never know how deep they are..’ Is there any truth to this I wonder? I wasn’t about to find out for myself on this occasion..

 

Photo of small hidden bog hole by Deborah Watkins

 

 

 

 

This low lying area was difficult to cross as the ground was so wet but such a rich combination of plants and colours. The vividness of some of the tiny water plants was striking and those russet red ferns seem like the perfect complement to all those greens.

 

Photo of bog and plants by Deborah Watkins

 

 

 

 

I discovered to my dismay that my new boots are not waterproof, should have brought my wellies..

 

Wet boots by Deborah Watkins

 

 

 

 

Nonetheless, I came away feeling satisfied that I have some rich source material for a new batch of bog paintings.

 

Photo of coastline bog by Deborah Watkins