Preparations and Industry in Clifden

Heavy machinery on Main Street

Road works outside the Lavelle Art Gallery this week 

 

Clifden has been a hive of activity this month in spite of the inclement weather.

It is the last few days of the Irish referendum on marriage equality and we are proud to have been engaged in promoting a YES vote in Clifden. We have ‘YES for Equality’ signs in the gallery window and Gavin and I took it upon ourselves to source some posters in Galway and put them up around town. There was a disappointing proliferation of NO placards that frankly made for a sorry sight each time we stepped outside the door. The YES campaign has been slow to mobilize here, perhaps because we are a small population and not therefore deemed worthwhile in terms of votes. Continue reading

Life drawing Residency in Roundstone

Some friendly faces at the gallery

James Hanley (RHA), Carey Clarke (RHA), Gavin Lavelle and Una Sealy (RHA) outside the Lavelle Art Gallery, Clifden 

 

We’ve had some interesting visitors to the gallery recently – old friends and acquaintances that we don’t get the opportunity to meet often enough. Pictured with Gavin outside the Lavelle Art Gallery are RHA ( Royal Hibernian Academy ) artists James Hanley, Carey Clarke ( former president of the RHA ) and Una Sealy. They were part of a group of fifteen artists that were here for a life drawing residency, organised by mutual friend and RUA painter Rosie McGurranContinue reading

April Sunshine

The gallery in the sun

Clifden came alive this Easter and although the rush has subsided, there is still a good energy about town as visitors continue to arrive and the sun continues to shine. People started arriving on Good Friday and by Saturday, the town was full. There was a fantastic energy on every street – people sipping coffee out of doors, restaurants busy with their new bills of fare, shoppers bustling in and out of doorways and not a free parking space in sight.  Continue reading

Ink Dark Sea

I have been working on two small seascapes over the last number of days. The surface is a heavyweight paper, prepared with gesso and mounted on canvas board. They each measure 15.5 cm x 10.5 cm. There is something satisfying about working on paper, its texture is fine and chalky compared to canvas and the surface holds the colour very well.

I approached these two paintings differently in that I finished them in one sitting, alternating between the two. I worked with the material in a more deliberate way, playing with the fluidity of the paint – sometimes thick, sometimes very thin. I allowed the inks to react with the paint, moving the imagery around until I arrived at something close to the effect I was looking for. This method reminds me of working with clay – creating a vessel on the wheel and then distorting it, trying to capture the fluidity of the material while it is wet. In these paintings, I tried to capture the energy and movement of the sea but also it’s darkness and it’s danger. I’ve called the first ( pictured again below ) ‘Ink Dark Sea.’

 

Ink Dark Sea

 

 

 

The second painting is titled ‘ Steel Blue Swell.’ I’ve indicated a hint of land in the distance but I did not worry too much about a horizon line.

The use of red and a hint of gold breaks the dominance of the blue.

 

Steel Blue Swell by Deborah Watkins

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Clifden - St. Parick's Day 2015 by Aerial Eye

Cover photo by ‘Aerial Eye

 

We woke to sunshine and blue skies in Clifden today, the 17th March, a notoriously unpredictable day on the weather front. In the last five years, we have had a couple of warm, dry St. Patrick’s day celebrations and at least two wet cold ones. 2013 was so wet, the parade had to be cancelled outright – I remember this particularly as my parents travelled from Dublin especially to see our girls in the parade. We had to make do with a low – key performance in our kitchen instead!  Continue reading

March Steel

Snow capped mountains in Connemara

( I am sharing this post from my painting blog deborahwatkinspaintings.com )

It’s the first week of March and temperatures have dipped again with no real sign of spring in Connemara just yet. This week saw our first real snowfall with spectacular drifts on the mountains and a heavy smattering of white along the valleys and roads. We’ve been hearing about the icy weather around the country for a while but our proximity to the coast has kept us just above freezing point.  Continue reading

March Steel

It’s the first week of March and temperatures have dipped again with no real sign of spring in Connemara just yet. This week saw our first real snowfall with spectacular drifts on the mountains and a heavy smattering of white along the valleys and roads. We’ve been hearing about the icy weather around the country for a while but our proximity to the coast has kept us just above freezing point.  Continue reading

Blue Pool

I got back to this piece recently, having started it before Christmas. Here is the painting as I found it below – the main shapes have been loosely defined with blocks of colour, mostly blues and yellows.

 

First stage of January Landscape

 

 

 

I looked up the photograph I had been using for reference – it was taken out along a road near Killary, about this time last year. I love the complimentary colours – the blue of the water and mountains against the orange landscape and I used this in the painting. The pool is the focus and this lovely dark blue that reflects the sky. I decided to leave out the poles.

 

Road near Killary by Deborah Watkins

 

 

 

Next I applied some coloured inks with another layer of acrylic paint to add more depth.

 

Second stage of January Landscape

 

 

 

I added more colour around the pool shape in the foreground at this next stage below. It has become a little muddy and there is too much blue in the painting. I leave this layer to dry before continuing.

 

Third stage of January Landscape

 

 

 

Here’s the finished piece after a little more work. I’ve defined the grasses with clearer brushstrokes to make them seem more fiery and I’ve changed the colours of the road.

This piece is available to purchase on our gallery website at lavelleartgallery.ie

 

 

Blue Pool by Deborah Watkins

 

 

Photo Shoot

Gavin Lavelle and Deborah Watkins outside the Lavelle Art Gallery

Here are our photographs as promised and this time taken by the professional – Aoife Herriott who lives and works in Connemara. Aoife came out to the gallery this week to shoot the outside of the shop ( and us ) and to take some photos of the interior. Continue reading