Golden Bog


I usually work on a couple of paintings at a time so I can explore similar themes in slightly different ways. I began this one (above) with the last painting I wrote about here ( see Land Interrupted ).

I used these photographs (below) for reference while painting – they were taken recently on the Bog Road between Clifden and Letterfrack. It was evening and there was a lovely haze of light on the bog grasses, now turning golden. The light is special here at any time of the year but it is sometimes these in between times, between Summer and Autumn, between day and evening that it is most enchanting.


Photograph of bog taken by Deborah Watkins





Photograph of golden bog grasses





This is how the painting began (below).


First stage of golden bog landscape





Next I added more colour to the middle and foreground. I altered the mountain in the background a little as I felt that this line down the middle wasn’t working.

I used lots of gold and yellow in the middle ground and some pink to suggest the heathers. Then I outlined the bog furrow using brown ink.


Second stage of golden bog landscape





This is the painting as I have left it below. I worked on the bog furrow shape and the grasses around it in an effort to make them merge a little but hopefully remain distinct also. I’ve defined the mountain behind with some brown ink but perhaps a little too much, I think I will try to pull this back a little when I return to it again.


Third stage of golden bog painting by Deborah Watkins



Shifting Seasons

I went out to the Bog Road between Clifden and Letterfrack to take some photographs this week. It was a clear evening and I expected to be able to see the Twelve Bens Mountain range beyond the bog and heathers but I found something else instead – the landscape seemed  to shimmer, suspended between Summer and Autumn in the evening light. The heathers still abound in gorgeous clumps of pink but the grasses are turning from green to a tawny orange colour. In a couple of weeks they will look like they are on fire in spite of the lower temperatures.

Here are some more pictures below. It was windy so the images are a little blurred but I think this captures the atmosphere.


Bog and heathers





It may sound strange but I like this next one because the cut bog reminds me of a wound. The grasses are like a layer of skin over the marrow and bones of the black bog.


Boglands between Letterfrack and Clifden





I stood on a mound to take this one – the neatly stacked turf dries in the evening breeze and is almost ready to take in. The changing colour of the grasses is palpable, I love it’s coppery glow.

If you click on the image, you will get a better sense of it. I am really looking forward to using these images and getting back to some painting soon.


Stacks of turf