And then came the Sun

Derryinver, Connemara by Renee Plantureux

Yes! We’ve had our second dry day in a row. In a row! Great cause for celebration and excitement after the last few weeks of non stop rain. Our poor hens have been trudging around in the swamp that used to be our garden looking very bedraggled and forlorn. I can detect a spring in their step to day which is catching..

Yesterday I left the breakfast dishes in the sink I was so keen to get outside and enjoy the sun. I went to visit a friend in Moyard, a small townland nearby and I stopped on the Bog road ( above ) to take some pictures en route. It’s near the spot where I took the blurry rain shots in a recent post, just a little further along the road. Here’s some more photos – just look at that blue sky below!



Blue skies over the Bog Road



I remember taking some pictures not far from here last January and the sky was a similar bright blue colour. It’s striking when you see it reflected in the water pools as you can see in these next images.


Blue reflections on the bog




Blue Pool in the bog




I love the blackness of these turf stacks in the next shots, I suppose due to the fact that they are sodden with water.


Black turf stack




Just look at this next one, it’s more like black iron or lava than turf..


Close up of turf stack

Bog Paintings Series


I’m working on a series of paintings of the bog at the moment. This is a photograph I took out on the Bog Road, between Clifden and Roundstone. I like the strong direction of the Bog furrows across the land. Also, the combination of the Twelve Bens mountain range in the distance with the water in the middle distance, make for a rich composition.


Photo of bog between Clifden and ROundstone



I’ve used all of these features in the painting below.  This one is done on a heavy weight acyrlic paper. I forgot to take a picture at the early stages so this is how it looks after quite a bit of work.



Painting of bog between Clifden and Roundstone



As you can see, I’ve deepened up the colours considerably ( these rusts and reds are truer later in the year ). I’ve also allowed the lake to bleed in to the bog, washing it away visually. I’ll come back to this one when the paint has dried but it doesn’t need too much more work.

New Bog Paintings

A supply of paint and canvas arrived in the post last week and so I began some new work enthusiastically with my fresh supplies. I have been thinking about some of my old paintings of the bog which I worked quite heavily with paint, something I haven’t done for a while. I decided therefore to apply as much colour as possible at the first sitting and try to build up several layers.
This piece is on a 5 x 5 inch canvas. The composition is based on a section of road that connects Clifden to the village of Roundstone called the ‘Bog Road’. I applied the paint thickly and loosely once I had sketched in a rough compostion with charcoal.


Painting: Bog Road, stage 1



Once the first layer of paint had dried, I added more colour, especially to the foreground on the right (below). I felt it needed red but less roughly applied. I also added more green and gold here in small strokes to descrice this little gully at the side of the road. Then I altered the line where the land meets the sky slightly and added a touch of colour to the clouds as they seemed a bit flat..


Painting: Bog Road, stage 2



I left the rest of the painting much as it was. I was keen to strike a balance with this one – not to overwork it (as I am inclined to do sometimes) and to use plenty of paint in layers, in sympathy with the subject.

Connemara Colour

I took some photographs on a recent walk along the ‘Bog Road’ between Clifden and Roundstone. This is a protected area so the landscape is preserved and the mountain, bog and lake views can be enjoyed unhindered by dwellings. Along the way I found some lovely old twisted Hawthorns and unexpectedly, a colourful grouping of Willow. Here’s a picture of the Hawthorn – I love the knarled branches and the way it has formed itself in the direction of the prevailing wind.


Photo of hawthorn tree



Here’s a close up of the leaves and twigs which have a lovely layer of lichen. This combination of green and grey seems like a perfect partnership in colour to me..


Photo of lichen on hawthorn tree
Here’s the Willow with its colourful and delicate Spring display of catkins (below).


Photo of a willow tree



The next couple of photos are close ups of these bright yellow downy flowers.


Photo 1 of Willow Catkins



Photo 2 of Willow Catkins


They almost have the appearance of tiny sea urchins in water as they move in the breeze.