Sketching in France – Hangar

Day 2 – a whole day painting with the Hangar Art Association, near Châteauneuf de Grasse, where I had been a member and instructor during our time in France. For our Irish artists, a “French style” art workshop is a special experience – in the sunshine, under the trees, with a glass of rosé in hand to inspire creative flow! Dutch abstract artist Pim de Jongh leads an international gathering of artists here every Wednesday in a relaxed and informal setting. We are visitors today, warmly welcomed by all.  Using acrylics on paper, we can transform our sketches into a…

Sketching in France – Le Cannet

Our first day – we wake to sunshine and blue skies. Our guide Walid from the Office de Tourisme welcomes us in the hotel lobby and we start our introductory tour of Le Cannet, sketchbooks in hand. Le Cannet is a hidden gem only a short distance from Cannes, but a world apart, with a quiet, intimate charm and character.  We feel like honoured guests when the deputy mayor, Mr Pigrenet comes to welcome our group of Irish artists personally.  Our tour brings us by the Tour des Danys, through the Tivoli Gardens and remembrance monuments, and up to the…

Return to Le Cannet

It’s good to be back in Le Cannet, our little corner of the Côte d’Azur which was our home for the past two years. Michael and I arrived early to set everything up for our workshop starting on Monday. It’s early Spring, bright sunshine and cool breeze. Scents of orange blossom waft on the air, but it’s the aroma of coffee and freshly baked croissants which draws us to Francine and Pierre’s lovely Artisan Patissier Chocolatier on the historic Rue Saint Sauveur. A shady spot under a tree beside an ancient water fountain, I sketch the scene – dappled shade on…

Sketching Holiday on the Côte d’Azur 2016

Inviting artists of all levels to join me in Le Cannet on the Côte d’Azur for a Spring Painting and Sketching Workshop. This will be a four night, five day trip from 25 to 29 April 2016 Le Cannet is a quaint, historic village on the outskirts of Cannes, close to all amenities yet a world apart from the crowds and traffic of the Riviera. You can stroll the town, sip a coffee or glass of wine on the Place Bellevue, or take a 10 minute bus ride into Cannes for shopping and sightseeing. A frequent rail service from Cannes…

Winter Sea

Winter has arrived on the Côte d’Azur. Grey skies and a damp chill in the air. For the first time this year I’ve moved my easel indoors from the terrace to the comfort of a warm room, music playing, mugs of ginger tea on hand and mince pies in the oven.  My painting matches  the mood of the season, a muted palette of soft grey tones.  A few strokes of oil pastel on the surface of the acrylic painting enliven the distant glitter on the sea, the sunlit edge of the cloud, the golden light of the cresting wave.  A…

Cill Rialaig Artist Residency

Cill Rialaig Artist Retreat, a restored famine village on the edge of the Atlantic in Ballinskelligs, Co Kerry offers a unique environment for artists in search of peace, space and solitude. I was very fortunate to be awarded a residency here in the winter of 2009, and again in the summer of 2010, resulting in an exhibition in the Origin Gallery, Dublin. I was deeply honoured to have my favourite Irish traditional singer and musician Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh of Altan open the show. This is the music that surrounds and inspires me while I paint, stirring, settling, soothing and uplifting,…

Seasons of the Sea

Seasons of the Sea, solo exhibition, Leinster Gallery Dublin 2008 Images and artist introduction from exhibition catalogue: There is a special energy present where the dual forces of land and sea collide.  The ocean unleashes it’s most dynamic power against the resistance of rock and earth. This meeting point has always held a profound resonance for me and has led me for a long time to seek out the freedom and solitude of wild places. I have found particular inspiration for my work in the remoteness and raw beauty of the wild Atlantic seaboard of the west of Ireland. The subject…