Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Oil painting on canvas: Aventine Wedding

Naturally Rome is very popular for weddings, and in the week we were there we saw wedding parties every day. This couple were up in the park on the Aventine Hill getting their photos done. I love the visual dynamic of the third person in the painting, and the things it suggests.

This painting was in the Salon de Chiarraí in Tralee, County Kerry, along with two others, and in the Blueberry Gallery in Limerick city. Thanks to all at the Samhlaíocht Gallery and Maurice Clarke at the Blueberry!

It's now back home ..... and beautifully presented in a box frame.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

In Petrin Park

I totally forgot this one, which I made in 2005 after a visit to Prague.

I would sell this. Will hear all offers. It's 90x60 centimetres and an oil on canvas.

It's very odd, though, what people see in paintings. My mother saw this, and the first thing she said was 'that woman in the picture, she looks EXACTLY like your father's mother'. Now I never knew my grandmother, she died when I was very young, so I thought this was an interesting coincidence.

Of the Prague series of paintings I've made, I think this one is probably my personal favourite.

Friday, December 4, 2009

All-Ireland Final

I think it was a hurling final between Kilkenny and Limerick, but I can't remember. I just remember that the city council put up giant screens on O'Connell Street in Limerick, for local fans that couldn't go to the match. And the vibe in the street was great too. I got lots and lively drawings that day.

This picture is also on my Flickr.com page, and has been invited into various groups. Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/26811601@N03/

It's a watercolour on paper, about A3 size. I would sell this to any interested party, make me an offer.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Shopping Centre in Lisbon

'Scratched' sketch - acrylic paint and metallic finish on board with figures 'scratched' out. A kind of experiment, I suppose.

In my own collection, am thinking of getting it framed.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hall of Mirrors, Caloptric Chamber, Mirror Maze in Petrin Park

My latest oil painting - the distorting mirrors made a lot of people laugh.

It comes with a frame, so it looks very well indeed. With the frame, it's about 4 foot wide. I would sell it, so make me an offer.

Addition: Very happy to have been invited to submit this for a company the does online maps for tourists. Via Flickr.com.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

San Gimignanese

This gentleman, a native of the town of San Gimigniano in Tuscany, Italy, very obligingly sat and let me draw him, so I got a fairly detailed drawing in about 10 minutes or so. Then he helped me spell 'San Gimignanese'. I painted it much later.

It's a very touristy town, and in Italian touristy towns, anyone who runs an eaterie of any kind does not allow people to wander in and use the toilet - they insist that you buy something. We were aware of this, and went to a particular place that was run by what we in Ireland would refer to as two 'man oul wans' - older ladies who were rather ferocious in their insistence that customers only could avail of the facilities. I ordered two coffees and two pieces of the local delicacy 'panforte', a very heavy fruit and nut cake that is practically a food group all on its own, then sat down to watch big strong tourists being worked on by those two canny battleaxes. "If you want to use the toilet, you have to buy a tea or a coffee or something" was their cry. However, the floor show was free!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Map-reading in Siena

I think I might have already mentioned the mediaeval city of Siena in Italy and its wonderful shell-shaped 'campo' in previous postings. Well, if you like sketching people, there are very few places as good as this for the job. The curve of the ground - which I believe is artificial, thus actually built this way - allows for people to lie and rest in the sun, and while they are just chillin', I can sketch them. It's brilliant.

Yes, some notice and comment. Most people don't mind. I make a point of explaining myself to parents though - wouldn't want them to worry.

This has gone to the US with several other water colours to help raise funds for a charity. More about that later.

Friday, September 18, 2009

81 different countries ..... and Girls in Blue

Uruguay was the most recent new country to visit this blog, and the Uruguay flag has a lot of blue in it, so I thought I'd upload this image, entitled Girls in Blue. One of my degree show pieces, it was sold to an American lady who lives in Ireland, and is I believe in County Wicklow at the moment.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

La Tortura

You can't really see it here, but the text on the figure in front is a translation of the Spanish text of a song by the incredibly talented Columbian singer, songwriter, musician and all-round rock chick Shakira, whose work I admire a lot. It's oil paint with a hint of gold metallic finish and some brocade also.

90x30cm, oil on canvas and other media.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Family Constitutional

A solicitor I know here in Ireland said that she would refer to the people in this painting as a 'constitutional family - it's painted from memory, a family that live on the same road go out walking every evening, for the constitution, by which I mean for their health and well-being. But I like how she had a slightly different take on it!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The whole world is looking at my art!

I've just checked, 77 different countries have visited this blog so far!

AND ... I've got followers!

Thank you, thank you ......

Still in my own collection .... Company of Absence II

In Company of Absence II

This is the 'middle' bit of the triptych, the first bit I posted here some time ago. The title is from the poem by Michael Coady, and I found it very moving for personal reasons. In addition to being a triptych, the painting is also a composite, figures in a kind of bland landscape, on the horizon are tiny tiny figures on horseback, which you don't see in the reproduction.

In fact, this is not a great reproduction. I am thinking of restretching the canvases, which is a big job .... so I'm not keen on doing it.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Giant Green Head

I'd forgotten about this one. It was chosen for a group exhibition in the Hunt Museum, Limerick, in 2003, and is a depiction of a sculptured head that was part of the Hunt Museum's own collection, and was sold to an Irish collector a few months later. I always refer to it as my Giant Green Head, but its official name is Study of a Sculptured Head.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Texting on the Cliffs of Moher

I can't remember the title I had for this painting. I did it for a special exhibition in memory of a really lovely person, Philip Hennebry.

In June 2006, Philip had just finished the art teacher training course at Limerick School of Art and Design, and attended the class party before they all parted ways to go on with their lives. He had had a lot to drink, and after the party left to go to his girlfriend's to crash. Only he never got there - on the way, he had to walk down a canal path, and as he was very drunk, it was believed that he fell into the water and couldn't get out, and drowned. Everyone who knew him was devastated.

Philip was one of these rare people with the gift of kindness, and was friendly to everyone. He didn't have time for bitching and gossip, and certainly wasn't interested in scoring points at anyone else's expense. He also had the most marvellous sense of humour and was a gifted artist. At his funeral his brother said that Philip would have made a marvellous teacher - I think Philip WAS a marvellous teacher, he taught by example. His former classmates organised an exhibition in his memory in February 2008, and started a MySpace group called the Green Dot.

Taken far too young when full of promise, but will not be forgotten.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Now got 4 new little ones out being painted. Nearly finished with one of them, just got to work on the hands of one of the figures.

Also have one of those fake wooden hands, and find myself thinking about drawing and painting that .... hm.

Have decided to bring out some of my landscapes to show to a gallery, I do have older ones and they still look good, and they are taking up space ... so I'll show her some of them and see what she thinks.

I also need to check out a new gallery in a village not too far from here, I want to see whether these new entrepreneurs are mad or brave or both.

Great weather outside today. We are thinking of going to Ballybunion tomorrow afternoon after work, the evenings are getting so long and the weather has been so nice. Must bring things to draw with.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Oldest Rock

Oldest Rock (in Europe), Dunquin, County Kerry.

I did this the summer before I went to art college, so in 2001.

Starbucks, Passeig de Gracia

Pen drawing on watercolour paper

I enjoyed my second visit to Barcelona far more than the first one.

Drawings and a reason to mark an occasion

Woman on the Lido, pencil/paper, 2008

I came online this morning with the intention of marking the occasion of having visitors from 60 different countries on this site, only to discover that people from 62 different countries have been! Thank you all, and thank you also to Flickr.com, a website that has given me lots of ideas and even more exposure.

I have 3 canvases outside being worked on, and my other illustration project also - but I haven't really made as much headway on that as I would like.

However, I thought I'd upload some more images .....

Thursday, April 2, 2009

If anyone is interested ....

... I'm open to offers on any of the pictures shown here that are not sold. Send me an e-mail: orla99913@yahoo.co.uk.

I hate to do it, but there it is ......

Monday, March 30, 2009

A note on showing nudes

Some of my earlier posts include studies of nudes, which is part of every artist's repetoire. Visitors to this blog have indicated that the find them a little much, so I do like to warn people beforehand - but then again, you see worse in any of the great Art Museum Institutions anywhere in the world. Studies of nudes are not pornography, they are merely an attempt to study human anatomy without clothing, in its purest form, and to capture the light on the skin, and to attempt to render the artist's own viewpoint, a wonderful challenge when it comes to foreshortening.

Dun na Greine: French and Italian

I must get in touch with a woman I used to work for and find out the address of the nice Italian family of the two girls in their tracksuits in the front.

EDIT: This is now framed and looks great.

Cliffs of Moher: Rummaging SOLD!

SOLD in March 2015.

Acrylic paint on board. One of those ones I did in just over an hour.

Edit: To be exhibited in the Samhlaíocht Salon, in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland, along with 2 other paintings.

Such a popular painting - it was requested for an art fair that took place in Limerick, Ireland, in early February, and a gallery in Dublin wants me to bring it to them along with some other works.

Update: It was also in the Blueberry Gallery in Limerick city for the best part of two years, simply because Maurice the owner loves it so much and kept persuading me to leave it behind every time I stopped by with stuff to frame or to take it away!!!! But it's home again ... and every time I see it I get twitchy fingers and want to start painting again. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


People from 50 different countries have now visited this blog!

Thanks to all who stopped by. I'd love it if you would leave a comment .... or just said hello.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Sometimes a face can haunt you .... this girl was photographed in the paper, and I couldn't forget the image, so I made a painting of it. It was subsequently sold, and to my surprise I later discovered it had been acquired by an upmarket restaurant and hotel not far from where I now live.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Girl's Arm, 2007

Simple, lovely, flowing lines ..... They were already there, I just drew them.

And in early 2010, I added colour: