Saturday, March 15, 2008
St. Patrick's Day
November Morning: Ireland
Oil on Canvas 20" X 16"
This is dedicated to all of you who value this "holiday." I have visited Ireland several times, sometimes on business and once for a vacation. Enough has been written about Ireland that I need not get into a lengthy description of my impressions of the place, but obviously they are strong enough to cause me to come back to the subject time and again in my painting.
On the last trip we took a bus tour around the country in November--not the greatest time of year, but not the worst, either. In the west of the country we were making our way to the Ring of Kerry area on a gloomy, cold, wet day. We stopped at a store on a country road that sold woolen goods and had a coffee shop within. Sounded just right. In the rear of the store was a big picture window looking out on this view. All of a sudden the sun came out in a blaze of light illuminating the scene. I quick ran back to the bus, got my camera and raced around to the back of the building and took a picture. In a moment the sun was gone and so was this vision. What a gift! I've painted the scene several times and sold a couple of them, but I came back to it a couple of months ago to do it again. Each time, the contrasts are greater, the colors more brilliant...and the story? Well, it is Ireland after all.
One of the other great pleasures of Ireland are its pubs--great atmosphere, really comfortable food and the drink? Ahh... Guiness is the most popular I think, but my favorite is Smithwicks (pronounced Smiddicks). It's a brown ale, not as heavy as Guiness and it just slides down your throat. My wife accused me on the last trip that I went just because I wanted some Smiddicks (since I couldn't get it in the U.S.). That changed a couple of years ago and now Smiddicks is widely available in pubs and similar establishments here. It is also bottled now, but I strongly recommend draft--huge difference. You'll thank me forever.