In 2011 Stephanie and I went for a walk in the forest at Monasterevin, Co. Kildare, near Moore Abbey. The bluebells were out. This seat invited us to sit down.
Today was one of those recent rare days when there was snow on the ground in Dublin. This greatly restricted traffic and mobility. The LUAS was running and, when I was going home, was jam-packed. I was struggling and stretching to hold-tight to yellow rails and bars. It made me think of a graphic I had done as an entry for the LUAS Art Competition in 2008. Happiness? Yes, but I don’t think I was prepared to admit it just there and then.
This is available as a pdf file: http://www.fun-engineering.net/sonas.pdf
Recently two of my nieces, aged 5 and 7, and I (aged 57) decided to draw a pumpkin with two apples and two plums and then to turn the drawings into paintings. We placed the pumpkin and the four pieces of fruit on the kitchen table. The girls arranged the fruit and we quickly set about making our drawings.
Winetavern Street is a hill that leads from the Liffey to Christchurch Cathedral. It is a wonderful street. My drawing, which is located there, does not do it justice.
My inaugural lecture as a Professor of the Dublin Institute of Technology in September 2008 was the highlight of my career and I spent a lot of time preparing for it. I wanted to refer to Pietro Perugino’s painting of ‘Christ handing over the keys to St. Peter’ from the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican, 1482, and I prepared the illustration as a pencil drawing or study. I had seen and taken photographs of the painting while on a holiday in Rome. I used a straight edge in setting out the square grid base of the scene in perspective, much as I believe the artist and his team must have done. At a later stage I used software to add a small amount of tinting and to superimpose silhouettes of some of the foreground characters of the original painting.
In 1990 Stephanie and I decided we would like a large painting of some sort over the mantlepiece in the sitting room of our new home. We made our own and worked on it together. This was pure DIY—we knew nothing about painting. I worked out the technical details and the artistic concepts (such as they are). We both applied paint to canvas and made paper stencils. Star Flowers, the Beginning, has adorned the chimney breast ever since. Those who visit have always been too polite to pass comment. In all that time it has not had a title. Recently Stephanie proposed ‘The Beginning,’ which I felt was rather soppy and I suggested ‘S-Flowers,’ which would have been rather more technical and the ‘S’ could have stood for various things although, in reality, it was equally soppy.
On 10 July 2010 Stephanie and I visited the Musée Océanographique de Monaco and my understanding was that we were going to see an excellent aquarium—guess who planned the itinerary. The first thing I noticed on entering the building was a display of a large shark in a glass case. I spent some time examining the specimen and appreciating the shark. In my head I could not understand why the head had been pulled up in what seemed an unnatural way. I had heard about the work of Damien Hirst: animals in formaldehyde with axes and that type of thing, but it did not dawn on me that I had been studying an example. I discovered that later.Continue reading
I have completed the painting “Modernité s’Impose.” It measures 35.5 cm × 25.4 cm on a board-backed canvas panel.
This is my impression of a scene in St. Paul de Vence near Nice in France. It is in watercolour on paper, measuring 162mm × 250mm. It is called ‘Galerie.’ While I was still at Nice I began laying it out in pencil from a photo I took and printed at 15cm × 10cm.