Well here it is! My first ever attempt at blogging and I have to say the prospect of writing anything at all is daunting; no doubt after publishing this I’ll be told to stick to the day job! I hadn’t a clue what to write so my wife, Susan, sat me down and asked me to tell her why I like to draw, what inspires me and how I manage to capture the pathos and characteristics of a scene. It was a good start and suddenly, out of nowhere, it all came pouring out; I even surprised myself!
So here goes! Firstly, I am not a very outgoing person (as I am sure a lot of my friends could tell you) and I am quite happy to head off somewhere on my own, at my own pace and with my own thoughts around me. I like to think I am quite at one with nature and I enjoy the emotions that the scenery in Ireland evokes in me. My aim, when I draw, is to capture the vitality inherent in a scene and to try to portray the part every little detail plays in its makeup. I have respect for every sentient being because I believe that we would not survive in this world without even the smallest and most insignificant cog in the wheel of life.
I love textures and the essential being of things. If I draw a picture of an animal I have to actually go out there to try and get a feel of its true characteristics and individuality. When we made our first video, which features Brona the cow, I went off for the afternoon and searched the fields until I found one friendly enough to come over to me for a chat. She was more interested in how the camera would taste and nudging me with her big head while I tried to take her photograph. Definitely a cow with a sense of humour and not a bit camera shy! Trees are the same; each one has its own distinctiveness and I could spend hours studying them in detail before I actually put pen to paper. I like to stand in the middle of a field and watch how the light catches the waving grasses and transforms them into a myriad of tonal values. Because of the Irish weather – the bane of the Irish Artist (but then it wouldn’t be the Emerald Isle without a bit of rain) – I often have to finish off my pictures indoors but I think that if I wasn’t able to get out there and feel the energy of the place first, the finished drawing would lack the true essence of the scene.
I like to live in the moment. I am not an historical person per se but I do appreciate history for what it is. I appreciate the endeavours of the people who came before me and try to portray the stamp they have left on a place. My visit to the famine road in Doolough in County Mayo was very thought provoking. I tried to lay the bones of the people who died on that road to rest, ameliorating the awfulness of what occurred there by depicting a scene of peace and serenity. I did not suffer but I felt the suffering of those who had died on that road.
I have been drawing all my life and I cannot imagine what it would be like if I did not have that outlet for my emotions. People often ask me how I do it and my stat reply is that everyone can draw, it’s just a matter of drawing it out of themselves, if you’ll pardon the pun! I have shown people who have never even attempted a picture how to draw and sent them home an hour or so later with a smile on their faces and something to hang on their walls. It can be done, so give it a go and enjoy!
Well I think you’ve heard enough about me for now! I hope you like my drawings and get a chance to watch the video. I’m back off to the drawing board now where I truly belong!
Thank you for reading this,