thoughts from Ireland
I find it easy to let my eyes glaze over in familiar surroundings, to allow my observation muscles to slacken, to stop noticing and marveling and wondering. Travel anywhere, but especially in another country-- where even the smallest details (sidewalk pavement, breakfast cereals, electrical plugs) are different-- sharpens my senses. Not to mention the more striking differences of language, culture, landscape and history that constantly stimulate awareness and comment.
Here in Ireland I am delighting in the weather, which can change dramatically in ten minutes, the landscape--at the same time both tidy and wild, with ancient undertones, the Irish accent (which shifts noticeably from area to area) and expressions. (Yesterday an artist here said "...and then I just lost the plot" about a situation that was making no sense to her--I loved that!) It is the prehistoric sites such as Loughcrew, though, that have most intrigued me and are providing inspiration as I begin work in the studio at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre
, where I will be in residency until October 3rd.
Below are a few photos of the cairns at Loughcrew
, taken a the day before coming to Tyrone Guthrie. Another major prehistoric site, Newgrange
, is not far from Tyrone Guthrie-- Janice Mason Steeves
(an artist friend who is also here in residence) and I hope to find a way to visit there soon.
As always, my work here is inspired by a mix of visual responses, the painting process itself, memories and other wandering thoughts. The extent to which the surroundings of the Irish countryside and the prehistoric monuments will contribute to the work is yet to be seen, but I feel it inside--it will no doubt come through. Painting went very well on my first full studio day (yesterday) and I'm about to head off to the studio (conveniently located just a few steps from where I'm staying) for day #2. Tonight will be a dinner with the other artists, writers and musicians in residence. The Tyrone Guthrie Centre is a beautiful place and full of promise.