Saturday, 27 July 2019

A change of direction . . . Artists residencies and Festival of Quilts.

 Nicki Heenan painting in my field overlooking Fodra and Ross bays.

 It has taken a while to settle into my new home and area. I have been very happy so far, but have been struggling to find a purpose for my being here. Whilst it is wonderful to live in an area of such outstanding beauty with incredible views, I have had a growing feeling that I need to share it. 
Having an Open Studio every few weeks and doing AirBnb helps . .  but!

 
 My house and studio.

 I met Nicki Heenan last year when she was doing a residency in the Burren. We had been friends on Facebook for a while, but it was so good to actually meet her. Nicki does a residency in Ballinglen, Mayo in Ireland every year as well as exhibiting regularly in Ireland, so I asked if she would like to stay with me for a few days on her way up the coast and throw some ideas around. We both managed to find dates that matched and she arrived this week.

 Nicki mixing her paints.

 I have always loved Nicki's style of painting and the atmospheres she manages to capture. Loop Head is very special place, full of mystery and an ancient energy. I'm sure it must have ley lines running all over it. I wanted to see what Nicki thought about the area and how it compared to other places she paints in Ireland. Nicki is a well known Plein Air painter - painting outdoors - in all weathers. Any artist wanting to paint outdoors in Ireland would need to love painting in every possible type of weather . . .


 Nicki getting stuck in as it started to rain.

 The view over Fodra and Ross bays.

The sun shone too . . .

Nicki in my studio. Her first painting drying on the floor. As Nicki paints in oils, work takes a while to dry.

 As I have various structures on my land as well as my studio, I have enough shelter for artists to work out doors. My studio and shed for neat -ish painters, and a much larger shed for anyone that wants to throw paint around. 
My home is big enough for artists to stay here or they could choose from various accommodation in the area.
So the idea formed - offer artist residencies throughout the year starting in 2020.
Looking further ahead, I can see a Plein Air Painting event happening all over Loop Head in 2021. It's all very exciting. We have the most remarkable scenery, both rural and marine. It will be wonderful to show it off and see how other artists interpret it.

Nicki will be back in August 2020 for a 7 day residency at Sonas Studio.


 ***

I have a small stand at The Festival of Quilts next week. The stand number is QIA29, next to my good friend Susan Chapman. It will be good to be back at the NEC in Birmingham. I am looking forward to catching up with lots of friends and ex students. I am also teaching an academy class on Wednesday. It's going to be full on . . 

I will have some signed and mounted prints of my new 'Harry' hares for sale.

Maybe see you there?

***

I adopted another rescue dog last month. She is a Lurcher/whippet/terrier cross. Or something like that. She is called Fizz, Poppy is still getting used to her. She is used to being the only dog . . . We will get there . .


I shall be posting on the blog more often now I know where I am going. 
It took time, but now everything is falling into place.

x x x

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