Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Awesome Death and the Maiden USB Drives!

 Do you ever find that you can't locate your USB flash drives?
USB Memory Direct have a great solution, a personalized business card that houses a USB flash drive.
I have just taken delivery of some printed with my Death and the Maiden poster image and I can tell you that the quality is excellent.
I will be giving three of these away on my FaceBook page next week.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Four Day Drawing and Painting Workshop in Belfast

It has been a long summer hasn’t it?
If you are itching to get stuck into some serious drawing and painting come and join Julie Douglas and me for our four day drawing and oil painting workshop in Belfast.
Friday 28th - Monday 31st August

We will be working together to provide you with a rounded learning experience, which will include using charcoal, pencil and oils. Each day is structured, with achievable goals, pushing your skills and confidence up.
The course will include colour mixing, portrait painting and life drawing, with demonstrations each day.

The cost is £425 which includes refreshments and lunch. Students will bring their own materials and a list will be provided nearer the time.
I am really looking forward to it.
Working with Julie is always great fun, and we will also get through a lot of great work!
For details and booking please email julie@juliedouglas.co.uk

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Progress on the mosaic for the Bascilica at the National Shrine at Knock

I have just returned from another trip to Spilimbergo in northern Italy to see how the work is going on the big mosaic that I have designed for the Bascilica at the National Shrine in the village of Knock, County Mayo. 
The image will show a representation of the Knock apparition of 1879. 

My design is being interpreted in mosaic by the exceptionally talented people at Travisanutto mosaics.
They are used to creating mosaics as large as this one, (It will measure more than 14 metres square) but I'm pretty sure this will be the largest ever mosaic in Ireland.
 Here are a few photos showing the artisans at work.
A sea of smalti. Viewing some of the larger areas that have been completed.

You can just see my painting in the background.
This shows how the little pieces of coloured glass (smalti) and marble combine like pixels on a screen to create an image
I can't show too much of the mosaic in progress, but It was such a moving experience for me to see the wonderful work they are doing at Travisanutto that I have to share  a detail of one of the foreground figures.
It amazes me how the artisans (they insist on not being called artists) can create such wonderful effects with combinations of stone and glass.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Once Upon A Place

Artists often borrow from or pay homage to the work of other artists. 
Some artists also steal other people's ideas simply because they haven't the skill or imagination to originate their own.
I hope it is always clear when I make a visual quote from another person's work that it is done with the utmost respect for the original artist, and for valid artistic reasons. 
Here, for example, is the cover of  Once Upon A Place, edited by Laureate na nÓg, Eoin Colfer and illustrated by me.
Most of you will have noticed that the figure on the rocky foreground, is a visu
al quotation from the best known painting by Caspar David Friedrich, "The Wanderer Above the Mists".
The stories in the anthology, Once Upon A Place, are set not only in different places, but also in different periods. I hoped to hint at that variety by showing a boy wearing modern dress but posed as in Friedrich’s two hundred year old iconic image. It was also my way of my way of saluting one of my favourite paintings.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Progress Report On My Mosaic For The Bascilica in Knock, County Mayo

I spent a good part of last year making a design for what will be a huge mosaic on the wall behind the altar of the newly refurbished Bascilica of Our Lady of Knock.
I took the design over to Travisanutto Mosaics in Spilimbergo, Italy a few months ago and the experts there have been enlaging my design up to the full 14 metre square size.
I was back in Spilimbergo this week to see how the scaling up was going.
In the drawing room at Travisanutto we are starting to get a sense of the scale of the mosaic by looking at the cartoon in sections that show the full width.
Ginnasio was good enough to pose for me when I needed to fix up this character's clasped hands.
Here's a close-up of one of the very first areas of completed mosaic.
Fabrizio and his team (including Giovanni, in the foreground, and Giannasio in the distance) laid out the cartoon at the town gymnasium so we could view the full size image for the first time.

Having the "thumbs up" for the full size cartoon the team at Travisanutto are now ready to start making the mosaic itself. 

Here are some of the smalti (coloured glass pieces sourced in Murano, Venice) to be used in the foreground of our mosaic.
The team at Travisanutto will be working hard to complete the mosaic in time to transport it to Ireland in February next year.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Great Portraiture Workshop

There was a great atmosphere at my workshop on Saturday.
Our model, Michael, has a very characterful face and very striking colouring. 
He brought out the best in all of the artists there on the day.

My next portrait workshop at Kennedy Art will be on the 4th of July, but I am doing one at the lovely Corn Loft Centre in Wexford before that on 20th June.
I look forward to painting with some of you soon.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Life Drawings at the United Arts Club

    I am delighted to have a few life drawings in Brian's latest group show at the United Arts Club opening later tonight the 7th May.
    I used charcoal in the top pic and wax crayon and chalk on the lower...both were drawn on Ingres paper.