Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Archive for February, 2016

Irish Landscape photography, a few miles from home

The Mountain of Slievenamon  County Tipperary Ireland Nigel Borrington

The Mountain of Slievenamon
County Tipperary
Nigel Borrington

Irish landscapes – Kilkenny , an evening in early springtime

Irish Landscapes Early Springtime  Kilkenny Nigel Borrington

Irish Landscapes
Early Springtime
Nigel Borrington

The last of today’s sunlight was just perfect ….

This evening I took a walk along some of our local lanes , up in the hills near the village of Windgap, Kilkenny. The sun hung low in the sky an hour before sunset and filled the fields with vivid greens and long shadows from the hedgerow trees, just such a wonderful sense of early springtime which is just around the corner now, you can feel it just waiting to burst through…..

This is the best time of year with so many great months ahead of us ……

Irish Kilkenny Landscape Photography evening light Nigel Borrington 02

The Train to Santa Marinella

Santa Marinella 1

On a recent holiday to Italy we took a train from Rome to the coastal town of Santa Marinella. From Termini station in Rome this is about a 45min trip through the country north west of the capital city.

The train Station at Santa Marinella is located in the side streets of the town but you only have to walk out of the station and turn right and you are looking down the street towards the beach.

As you can see from the pictures I took around the beach area it’s is a very well kept town and beaches, this was a winters day in December 2015 so there was very few people around however because its close to Rome I can imaging in the summer it would be much busier.

If you are in Rome for a Holiday and want to get out of the city for a while then this is a great place to visit, for lunch and coffee with a view of a sea front.

Santa Marinella 2

Santa Marinella 4

Santa Marinella 5

Santa Marinella 3

Snowy mountain peaks, Nire Valley, Co.Waterford

snowly mountain 2

Following on from my last two posts relating to getting to know a pc Art based application called mypaint, I spent yesterday evening working on some quick landscape sketches of the Nire Valley in county Waterford

I am starting to feel a little more confident with the available brushes, learning just how best to make use of some of them along with using layers to help build up a painting. As with any method of producing art work, I guess the best way to learn is to keep producing image’s, so I hope to keep working on as many paintings as possible.

Irish Landscapes – Mount Juliet Estate, Co.Kilkenny

Irish Landscapes Mount Juliet Estate county Kilkenny Nigel Borrington

Irish Landscapes
Mount Juliet Estate
county Kilkenny
Nigel Borrington

Mount Juliet was built in 1757 by the Earl of Carrick in compliment to his wife, Lady Juliana (Juliet). This estate has very strong Norman associations and in particular with the great Butler family.

Mount Juliet Estate House Kilkenny Nigel Borrintgon

The estate was originally two separate estates called Walton’s Grove and Ballylinch. The Waltons were the owners until 1653 when they were dispossessed by Oliver Cromwell. It later fell into the hands of King James II. It was then sold to a Mr Sweet, followed by a Mr Kendal who changed it’s name to ‘Kendal’s Grove’ in 1719. Mr Kendal left the entire property to the local Rev. Bushe who retrieved an important portfolio for him after being ‘mugged’ by a highway!

Mount Juliet Estate golf Kilkenny Nigel Borrintgon

Rev. Bushe was wildly extravagant, ran up enormous debts and eventually sold the estate to his neighbour, the Earl of Carrick. It remained in this family from the 1750s until 1914, when the present Earl sold the estate to the McCalmont family who lived here until quite recently.

Mount Juliet Estate river Kilkenny Nigel Borrintgon

Mount Juliet Estate Stud Kilkenny Nigel Borrintgon

The Sheep Under the Snow by William Henry Gill

The Sheep Under the Snow by William Henry Gill Irish Landscapes Nigel Borrington

The Sheep Under the Snow
by William Henry Gill
Irish Landscapes
Nigel Borrington

The Sheep Under the Snow
by William Henry Gill

The snow’s on the mountains,
The snow’s in the gill,
My sheep they have wandered
All over the hill;
Uprise then, my shepherds,
With haste let us go
Where my sheep are all buried
Deep under the snow.

The dogs in the haggard
Are barking aloud,
At the moon, as she struggles
From under the cloud.
Uprise then, my shepherds,
With haste let us go
Where my sheep are all buried
Deep under the snow.

Snow and Mountain sheep Nigel Borrington

Take staves, and take lanterns,
Put on your carranes;
We’ll hunt on the mountains,
We’ll hunt in the plains.
Uprise then, my shepherds,
With haste let us go
Where my sheep are all buried
Deep under the snow.

Then up rose those shepherds,
With haste they did go
Where the sheep lay all buried
Deep under the snow;
They sought them with sorrow,
They sought them with dread,
And they found them at last;—
But the sheep were all dead!

Painted Skys – MyPaint

Painted Skys Nigel Borrington 1

Painted Skys Nigel Borrington 2

Painting Skys – MyPaint

Earlier this week I posted about MyPaint a Windows and Linux application used to produce ( Art work , digital Paintings and Graphic Designs)

Since then I have been able to spend a little time using this application to paint some sky’s using some photographs as source material. I feel that its always a good idea to practice areas of a painting and sky’s are great fun to work on by themselves.

MyPaint has a full selection of artists brushes available that are capable of reproducing such painting styles as (oil, Acrilic and watercolour), I have found the watercolour brushes and tools such as the sponge very flexible, especially when you want to blend areas of a painting together and produce some soft area.



Another area I have worked with is the colour palettes, there are many great palettes available as standard in MyPaint, I am however more use to working with artist colours from a tube and wanted to recreate some of these colours digitally.

So by downloading the Winsor & Newton Artists colours palette as a tiff file and then creating my own palette by using the colour eye proper selection tool and the tiff file I have now produced a palette that matches the one I am a little more use to working with. This palette is only a starting point and I can ether edit or added to it as needed.

As for mixing colours using this palette as a starting point, I am experimenting with the available scratch pad window along with the palette knife and smudge tools to see just how well colours can be mixed.



When President Kennedy visited Ireland in 1963 – Kennedy Homestead, Co.Wexford

Kennedy Homestead Co, Wexford Nigel Borrington

Kennedy Homestead
Co, Wexford
Nigel Borrington

This very modest and humble farm yard and surrounding buildings, Located at ( Dunganstown, New Ross, Co. Wexford, Ireland ) is the birthplace of President John F. Kennedy’s great-grandfather Patrick Kennedy.

So it was that back in June 1963, the President of the USA decided that it was high time to take a visit to his grandfathers home. The Presidents visit to Ireland included these very key moments, in the visit to the family Homestead, drinking a cup of tea and enjoying some sandwiches with his Irish cousins.

In the years that followed his visit the family home has been turned into an equally modest but great exhibition centre, with a new building that contains many great photos and films relating to JFK and his family history.

It is hard to escape the ironic fact that while this was a very successful attempt to catch up with his own family and its history, by taking a few moments here – that he himself described as “The best moments of his life”, the visit took place only weeks before his own death in Dallas on the 22nd of November 1963.

His parting words to his Irish cousins, related to the fact that he understood very well that they may have found it very disruptive, the worlds media arriving in their small farm yard, so while he made a promised to revisit, he also promised that it would only be every ten years or so, clearly however this was to be his first and very last visit with them ……


Kennedy Homestead Nigel Borrington 2

Kennedy Homestead Nigel Borrington 3

Kennedy Homestead Nigel Borrington 5

Kennedy Homestead Nigel Borrington 6

Kennedy Homestead Nigel Borrington 7

Kennedy Homestead Nigel Borrington 8

Kennedy Homestead Nigel Borrington 4

Glacier, A poem by Christos Andreas Kourtis Nov 30, 2013

Killary Harbour/An Caoláire Rua Irish Landscape  Nigel Borrington

Killary Harbour/An Caoláire Rua
Irish Landscape
Nigel Borrington

Killary Harbour/An Caoláire Rua is a fjord located in the west of Ireland in the heart of Connemara which forms a natural border between counties Galway and Mayo. It is 16 kilometres long and in the centre over 45 metres deep. It is one of three glacial fjards that exist in Ireland, the others being Lough Swilly and Carlingford Lough.[1]

On its northern shore lies the mountain of Mweelrea, Connacht’s highest mountain, rising to 814 metres. To the south rise the Maumturk Mountains and the Twelve Bens. The area contains some of Ireland’s most awe-inspiring and dramatic scenery.

I visit the Fjord back in January and captures these images, I felt that Christos Andreas Kourtis poem “Glacier” matched the amazing atmosphere here perfectly …..


Christos Andreas Kourtis
Nov 30, 2013

Killary Harbour Nigel Borrington 02

Slowly it slides on sub zero waters
trying to find a pathway to the sea
sheet of pure blue and heaven white
lumbers discreetly for aquiline is quite

From the top of the world
frozen fingers reach down
claws frantic on solid ground

No religion no sage
no saviour just age
and the relentless pull of gravity
will take it from mountain to the sea

This sculptress of valleys and dales
and fjords that can be seen for miles
travels without sound
onward bound

By Christos Andreas Kourtis

Killary Harbour Nigel Borrington 03

Digital painting and artwork with mydraw


During the weekend, I started to use an application called (my-paint), to help with some of the art work that I am starting to work on again.

I first used this application last year and along with a Wacom tablet , I have its great fun to work with.

I love the drawing control the tablet can give, almost as good as using a real pencil or brush and this combined with the pens and brushes available in my-paint, you can make a great start learning line control and layering of both tone and colour.



Viking Dawn – The Boarding Party, a Poem

Viking Dawn 1 Nigel Borrington

The Boarding Party

Their boat turned in towards us
ready to board our vessel
to take us to their island,
a fastness, craggy, bleak, timeless place.

To winter peat fires, gales, darkness,
weird northern tales of gods and trolls,
black nights seared by bright light curtains,
a violent Viking heritage.

Viking Dawn 2 Nigel Borrington

A place where cold sea and ocean
overturn the crippled sea stacks,
our lives in the boarding party’s
hands and our skilful pilot.

Viking Dawn Nigel Borrington

County Kilkenny, Landscapes images from a cycle

County Kilkenny by Cycle 02

Cycling Kilkenny

As the new year began in full, I made the decision to get my cycle back on the road for 2016, I have owned this bike for about 18 years and during that time made some great use of it. Over the last few years however I had been using it less and less, so I guess its time to start some new adventures on it.

I finished getting everything back to a good condition, with a service about two weeks ago and have been taking local trips as often as possible during January.

I feel already that it is great to be out on the open road and its good to be able to just stop where you like and take out the camera to get some images, no need for finding a place to park up and you can stop the moment you see something, anything, you want a picture of.

County Kilkenny by Cycle 04

County Kilkenny by Cycle 06

County Kilkenny by Cycle 03

County Kilkenny by Cycle 01

County Kilkenny by Cycle 05

Monday Poetry : The Rise Of The Blue Swan – andy fardell

The Rise Of The Blue Swan Nature Photography Nigel Borrington

The Rise Of The Blue Swan
Nature Photography
Nigel Borrington

The Rise Of The Blue Swan

He hid in the shadows of his life
For the world hurt him and all that he wanted
A mind shattered into the shards of hurt that burned
His skin at the merest thought

The blue swan laid low
Like a sunset hidden in the midday sun
Or a full moon ready in the depths of the darkest hollow
His time would come
The blossom would break and his beating wings would soon rise
For he was the blue swan
His pen ready yet she was hidden in the clouds of his uncleared mind
A mate for his remainder
Their love
His way

Swan so blue please wake from your bitter
Shine like the kindred spirit you had before the storm
Swan of the day
Love of the night
Your future is waiting
So bright is your fire
The day has come for the blue swan to fly
So beat like the earth on the run
Rise to the mountains
Shout to the sky
Fly ..

andy fardell
Feb 23, 2014