The Last afternoon of March 2016
This afternoon is bright and sunny
between the mountain clouds,
Springtime is in the air,
The weather is mild on this late March afternoon,
the breath of April is rising fast,
I am alone on the quiet mountain top
looking down on an old untried illusion
Some shadows sit on the green landscape below
memory’s rise from their sleep,
The crows fly above while others rest
on the stone walls of this mountain side,
In the air as hunting birds call
the fast hover of the kestrels wings.
Knockroe, county Kilkenny
Kilmartin, Argyll, Scotland
A link through time
These two mystical European locations stand two hundred and fifteen miles apart, Knockroe is in county Kilkenny republic of Ireland and the other, Kilmartin is in Argyll, Scotland, about 15 miles south of Oban.
The reason I displaying these images in the same post is simply to highlight something that only occurred to me when one year I happened to visit them only weeks apart. The fact is you could view these two sites individually and study them by themselves all you like, however you would be missing something very important!
The people’s who created these sites shared the same time period and clearly the same beliefs and culture. They lived in Europe both in Ireland and Scotland located in the Geographical British Isles; however some 5500 years ago they knew nothing of recent nations and nationalism , of national borders or even the concept of a European nation.
Both monuments are passage tombs, placed for their dead to be remembered, they both also contain elements for marking the passing of the year and its seasons, by measuring the movement of the sun and the moon.
The structures in these places along with the cultural function they served is identical, to me this shows that these people traveled the seas and not only shared goods and beliefs they in fact where the same peoples. They did not just get on with each other through trade they were each other as brother and sister, mother and father, family and friends.
When they knew nothing of modern boundaries and divisions, what else could they be?
These same people who traveled from one place to another in order to expand their options and abilities did not in any shape or form see themselves as English or Scottish or Irish they were family to each other and nothing more or less!
Easter in Ireland is clearly these days viewed as a religious time in the sense of modern Christianity, however Easter or Ēostre, as a festival has been celebrated for many thousands of years before our current state accepted beliefs….
During last weekend we visited the hill of Tara one of Europe’s and Ireland’s oldest pagan monuments, It was a great time of the year to visit as the air was full of springtime with a feeling that summer was only just around the corner,warm days and long evenings. This is the exact feeling that surrounds the beliefs of the people who made this place so Sacred to their Pagan beliefs in the elements of nature and the seasons. I am never sure if these belief’s can fully be called a religion in modern terms, feeling that they were more a philosophy towards the world that they lived in and cared for very much!
here is a little about the long history of the hill of Tara:
Teamhair is the ancient name given the Hill of Tara. One of the most religious and revered sites in all of Ireland, it was from this hill that the Ard Rí, the High Kings of Ireland, ruled the land. The place was sometimes called Druim Caín (the beautiful ridge) or Druim na Descan (the ridge of the outlook). When walking the path that leads to the top of the hill today, one can easily appreciate why. The long gradual slope eventually flattens at the top for an amazing view of the broad plains in the Boyne and Blackwater valleys below. All that remains of the complex is a series of grass-covered mounds and earthworks that say little about the 5,000 years of habitation this hill has seen.
Most historians, including Biblical scholars, agree that Easter was originally a pagan festival. According to the New Unger’s Bible Dictionary says: “The word Easter is of Saxon origin, Eastra, the goddess of spring, in whose honour sacrifices were offered about Passover time each year. By the eighth century Anglo–Saxons had adopted the name to designate the celebration of Christ’s resurrection.” However, even among those who maintain that Easter has pagan roots, there is some disagreement over which pagan tradition the festival emerged from. Here we will explore some of those perspectives.
Resurrection as a symbol of rebirth
One theory that has been put forward is that the Easter story of crucifixion and resurrection is symbolic of rebirth and renewal and retells the cycle of the seasons, the death and return of the sun.
Hill of Tara Gallery
Is a design engraved on one of the stones inside the middle chamber of Newgrange is probably the most famous Irish Megalithic symbol.
It is often referred to as a Celtic design, but it was carved at least 2500 years before the Celts reached Ireland. At 12 inches in diameter the tri-spiral design is relatively small in size, less than one-third the size of the tri-spiral design on the entrance stone.
Believed by many people to be an ancient symbol of pre-Celtic and Celtic beliefs, the triple spiral appears in various forms in pre-Celtic and Celtic art, with the earliest examples having been carved on pre-Celtic stone monuments, and later examples found in the Celtic Christian illuminated manuscripts of Insular art. The triple spiral was possibly the precursor to the later triskele design found in the manuscripts.
The megalithic tomb of Newgrange in Ireland features several examples of the triple spiral as petroglyphs. These particular examples do not feature three-fold symmetry of later renderings but feature two intertwined spirals with the third originating from the indentation between the other two. This particular feature is rendered with high fidelity in each instance at Newgrange and would suggest a non-tripartite interpretation. One possible interpretation could be the union of male and female (the two entwined spirals) to engender an offspring though how this relates to its setting in a tomb begs explanation.
Last night in order to highlight the uniqueness of the Newgrange spirals, I produced the following versions by tracing over a photograph I took of the original, thus producing different drawings using both the positive an negative spaces of the relief.
You can read into these your own interpretation of the original meaning ….
Happy Spring Equinox 2016 to everyone …..
Yesterday Marked the start of spring time, so over the weekend I spent sometime visiting both Newgrange and the Hill of Tara. Both perfect locations to gain a little understanding as to how our European pagan ancestors both recorded and celebrated the movement of the sun and universe they lived in.
It was exactly, one quarter of a year that had passed since the shortest day of the year, the day when at Newgrange the rising sun can be seen to travel all the way into the passage tomb at the centre of the monument.
The Spring equinox 2016 celebrating
Yesterday marked the arrival of spring, the date of the vernal equinox, or spring equinox as it is known in the northern hemisphere. Spring equinox. During an equinox, the Earth’s North and South poles are not tilted toward or away from the sun. (Ref :Wikipedia)
This means the sun will rise exactly in the east and travel through the sky for 12 hours before setting in the exactly west.An equinox happens twice a year around March 20 and September 22 when the Earth’s equator passes through the centre of the sun.
For those in the southern hemisphere, this time is the autumnal equinox that is taking people into their winter.
Druids and Pagans like to gather at Stonehenge early in the morning to mark the Spring Equinox, to see the sunrise above the stones.
The Pagans consider this is the time of the ancient Saxon goddess, Eostre, who stands for new beginnings and fertility. This is why she is symbolized by eggs (new life) and rabbits/hares (fertility). Her name is also where we get the female hormone, oestrogen.
From Eostre also come the names “Easter” and “Esther” the Queen of the Jews, heroine of the annual celebration of Purim which was held on March 15. At Easter, Christians rejoice over the resurrection of Jesus after his death, mimicking the rebirth of nature in spring after the long death of winter.
It is also a time to cleanse your immune system with natural remedies. In Wiltshire and other parts of rural Britain it used to be tradition to drink dandelion and burdock cordials as the herbs help to cleanse the blood and are a good tonic for the body after a harsh winter.
Newgrange a Gallery
Happy St Patrick’s day everyone !!!!!
For the last few St Patrick’s day Holidays, I have posted some of my Landscape images from around Ireland , today I want to do the same as I feel that for me today is about celebrating the great landscape’s Ireland has to offer and getting outside to enjoy the real Ireland that surrounds the people who have made it their home.
Ireland: a St, Patrick’s Landscape Gallery
The Wellington Tower Grange Crag, County Tipperary
The Wellington Tower stands on the Crag above Grange, county Tipperary, it was built in 1817 by Sir William Barker Bar to celebrate the Duke of Wellington’s victory over the French at the battle of Waterloo. Today it is nearly two hundred years old and for a long time it has only formed a feature in the loop wall around the forest above the small village of Grange.
However over the last months it has been restored and transformed into a viewing platform as you can see from the images here, it has been amazing to see the work that has been performed to give the tower a new life and a new purpose in life.
The walk to the top of the tower is via a metal spiral staircase with a viewing platform at the top , if you are a little heady with heights its best not to look down through the steps and to just keep going until you get to the top.
Once you are on the platform above and walk to the chest-high wall in front of you the view of county Tipperary below is just amazing. There is a display of all the sights below on a board the looks out and to the distance you can see modern Ireland in it greatness form with its small towns and up to date Wind farms.
Wellington Tower , Grange Crag, Tipperary GALLEY …
My Name Is Gossip
I am a mysterious phenomenon
I am a menace to the society and families
An element of devastation and destruction
People can’t fathom my destructive powers
I thrive on losing or questioning people’s sanity
I hurt without killing
I plant hatred and jealous in people’s heart
I break hearts and ruin lives
I am sly, cunning and malicious
And gather strength with age
The more I am quoted, the more I am believed
I flourish at every level of society
My victims are helpless
They cannot protect themselves against me,
For I have no name, no face
I sneak and sow the seed of doubt in the soil of innocent hearts
to extinguish their joy
I sometimes hide behind a smile,
Or simply behind an innocent tear
Most of the time, I creep and stab from behind
To track me down is impossible
The harder you try, the more elusive I become
I target the vulnerable or the hurt
I simply don’t let happiness chance
I am nobody’s friend
Once I tarnish a reputation it is never the same
The wound I inflict never heals
I overthrow governments and ruin marriages
I destroy careers and cause sleepless nights
I generate suspicion and grief
I make innocent people cry
My name hisses hate
Yes, my name is Gossip
The quiet places in my day ….
Charcoal black tip of arrowhead,
among these ancient, stones – stained red
Heartbeats share rhythms of ghostly drums..
Winds carry haunting, chanting hums
I feel your blood, flow here with mine,
outlasting, even decaying time
I’ve been told the stories, told to you,
I know we’re just spirits, passing through
When thunder, shakes awake the night,
I vision warriors by firelight
Their voices echo, around mountain’s soul,
while moon and stars watch us below
Respect the sky, and mother earth,
borrow the beauty, from time of birth
Then give in death peacefully
yourself, to rest eternally
Among these ancient, stones – stained red,
my mirror reflects traces, of those long………..
I started this week in my blog by saying that I was taking sometime each day to study some of my most loved Artists, I feel that the week has been really valuable to me in this respect and I am very pleased with how it has all worked out. At the same time the week has only scratched the surface of my full aims, being to gain an understanding of how so many great artists have used the landscape of Ireland and the UK in their art work and to define how I can take this as some personal inspiration.
While during the last few years I have taken many more photographs than produced paintings, I have been painting as a form of self-expression for many years. Oddly it was not until I decided to attend art school at Waterford(WIT) that I stopped painting so much, I think many experience this odd effect from current formal art study and art schools.
I don’t want my blog to become completely art and artists based and to move away from my own photography posts, although I personally feel that the two are very closely linked in any-case. So next week I will move a little back towards photographic images, I will however still keep posting some reviews of the artists and art work that I find the most interesting.
Has this week helped to inspired me ? , Absolutely! I feel its time to paint again as well as use my camera !!!
One of these very inspiring artists is Peter Collis the artist I have selected for my Friday Post. I remember visiting the Solomon Gallery, Dublin in 2002 , the first time I got to see any of peters paintings and I very much liked them from the start. I liked his style of painting of the landscapes he painted and very clearly loves, using a limited amount of colours like many artists do, I very much liked the way the movement of his brush can be so clearly viewed in his work, each gesture he made forms a feature in the landscapes he paints and each of these gestures are left alone on the canvas from the very moment they have been made.
I found this great review of Peter in the Irish independent dated 2012 – it says much more Than I can myself !!!
A little about Peter Collis by : Eamon Delaney
A lovely, gentle man’ was how veteran sculptor Imogen Stuart recalled the painter Peter Collis who has passed away at the age of 83. Collis, who was born in England and came to Ireland in 1969, was an acclaimed landscape artist and still life painter who had been a stalwart of the Royal Hibernian Academy. His canvasses are characterised by a powerful and dramatic style under the painterly influence of great masters such as Paul Cezanne, whom he adored, and Maurice de Vlaminck. In contrast to the traditional realistic depictions of the Irish countryside, Collis employed a bold brush and brought a strong expressive energy to his outdoor renderings.
He was particularly fond of Killiney, and its bay, and of the topsy turvy Wicklow countryside. The Sugar Loaf mountain became a familiar motif in his work. He also composed striking still lifes, of groups of green pears and vivid red apples, which evoked a distinctive European quality.
The physical appearance of Peter Collis often belied the rugged intensity of his work, with its rain-drenched hills and wind-bent trees. An unfailingly courteous man, who was widely popular, he wore Savile Row suits and was described by painter Mick O’Dea as possibly “the best dressed artist in the entire Irish arts scene”.
Born in London, he studied drawing and painting at the Epsom College of Art in London between 1949 and 1952. After college, he moved to Ireland where he had discovered a profound connect with the Irish landscape which would shape the course of his painting for the next four decades. Working for the Shell Oil company, Collis would paint in the early mornings from sketches and studies made on sales trips across the country, developing his craft and building a reputation as a painter of exquisite fluency. The critic Desmond McAvock wrote of him: “Like Cezanne he is really more interested in the structure of his scenes than in their transitory appearance . . . he can bind his observation into a cohesive, tightly controlled but always sensitive design.”
According to his longtime companion and fellow painter, John Coyle, Collis “saw things in the Irish countryside which the rest of us might never see”. Being something of an outsider, the Englishman was emboldened by bringing a fresh eye to it all. “He didn’t have the historical or territorial baggage that many Irish would have,” said Coyle, “and saw the landscape for what it was along with the physical, and poetic, possibilities it offered. He pursued the simplification and arrangement of shapes, just like Cezanne.”
In Dublin, Collis was most recently represented by the Solomon Gallery and only last month had a retrospective exhibition in the John Martin Gallery in London. In 1990, he was elected to full membership in the Royal Hibernian Academy and was actively involved in the activities of that body. In 2002 he was conferred a senior member of the Academy. He received many awards, including the Royal Trust Co. Lt. Award in 1975, the Maurice MacGonigal Landscape Prize of 1981 and the James Adam Salesroom Award, RHA of 1999. His paintings are represented in many public collections, including those of AIB, Bank of Ireland, Limerick University, University College Dublin, and the Office of Public Works. His paintings are also owned by many private collections including Bono, Christy Moore, and Lord Puttnam, the English film maker.
He will be missed by the artistic establishment, but also in the context of the wider artistic understanding of the Irish landscape, which he did so much to further. Most especially, of course, he will be missed by his wife Anne, and daughters, Vanessa, Mandy and Kate, as well as grandchildren. He was sadly predeceased by the untimely passing of two of his children, David and Gail. His funeral service was held in the Parish Church, Monkstown (Church of Ireland) followed by burial in Deansgrange cemetery.
I first viewed the brilliant art work of Joash Woodrow in 2005 at the Manchester Art Gallery, I was back in Manchester visiting my sister and went into the city centre for the afternoon. I was not intending to visit the Gallery but it was raining so I wondered inside to see what exhibitions where on display, this was a lucky moment and one I will never forget.
I looked around the galleries permanent exhibitions and then took the stairs to the upper floor for a guest exhibition entitled “Retrospective – Joash Woodrow”, from the very first painting I viewed, I just knew I was going to fall in love with Joash’s drawings and paintings and I have been fascinated with his work and life story ever since.
I love Joash’s work for its very honest style, by this I mean that I feel he used his brush’s and paint’s to capture his world as he found it, there is little to praises or note about how perfect his style of painting or drawing is but so much to fall in love with about how he viewed his surroundings and how well he liked and felt for the people he painted.
This is painting in the RAW, produced by someone who, I feel if you were allowed to get close to him then you would truly like him !!!
About Joash Woodrow, By :Nicholas Usherwood
Joash Woodrow, Reclusive painter whose work provides a significant link between British and European art
The chance discovery in a Harrogate bookshop in 2001, by the painter Christopher P Wood, of six volumes of an engraved Victorian art history, wildly and exuberantly annotated in a series of Picasso-esque drawings and collages by the then completely forgotten painter Joash Woodrow, led directly to the re-emergence of one of the most significant artistic figures in postwar British art. A visit a few days later by the Harrogate dealer Andrew Stewart to a small, semi-detached house in north Leeds, where Woodrow had lived alone for 20 years, uncovered an extraordinary story. The house was filled with some 750 canvases and around 4,000 works on paper, a lifetime’s achievement which a devoted family was none the less contemplating consigning to a skip.
Joash, who has died aged 78, had recently been taken into sheltered accommodation, having nearly set fire to the house, but his work itself had avoided serious damage. In the months that followed, it became apparent that this was no isolated figure at the margins of art history but an artist of sophisticated interests and training.
Born in Leeds, Woodrow was the seventh of nine children in a poor but cultured Jewish family that had escaped the pogroms in eastern Poland of the early 1900s. His father had run a Jewish bookshop in Chapeltown before working in Montague Burton’s factory to provide for a growing family. Joash trained at Leeds School of Art and, in 1950, won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art.
His intense shyness does not seem to have been suited to the competitive atmosphere there, though his tutors’ reports commented that his work already seemed more European in feeling than most of his contemporaries, among them John Bratby, Leon Kossoff and Frank Auerbach. A year or so after leaving the RCA in 1953, he suffered a nervous breakdown and took himself back to Leeds, where, supported financially by his family, he lived and worked for the rest of his life.
With his mother and two brothers also living in the two-up, two-down house, working conditions must have been extremely cramped, which almost certainly explains the comparatively small scale of Woodrow’s early work. Mostly portraits and landscapes, their dark tones illumined by flashes of sonorous colour and intense solemnity, they reveal the beginning of a distinctive style, one that in its understanding of the French fauvist Georges Rouault showed Woodrow already looking to European art for inspiration.
This gathered momentum with a number of visits to the huge Picasso exhibition at the Tate in 1960, the crucial impact of which was to give Woodrow an insight into his Jewish heritage, and the understanding that the roots of his art lay outside this country and were essentially European in character.
Looking to the fierce expressionism of Karel Appel, Asger Jorn and the Cobra group, the harsh, raw surfaces of Jean Dubuffet and the Art Brut circle, and the insistence on the quality of mark-making of Nicolas de Staël and the tachistes, Woodrow began to uncover the source of those artistic energies that were to carry him over the next 30 years of intense activity. With the death of his mother in 1961 – and with more room in which to paint – there was a steady increase in the scale and ambition of the work.
A lack of success in the work he occasionally submitted to large, open competitions like the John Moores, however, encouraged a feeling of isolation, something his reclusiveness only served to emphasise. By the early 1970s, he was living and working with very little thought for anything but the next painting, producing large-scale canvases (anything of up to 5ft x 8ft) with quite extraordinary rapidity. When not painting, he was drawing furiously in the semi-industrial and urban districts of north Leeds those subjects that were to form the basis of some of the most original and experimental works of his later career.
If his personal life was unhappy, there is no sign of it in the power and exuberance of the broad brush strokes, high-pitched colour and boldly flattened picture spaces with which he describes this landscape – an unprepossessing jumble of scruffy allotments, derelict factories and scattered trees.
By the early 1990s, Woodrow’s physical and mental health began to decline, and the house was too cluttered with paintings for him to do anything but draw. At the time of the 1999 fire, he seems to have stopped doing even that and, after his removal to sheltered accommodation in Manchester, he lost interest in working altogether.
Nor did he seem very interested in the public recognition that followed, when books and major exhibitions – at Leeds art gallery and then Manchester art gallery, and the Ben Uri and RCA last year – created a wave of interest that looks certain to place him firmly as a significant link between British and European artistic movements in the second half of the 20th century. His brothers Saul, John and Paul survive him.
· Joash Woodrow, artist, born April 7 1927; died February 15 2006
Today I want to share the art work of TREVOR GEOGHEGAN he uses a ready made subject near at hand the scenic mountainous area around the upper reaches of the Liffey in county Wicklow. He paints it again and again but not exclusively his present exhibition also includes landscapes from the west Connemara, Doolin etc. However, it all ends up pretty much his own style, with plenty of heather, foaming streams, moorland and woodland.
The vision is conventional, knowing how to relate foreground to middle ground in his work. It is “picturesque” nature, but not picture postcard nature, with a real sense of emotional engagement. The angles of composition are varied The Yellow Field, one of the best pictures in the show, is seen from above and the skies are generally alive, not merely filled in.
I like and has seen lots of Trevor’s paintings overtime and love very much the closeness to the landscape that he paints, it feels very much like he walks deep into the woodlands and forest river banks in order to find his subjects and this shows in his work, I also like very much the closeness to nature that he reflects on, these are real places painted and real moments !!!
A little about : Trevor Geoghegan
Born in London 1946, Trevor studied at Worthing College of Art, Sussex before graduating from Chelsea School of Art, London in 1968. In 1971 he settled in Ireland, moving to Blessington, Co. Wicklow. He lectured at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin from 1978 to 2004 and teaches annually at the Burren School of Art, Co. Clare and also holds annual drawing workshops privately and at the National Gallery of Ireland.
Trevor has had numerous successful solo shows since 1978, has exhibited at the RHA and his work can be found in many collections worldwide including Aras an Uachtarain, the Arts Council of Ireland, Bank of Ireland, Dail Eireann and the National Self Portrait Collection. His work is also represented in numerous private collections in Ireland, USA, Germany, Japan, Canada and UK.
This week in Ireland is National tree week, so I thought I would share some of the images that I have taken during my time living here in county Kilkenny.
Irish Trees, a Gallery
I first came across the drawings and paintings of the county Kilkenny based artist Bernadette Kiely, while attending a two year art course at the Grennan mill craft school.
I liked Bernadette’s art work from the very first time I viewed it, I feel she captures completely the local landscape that surrounds us here in County Kilkenny. The county while not the most spectacular in Ireland varies a lot from low boggy lands and flooded river banks and mountain tops.
A little About, Bernadette Kiely
Bernadette Kiely was born in Carrick on Suir, County Tipperary and grew up beside the river Suir. She graduated from The College of Art and Design at Waterford Institute of Technology with a distinction in Graphic Design and worked in graphic design and architecture in New York and London before taking up painting full time in 1984. She attended the Slade School of Fine Art in London and has been working in her studio beside the river Nore in Thomastown, County Kilkenny since 1992. Her paintings and drawings are based on prolonged observation of specific landscape elements and are characterised by her attention to the close up worlds of bog cotton, gorse, mud, lichen and other natural phenomena including weather and atmospheric conditions on the river Nore and its environs. Bernadette Kiely is a member of Aosdana.
As with yesterday’s artist, I have linked to both web-site and to some on the painting I like the most …
Joseph McWilliams PPRUA
I am taking time this week to do a study of some landscape artists/photographers who’s work I very much like very much.
I feel the need to take a look at the work of the artists I know of again, who use the landscape of Ireland both North and South along with the British Isles, in there drawings and painting and Photographs.
I first came across the art work of Joseph McWilliams when I visited an exhibition called “Landscapes north and south”, the the exhibition was held at the Glebe House Gallery, County Donegal.
A little about : Joseph McWilliams PPRUA
Joe McWilliams was born in Belfast in 1938. He studied at the Belfast College of Art and at the Open University. Later he lectured in Art Education at the Ulster Polytechnic in Belfast and was Senior Lecturer and Senior Course Tutor at the University of Ulster. Since 1986 he and his wife, artist Catherine McWilliams have managed the Cave Hill Gallery, Belfast. He has had numerous solo exhibitions and has been represented in major Irish group shows both in Ireland and abroad; Recently his work was seen in an exhibition entitled ‘Dreams and Traditions: 300 Years of British and Irish Painting’ from the Ulster Museum Collection which toured the USA in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institute, Washington. His work is held in numerous collections including: NI Arts Council, Queen’s University, Coras Iompair Éireann, the Department of the Environment (NI), AIB, the National Self Portrait Collection of Ireland.
McWilliams is a regular lecturer and broadcaster on the Visual Arts in Northern Ireland and has been invited to speak on the Arts a number of times in Boston, USA. He has also published articles and reviews on the subject. He has written many scripts for BBC radio and has presented, his own script “The Way that I Went” which was seen on BBC world services as well as locally and in Britain. His own work has been exhibited at a variety of venues in Ireland, Britain, Europe and the USA. He is perhaps best known for his paintings of ‘The Troubles’ evidenced in exhibitions such as ‘Art for Society’ Whitechapel Gallery, London; ‘Documenta 6’ Kassel, W.Germany; ‘A Troubled Journey 1966-1989’ and ‘Colour on the March’ both at the Cavehill Gallery, Belfast.
I liked Joseph’s paintings very much for both their painting style and the fact that he used the world around himself for subjects to paint, even using his own back Garden for much of his work.
Here I link to his web page http://www.josephmcwilliams.com/, for some of the painting I like the most.
“The sun is brilliant in the sky but its warmth does not reach my face.
The breeze stirs the trees but leaves my hair unmoved.
The cooling rain will feed the grass but will not slake my thirst.
It is all inches away but further from me than my dreams.”
– M. Romeo LaFlamme, The First of March
The word ‘March’ comes from the Roman ‘Martius’. This was originally the first month of the Roman calendar and was named after Mars, the god of war. March was the beginning of our calendar year. We changed to the ‘New Style’ or ‘Gregorian calendar in 1752, and it is only since then when we the year began on 1st January. The Anglo-Saxons called the month Hlyd monath which means Stormy month, or Hraed monath which means Rugged month.
“Equal dark, equal light
Flow in Circle, deep insight
Blessed Be, Blessed Be
The transformation of energy!
So it flows, out it goes
Three-fold back it shall be
Blessed Be, Blessed Be
The transformation of energy!”
– Night An’Fey, Transformation of Energy
Last week I revisited Kilcooley Abbey in country Tipperary with the aim of capturing some images to produce some sketches and paintings from.
The Abbey is an amazing location and this quick sketch is made on my tablet using Krita a digital painting application. I like the idea of fast sketches, they are not meant to be anything like finished work but by doing them you feel you know the location your hoping to work with very well, be it for painting/drawing or photography.
The Little Ghost, A poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)
I knew her for a little ghost
That in my garden walked;
The wall is high — higher than most —
And the green gate was locked.
And yet I did not think of that
Till after she was gone —
I knew her by the broad white hat,
All ruffled, she had on.
By the dear ruffles round her feet,
By her small hands that hung
In their lace mitts, austere and sweet,
Her gown’s white folds among.
I watched to see if she would stay,
What she would do — and oh!
She looked as if she liked the way
I let my garden grow!
She bent above my favourite mint
With conscious garden grace,
She smiled and smiled — there was no hint
Of sadness in her face.