Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Art and craft work

Hook head Light house county Wexford, Charcoal and Pastel, Nigel Borrington

Hookhead lighthouse
County Wexford
Charcoal and Pastel Nigel Borrington Feb 2019


Friday Charcoal and Pastel drawing

The lighthouse at Hookhead, county Wexford – Drawing using Charcoal and Pastel on a sheet of A2 cartridge paper.

I have wanted to include the hookhead lighthouse in drawing for sometime so today I used a photo taken about 6 years ago taken one February evening on a walk around the base of the lighthouse looking out to sea. It was late evening just after sunset and light had just just been turned on, a magical moment to be there.

The drawing today took about four hours to complete and is one of the drawing in the last week that I have enjoyed working on the most 🙂 …..


Kilkenny landscape art – Charcoal and Pastels on Paper – Winter trees

Kilkenny landscape art,
Winter Trees,
Charcoal and Pastels on Paper



Kilkenny landscape art – Charcoal and Pastels on Paper – Winter trees

This is my second large scale drawing this week, worked on an A2 sheet of cartridge paper with the drawing itself being formatted to fit inside an A3 mounting card and frame.

I am really enjoying working with charcoal and pastels again, I feel that I could and most likely would be able to get more detail into each drawing if I used a set of pencils, high details for each landscape view however is not that much of a worry for me at the moment. The drawings I am working on at the moment are aimed at being Proprietary Artwork for later paintings.

I am learning all the time now about the possibilities of working with what is the very basic mediums of black charcoal and Pastel, the skills of blending and smoothing the charcoal on the paper, back into areas of grey. Drawing with both these mediums is very interesting, detail is possible but needs care to produce, each stage of the drawing needs fixing on the paper so that it is not smudged.

As with any drawing or painting when finished there are areas I like and areas I do not, here I loved working of the misty sky and the trees but found the foreground of the wet muddy field a challenge. I am happy overall and feel I have managed to work in lots of texture and levels of details hidden in the mud in the foreground and very happy with the blended sky.

I am not in all honesty yet looking for finished work as I want to keep learning as much as possible so the more I learn the better and the more that makes me have to look and think about a finished work the better. I am not finishing anything that I would not show to anyone so that is at least very pleasing.

This is the same drawing cropped down, I wonder if its better without the foreground area or better with it ?

If anyone wants to make a comment here – it would only help me 🙂 🙂


Kilkenny landscape art – Charcoal and Pastels on Paper

KIlkenny Landscape art
Charcoal and Pastels on Cartridge paper
Format 297 × 420 mm
Nigel Borrington 2019

Monday Drawing

Kilkenny landscape – A Charcoal and Pastels on Paper

This week I plan to continued building up my painting and drawing skills, I will continue selected from my landscape photographs and selecting ones that I wfeel will make good Mono drawings and paintings.

This evening I have just finished the above Charcoal and Pastel landscape, its drawn on A2 paper but framed for A3 dimensions. This is a good size from drawing as I feel I can work freely with this size, letting the charcoal move openly. It lets me stand up above by drawing board and move the Charcoal and Pastels with fully movement of my arms.

Just like with my last post I plan next to work the same landscape view in Acrylic paints working with cool grey tones to capture the feeling of a cold grey day, just like the day that I captured the original black and white image on.


Art Project – Kilkenny winter landscape – Photo,Drawing and Acrylic painting.

january frost county kilkenny 2019 3

January Forst
County Kilkenny
Irish Landscape Photography
Nigel Borrington 2019

Kilkenny winters Landscape project Jan 2019

This is the complete set of images including the original photograph, then the Charcoal and Pencil drawing and Acrylic painting on canvas, from the set of county Kilkenny landscape in winter photos captured last week and that I have spent most of this week working on.

This is only the first set of images and I have a lot more work to do yet to produce final drawings and painting of both this single photo and then the full set of other images I want to use. I am happy with the results so far as this is the first none digital art work that I have worked on for a while.

The main thing at the moment is that I am enjoying the process very much, its taken a while to get my art desk setup again and to get all the materials in place but now this is done I can just get working and start having some fun getting creative.

county kilkenny landscape art ballycuddihy nigel borrington 2019 1

county kilkenny landscape art
The view from Ballycuddihy
Charcoal and Graphite on paper
nigel borrington 2019

This drawing uses Charcoal and Graphite pencils on paper to produce what I hope is a moody image of a winters morning over the local Kilkenny landscape.

kilkennylandscapepaintingsacrylicwinterlandscapepaintingnigelborrington20191

County Kilkenny in Winter
Acrylic on Canvas
Nigel Borrington 2019

This Painting was produced using greys mixed from Acrylic (Cerulean blue, Crimson, Yellow Ocha and titanuim white)to produces grades of Greys, some cool and some warmer.

I hope that this helps to set a feeling of winter in my local Kilkenny landscape, on what was a very cold and frosty morning in mid January 2019.


Berlin from the river Spree

Berlin
from the river spree nigel borrington 2019

Selecting images for an drawing and painting portfolio

Over the next few weeks any images I post on my blog will relate to a selection process I am making for producing some art work. I want to go through my blog photos posted since 2011 and select images that could related to both pencil/ink and Charcoal drawings along with images the will make good subjects for Painting in Acrylic/oil paints. I also have many images that I never posted here, as when I get my camera into the landscape I try to almost exhaust the location as much as possible by taking many images.

With this image of Berlin from the river Spree, I felt it would make a great subject for Charcoal, Pencil and Pen and ink work.

This is a process I have wanted to do for sometime, as it will help me get focused on the art work I want to produce during 2019…..


County Kilkenny Art – The view from Ballycuddihy – charcoal and graphite drawing

County Kilkenny landscape art The view from Ballycuddihy
Charcoal and Graphite on paper
nigel borrington 2019

The view from Ballycuddihy – charcoal and graphite on paper

In my last post I uploaded some photos taken in the hills at Ballycuddihy county Kilkenny, I want to use these images and others as the source for a series of both drawings and acrylic paintings.

So over the weekend I started with a charcoal and graphite drawing. I like very much using these two drawing materials as I like to strip an image down into its monochrome tonal values before returning to repeating the painting in acrylic or oil paint and bring in colour paints. I plan this time however to paint these landscape views using acrylic paint, using black and white only, keeping the finished work to a maximum of ten grey scale values.

Here I have used the charcoal in both willow stick and compressed block form to produce a series of tonal values, using a brush to soften the charcoal into different grey values and tonal grades.The fine details in the drawing are created using graphite.

I am happy with the finished results considering that the drawing was completed within four hours, I have learnt many things here and will repeat this technique many time so that I keep getting to know much more about using charcoal and pencil together.


A Weekend in an Art Course – The art of colour mixing , Rod Moore

Art Courses 2019 – The art of colour mixing , Rod Moore

I have been into art and painting most of my life and you never stop needing to learn new areas or keep going back to basic and practice old ones, so at the start of this year I registered on a Udemy course run by Rod Moore (Rod Moore, Complete Colour mixing course for artists).

I started the course last week in the evenings and so far its very good, I like very much the structure of the courses run by Udemy as they are perfect for adult study allowing you to use your spare time to gain new skills.

Here are some of the basic colour mixing techniques I have covered so far…..

Creating a colour mixing wheel.

Here the colours provided in my watercolour palette are laid out on the very outside of the wheel, working inwards I have mixed the primary colours of Blue, Red and then Yellow to show the results of mixing primary colours.

Mixing Blue, Reds, Yellow and Greens.

Most sets of paints contain more than one type of Blue, Red, Yellow and green paints, so in the above images I have worked on taking all the paints in these groups one by one and mixing them with the other paints outside the selected group. The first image for example is using two versions of green, the second two versions of blue – then mixing these with all the other remaining colours.

This type of colour mixing produces some very interesting results and helps show just how different the results of mixing different Blues, Reds, Yellows and Greens with other colours can be.

Landscape colour mixing – wheel and chart.

As said above different available paints can fall into the basic descriptions of blues or yellows and reds, but are individually very different from each other, in the images above I have painted a colour wheel that uses more earth versions of these primary colours.

These versions of the Primary colours (Blue,Red and Yellow) when mixed help to produce results much more likely to be used in Landscape Painting, you can see that they results in a much more earthy looking colour wheel than one produced by more standard primary colours.

I have also produced a colour chart on the right hand side of this page that shows the same mixing results but in block of colour, the standard mixing chart is in the centre of the page and as you can see this produces a much more vivid set of resulting colours, ones much less suitable for landscape painting.

One thing I have noticed while working through these exercises is that watercolour paint does not mix very well compared to Acrylic or Oil paints, which both produce much better stronger results. Its harder to get watercolour to produce many different levels of the mixed colour and for these results to have much depth to them , so my next stage is to repeat all these exercises using artists acrylic paints.

So all in all I feel great about working with this course and had a very enjoyable time over the weekend, I am not intending to turn my blog into just Art and Painting so for now I will return to some photography but its be great fun sharing something different 🙂


A weekend with colour …….

Colour mixing,
WaterColour and acrylics

A weekend in colour

This week I started an online course in colour mixing for watercolour and acrylic painting, so during this weekend I plan to spend as much time as possible learning colour theory.

I worked on the course in the evenings and have already used up a few pages of a new sketchbook, including the pages I have posted here.

I feel that one of the most important things I have learned so far, regardless of the type of paint used (Watercolour or Acrylic) is that I am getting to know them very well, how to mix the basic colours included in a sets of paints and what the results look like. Not all colours act the same even when used without mixing them, some colours produce very smooth results others produce a very grainy texture, some colours don’t seem to go into the paper or canvas very deeply others act more like a dye and the moment they touch a painting surface they stain and fix themselves in very quickly and most likely permanently.

The use of colours

When I first stated painting some years back, I would spend a large amount of time trying to match every single colour in a landscape I was painting, however I feel that since these days I have learnt that doing this is not only exhausting it also does not always produce a good painting. Colours can be used much more effectively when limited and balanced so that they are used to compliment each other. When colour is used to highlight areas in a painting or to soften other areas they can make some parts of a painting stand out and others while still included, fall into the background of the finished work.

It’s all these areas and more that I want to study and regain complete understanding again of both in practice and theory, I can then move onto producing colour sketches and full paintings again.



Colour mixing, using just Primary colours

In order to produces all the colours you want to include in a painting you actually only need three , The primary colours (RED,YELLOW and BLUE), what does counts here however is the type of red, yellow or blue you start with in the first place as this will allow you to produces very different final results.

So this weekend I plan to uses as much paper as possible and produce a colour notebook that I can use during the year to help me when producing any paintings I start working on.

If I get time I will post on my progress but if not, I will on Monday post some results and my thoughts on what I worked on.


Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland – The Landscape of Poetry – Poems by Mary O’Malley

Connemara
county Galway
Ireland
Nigel Borrington
2019

Connemara, Co. Galway

Mary O’Malley is truly the person who has written Connemara, her writing laced with the fierce beauty of the landscape, and the sounds of the sea. In ‘Porpoises’ she sends our minds out to sea from the most westerly point of the county:

The sky is close.

Out from the once manned rock

White electric light

Arcs over the Water

Difficult not to agree with her when she states that the sea is “just the place from which all things make sense”.

Pierce Hutchinson, also writing on Connemara, said:

There are chinks between

the neat stones to let the wind through safe,

You can see the blue sun through them.

But coming eastward in the same county,

the walls grow higher, dark grey;

an ugly grey. And the chinks disappear:

through those walls you can see nothing.

Perhaps our poetic landscapes remind us of that – to keep our hearts alert for experiences of water, wind and wonder.


Histories Best Artists – Leonora Carrington

Leonora Carrington
kron-flower-1987

Leonora Carrington

Born 6 April 1917

Clayton-le-Woods, Lancashire, England

For me leonara Carrington is one of histories great Artists, Personally and I feel the best female artists of all time(IMO), although correctly she fought all her life again the label of “Female Artist” and just wanted to be call an ARTIST period !

Her work should be much better known and would be so but for a few facts , she was producing art at the same time as some the now best known European artist, who would later become house hold names but also she lived and worked during the Nazi period of European Art theft and art control, because of this she ended up in the end making her home in Mexico in a period when no one took anyone not working in Europe or America seriously.

In 1936, Leonora saw the work of the German surrealist Max Ernst at the International Surrealist Exhibition in London and was attracted to the Surrealist artist before she even met him. In 1937, Carrington met Ernst at a party held in London. The artists bonded and returned together to Paris, where Ernst promptly separated from his wife. In 1938, leaving Paris, they settled in Saint Martin d’Ardèche in southern France.

The new couple collaborated and supported each other’s artistic development. The two artists created sculptures of guardian animals (Ernst created his birds and Carrington created a plaster horse head) to decorate their home in Saint Martin d’Ardèche.

With the outbreak of World War II Ernst, who was German, was arrested by the French authorities for being a “hostile alien”. With the intercession of Paul Éluard, and other friends, including the American journalist Varian Fry, he was discharged a few weeks later. Soon after the Nazis invaded France, Ernst was arrested again, this time by the Gestapo, because his art was considered by the Nazis to be “degenerate”. He managed to escape and, leaving Carrington behind, fled to America with the help of Peggy Guggenheim, who was a sponsor of the arts.

After Ernst’s arrest, Carrington was devastated and fled to Spain. Paralyzing anxiety and growing delusions culminated in a final breakdown at the British Embassy in Madrid. Her parents intervened and had her hospitalised. She was given “convulsive therapy” and was treated with the drugs cardiazol, a powerful anxiolytic drug (eventually banned by some authorities, including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)), and Luminal, a barbiturate. After being released into the care of a nurse who took her to Lisbon, Carrington ran away and sought refuge in the Mexican Embassy. Meanwhile, Ernst had married Peggy Guggenheim in New York in 1941. That marriage ended a few years later. Ernst and Carrington never resumed their relationship.

In 1939, Carrington painted a portrait of Max Ernst, as a tribute to their relationship. The portrait was her first Surrealist work, and it was called The Inn of the Dawn Horse. It is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The person in the painting is a cross between a male and a female, who is seated in a room with a rocking horse on the wall.

She also painting this portrait with him as the main character ..

Portrait of Max Ernst
Leonora Carrington
Oil on canvas
date created: About 1939

From the very first time I viewed Leonara’s art works I was captivated, her paintings are full of mystery and magical subjects, without falling into more traditional and classical mythological stories.

I found myself wanting to understand more about the fantasy world that her painting capture, a world of hidden meanings, I still don’t fully understand and here in this video she tells us not of over analyses art and just to enjoy living in the moment. However just looking at her creations you know she must have held many stories in her mind, I will keep looking and discovering!

Leonora Carrington

(6 April 1917 – 25 May 2011) was an English-born Mexican artist, surrealist painter, and novelist. She lived most of her adult life in Mexico City, and was one of the last surviving participants in the Surrealist movement of the 1930s. Carrington was also a founding member of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Mexico during the 1970s.

Looking at many of her painting you can clearly see that her life and work is the source for the movie Pan’s Labyrinth, Director: Guillermo del Toro, Writer: Guillermo del Toro , set in the falangist Spain of 1944, about a bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world, the very same kind of fantasy worlds Leonora Carrington imagined and reflected on in her work.

The best surrealist movie of all time 🙂

Leonora Carrington – Imagination is everything !!!


Looking at Great painting “The Stour”- John Constable, UK 1776 – 1837


CONSTABLE, John
Great Britain 1776 – 1837
The Stour 27 September 1810
oil on canvas
23.8 h x 23.5 w cm
dated ’27 Sepr. 1810′ upper right
John G. Johnson collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art, bequeathed in 1917

Since I returned to Ireland from a holiday in Germany during November, I have found myself turning to my drawing and painting much more again. This is only natural I feel during the winter months , so far this November and December we have had nearly 200mm of rain here in county Kilkenny, (amazing when you think that this is more than double the about for the entire summer) so its been hard to carry and use a camera as much as in a normal winter.

To help me get inspired and make a start I always find myself looking at my most admired classic painters like John Constable.

To me Constable is one of the most misinterpreted classic artist, mainly due to the fact that today his art work has become Synonymous of twee landscapes used on box’s of chocolates and for jigsaw puzzles. Yet when he was starting his carrier as a painter very few people would take on landscape painting and expect to make a living of any kind. Most of the artists of his day would paint classical works reflecting upon mythical stores or portrait works as commissions for the super-wealthy of his day.

The idea that an artist as good as John Constable was, would spend his time painting open landscapes, farms or rivers made little sense to any of his tutors or his peers, many disowned him for doing so. It is this fact that pulls me so much toward his work, he was one of the first of his kind and cutting edge!, sketching and then painting from life, mostly outside in the surroundings he was painting.

The simple truth is that he was and still is very cutting edge when it come to his abilities to capture people in the landscape, if it were not for the fact he did so and produced so much work, little memory would remain of the places and people he captured.

    The Stour 27 September 1810

The Stour is one of the first of his painting I ever looked at and I still love this painting very much today, I love the loose use of the oil paint and brush work, the limited palette of colours but above all the atmosphere he has captured.

Its also painted in the format I love the most, at 23×23 a Square format. Its not easy to compose an image in a square! but I feel that the results can produces a great painting or photo with great concentration on the subjects you want to capture the most.

Painted Between 1808 and 1816 – the year of his marriage to Maria Bicknell – Constable spent most of his summers at East Bergholt, sketching in the fields and the surrounding countryside. From 1810 he began to paint images of the River Stour, and the activities associated with it, particularly in the area near his father’s mill at Flatford. Indeed, the bulk of his subjects during the first half of his career are images of Suffolk. Many of these are rapidly executed, evocative sketches, painted entirely, or substantially in the open air – often depicting transient atmospheric effects.

Constable painted this view outdoors in the vicinity of Flatford Lock at sunset. He cut his canvas to fit into the paint box he carried, and pinned it to the opened lid while painting.

The landscape around the Stour Valley and Dedham Vale had been admired by poets and artists before Constable (Tate 1991, pp. 53–54), but he made the area particularly his own by painting it over and over again. Constable wrote in later years: ‘I associate my “careless boyhood” to all that lies on the banks of the Stour. They made me a painter (& I am gratefull)‘ (Beckett VI, p. 78).


Digital Drawing – Winter in the Hedgerow, December 2018.

Digital Drawing
Tone Brushes, MyPaint with Wacom Pro M Tablet
Winter Hedgerow
Nigel Borrington December 2018


Monday 1 hour drawing – The Fisherman , Ink on paper sketch ……

One hour sketch
Fisher man on the rocks
Ink on paper
county Galway
Nigel Borrington 2018


Drawing from the Irish Bogs …….

Drawing from the Boglands
Digital Drawings
Nigel Borrington 2018

Back in June this year Ireland was in the middle of a 8 weeks drought and even the Boglands had become dry. At one of our nearest Bogs we had a large wild fire which I visited to get the below images. Since then I have been working on some drawings of this event. This is a great subject for ink on paper type drawing.

The above image is just one that I have completed so far …..

Bog fire Gallery

After the Wild fire
littleton bog, tipperary Nigel Borringtpon


Drawings from the Hedgerow …..

Art of the hedgerow
Digital Drawings
Nigel Borrington 2018


Drawings from the Hedgerow ……

Art of the hedgerow
County Kilkenny
Digital Drawings
Nigel Borrington 2018


The Angel – A poem by William Blake

A September Sunrise, County Kilkenny
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

poet William Blake
#11 on top 500 poets

The Angel – Poem by William Blake

I dreamt a dream! What can it mean?
And that I was a maiden Queen
Guarded by an Angel mild:
Witless woe was ne’er beguiled!

And I wept both night and day,
And he wiped my tears away;
And I wept both day and night,
And hid from him my heart’s delight.

So he took his wings, and fled;
Then the morn blushed rosy red.
I dried my tears, and armed my fears
With ten-thousand shields and spears.

Soon my Angel came again;
I was armed, he came in vain;
For the time of youth was fled,
And grey hairs were on my head.

William Blake


Craftsmen in pictures : Tom Allison – blacksmith

Tom Allison blacksmith blueberry hill farm and muckross farm
county kerry
Nigel Borrington

TOM ALLISON

Last week while visiting Muckross Traditional Farm, I was lucky enough to meet and chat with Tom Allison, he is an experienced professional and you can tell that he has a passion for blacksmithing. With his easy-going way of showing you how he works and creates some amazing items.

Tom studied blacksmithing at Hereford College in 1997 and continued his training with an apprenticeship in Wales for 2 years. Tom moved to Sneem in 2000 to set up his own forge and since then has completed a number of major commissions.

I spend a good amount of time watching Tom work in the old forge at Muckross Traditional Farm while he demonstrated the old skills of blacksmithing. His work ranges from contemporary art and designs to traditional historical reproduction and restoration.


TTOPOLOGY – Dennis McNulty, at the Carlow Visual arts center – OMG I am so confused about Contemporary art ?

This afternoon I took sometime off and visited the County Carlow , Center for Visual arts, having read a description of an exhibition by the Contemporary artist Dennis McNulty LINK HERE!.

Its about a month since I last visited this Gallery, when I did I came away as so often just a little confused as to just what I had witnessed? the work consisted of a single image of a sunset that did not change for 30mins (maybe the video was frozen?) to the sound of bird song in the background!

The latest Exhibition By Dennis McNulty I am afraid to say just left me with the same head scratching feeling, it was described as follows

Dennis McNulty
TTOPOLOGY
03 February – 20 May
TTOPOLOGY, an exhibition of new and retrospective works by Dennis McNulty considers the technologies and systems that have been developed, cast aside, or revised in order to advance our human potential. Coupling technology and art, McNulty explores the fields of science, engineering, built environment, retro technologies and future possibilities. See this link for more details ……

——-

All my life I have been a lover of art , a viewer of many forms of artistic expression, open minded and well able so soak in new ideas – yet I feel it must be many years since a visit to an art exhibition from a currently working artist has produced anything other than a feeling of massive disappointment and total confusion as to the state of modern art.

Personally I feel the time has come for me to stop looking deeper and doing my very best to find that small percentage of good – within the work I take the time to go and see!

I feel its time that the art loving public as a whole start to make it very clear that we are getting sick and a little drawn out with looking at exhibitions that we are just meant to get or at the very least in some way forgive the artist for because at the end of the day, well they art artists aren’t they! and they get something we don’t?.

Fact is however Most people who walk away from a modern art exhibition these days do so with nothing other than confusion if not a little anger, because basically they feel cheated, let down and taken for fools!

I have felt for a long time that currently working modern artists have no interest what so ever in what the viewers of their work think, In fact I wonder just who they are producing their work for? it cannot be for the 99% of the public! I don’t feel that its acceptable any longer to just act as if its the responsibility of the viewing public to get on board or just be dismissed because they don’t get what is at the end of the day trashy, Lazy and ill conceived work!

From my basic understanding of formal art study, artists spend four to five years in an art school taking a degree of some form. During this period the work they produce can be of many kinds and make use of many forms of artistic media, this type of work by itself should not and does not need to be presentable to the public. At the end of each academic year there is usually an end of year show building up-to the final degree show held as a presentation of the students work put forward as their final degree submission.

When you understand these levels that go into passing an art degree, maybe just maybe you can start to understand the kind of work your looking at in some current art exhibitions!

There is also another factor that the viewing art minded public needs to understand and that is that many art tutors in art school are required to hold their own exhibitions each year so that they can show that they are at the very least practicing artists and not just a teacher. Still however these artists work relates in form very closely to the kind of experimental work produced during art school study , basically because these tutors are the very people who are judging their students work!

So here are some questions !

Is the art work that most of the public views in public galleries these days, no more than art school/student level and experimental level work and not the work of professional artists would have not only passed an art course of some kind but also spent many years building on their art study to become a professional artist and with an understanding of the real world?

If this is the case, then would it be fair to say that the confusion around modern art is that we are just not being told about the level at which the artists involved in some if not most of the exhibitions we see, site in their level and progression of work ?

My own feelings are that, the current type of modern art works that I view in most of the exhibitions I take time to go and see, is for me personally for whatever reason basically lazy, fuzzy, repetitive and unacceptable ( well under worked, not over worked for sure!) IMO!. I feel that Modern art finds itself in a position where it is being produced for other reasons than for my pleasure as a viewer of it! I also wonder if the formal art world is not just feading on itself until there is basically nothing left and the bottle is empty!

Will I keep going to art exhibitions, Hell yes! just in the hope that one day I get to see something that I truly do understand and end up walking out of the door once again with a smile on my face !

If Dennis McNulty ever reads this post, not likely ! I have respect that your putting your work out there , its just not for ME!!!

Gallery of an exhibition.


Snow at coolagh old church, county Kilkenny art work, Acrylic on canvas ….

Snow at Coolagh old church
County Kilkenny
Acrylic on Canvas
Nigel Borrington


Great Poems : Solitude a Poem By – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Irish landscapes
Solitude
Nigel Borrington

Solitude
By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all,—
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

A look at : Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Her most popular poem, Ella Wheeler Wilcox’s “Solitude” is about the relationship between the individual and the outside world. The poem is built on a series of contrasting conditions: “Laugh, and the world laughs with you;/Weep and you weep alone.” At first, the words may seem like a guide advising the reader to maintain a positive attitude. It becomes clear, however, that the poem is more complex than that, operating as a road map for the difficult realities of life. At the core of Wilcox’s philosophy is a belief that we all exist in a state of solitude. Wilcox wrote this poem after encountering a grieving woman on her way to Madison, Wisconsin. Despite her efforts, Wilcox was not able to comfort the woman over her loss. Distraught, Wilcox returned to her hotel and after looking at her own lonely face in the mirror, began to write this poem. The context of the poem suggests that what follows is not a parade of moral platitudes but a series of choices. If you laugh, sing, rejoice, or feast, the world will be drawn to you. If you weep, sigh, fast, or grieve, the world will abandon you. After all, in the end, “one by one we must all file on.” The poem is neither an anthem of positive thinking nor a dour account of existential loneliness. It is an invitation to move through the world with practicality and self-reliance.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox (November 5, 1850 – October 30, 1919)

More on Ella Wheeler Wilcox


The Secrets of a Tree, Growing up to the Sky …….

The trees that Climb into the Sky
Landscape Art
Nigel Borrington

The Secrets of a Tree

Because they are primeval, because they outlive us, because they are fixed, trees seem to emanate a sense of permanence. And though rooted in earth, they seem to touch the sky. For these reasons it is natural to feel we might learn wisdom from them, to haunt about them with the idea that if we could only read their silent riddle rightly we should learn some secret vital to our own lives; or even, more specifically, some secret vital to our real, our lasting and spiritual existence. (Kim Taplin)


A Country Boy in Winter , A poem by : Sarah Orne Jewett

snowly mountain 2

A Country Boy in Winter

By Sarah Orne Jewett

The wind may blow the snow about,
For all I care, says Jack,
And I don’t mind how cold it grows,
For then the ice won’t crack.
Old folks may shiver all day long,
But I shall never freeze;
What cares a jolly boy like me
For winter days like these?

Far down the long snow-covered hills
It is such fun to coast,
So clear the road! the fastest sled
There is in school I boast.
The paint is pretty well worn off,
But then I take the lead;
A dandy sled’s a loiterer,
And I go in for speed.

When I go home at supper-time,
Ki! but my cheeks are red!
They burn and sting like anything;
I’m cross until I’m fed.
You ought to see the biscuit go,
I am so hungry then;
And old Aunt Polly says that boys
Eat twice as much as men.

There’s always something I can do
To pass the time away;
The dark comes quick in winter-time—
A short and stormy day
And when I give my mind to it,
It’s just as father says,
I almost do a man’s work now,
And help him many ways.

I shall be glad when I grow up
And get all through with school,
I’ll show them by-and-by that I
Was not meant for a fool.
I’ll take the crops off this old farm,
I’ll do the best I can.
A jolly boy like me won’t be
A dolt when he’s a man.

I like to hear the old horse neigh
Just as I come in sight,
The oxen poke me with their horns
To get their hay at night.
Somehow the creatures seem like friends,
And like to see me come.
Some fellows talk about New York,
But I shall stay at home.


Seven day Black and white Photo challenge : The Word is light and Light is the Word !

James Hoban
Callan Kilkenny
black and white
Photo Challenge
Nigel Borrington

James Hoban Born 1755 – Died December 8, 1831, was an Irish architect, best known for designing the White House in Washington, D.C. Some years back a team of architecture students from American both designed and built the Hoben monument featured here in this post. From the moment it became clear how this monument would look, I have been fascinated by its design and construction, it stands out locally for just how unique it feels surrounded by farm land and remote country lanes.

The Feature I love most about it is the way that at sunrise and sunset the light passes through the glass, the words written in the glass cast both shadows and reflections on the stone work and grass all around them, even to simple look through the glass panels and into the sun is a great experience, it has for myself succeeded to be a great example of modern public art and architecture.

This was the last post for the Seven day – one week, black and white Challenge, Thank you to Sharon Walters Knight for tagging me on Facebook to take part, I have really enjoyed the hunt for black and white subjects, its taken me back to the basics of what photography is all about 🙂