Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Nigel Borrington

Images of Kilkenny, Thomastown train station

ThomasTown Train station
Nikon CoolPix A

ThomasTown train station and the Kilkenny to Thomastown rail line, part of the Waterford and Kilkenny Railway, opened on 12 May 1848; it was subsequently extended from Thomastown to Jerpoint Hill, opening on 29 May 1850. These days there are only three or four trains stopping here each day with a direct links to Waterford City and Dublin Heuston stations.

I captured this image on a walk around the ThomasTown area last weekend, the signal box in the picture is located on the far side from the now only public used platform, their is only a single rail line passing through the station these days. There was only a single car parted in the larg car park on this Sunday afternoon with the two of us being the only Humans to be found, the atmosphere here felt ghostly and isolated, with great weather for a series of moody black and white images.

I took many black and white images and I am working on the rest during this week, I will post an image Gallery before next weekend. This image was taken using My much loved Nikon Coolpix A , These cameras have become very hard to find, I had to wait many years before finding one in good condition at a very good price, finding one for sale in Dublin. The images it can produces are high quality and its a perfect walk around camera for location studies.

The image Is processed using Raw Image Processor RawTherapee , this is a Linux version of the application that I have been using for sometime now, I find its one of the best programs for my Black and White image processing Style.





A cool Sea breeze ….



A wanderer, I explore grasses high as my knees
Far away, grey foam breaks from the stiff seabreeze
To my left, a stark mountain frames the sky
My tireless bare feet follow memories nearby

As I inhale familiarity, my heartbeat slows
And earthy remembrance kneads through my toes
I’m not scared as blossoming storm clouds appear
For I remember what happened when I was actually here

Nostalgic breaths of wind soon whip at my face
Surrounded by vastness, this awe I embrace
To a place lost in time, I’m fervently drawn
Funny how you can only miss something when it’s gone

Fabrizia Mugnatto Dec 2016


Monday morning on the river bank …..

Monday morning on the river bank
River Barrow
County Kikenny
Ireland

The river has a silver string that runs its length,
holds it to a source in the mountains.

The river cradles its corded muscles of water
between high banks, giving the banks no thought

as it bites them with eddies,
eroding their lower flanks.

River thinks it is only water and the gristle
of currents, hay stacking surfaces

and deep, bellowing falls
running for the sea, though

it does not know it is there.
River should take more care of its banks.

Banks are what hold it a river, give
direction, keep it mitering downward.

Without banks, river loses its way,
becomes a swamp and stills.

All my life I have chafed at river banks,
fighting to spread my currents

in whatever turn needed exploring.
The high song of freedom seemed

to be a music of ‘no banks’,
and yet the whole joy of rivers is pushing,

etching the banks to join the flow,
but having them hold.


An industrial landscape : Acrylic ink on Board

My childhood was spend in Altrincham, greater Manchester, towards the end of hundreds of years of history lived within the Industrial age. I can just about remember the look of the towns industry parks like broadheath near the bridgewater canal, that passed through our town on its way into the city of Manchester.

I have been working on a personal art project for about the last twelve months, working mainly with charcoal on paper, I felt that charcoal was the perfect medium to work with as I can remember just how black these places looked as a result of the smoke created from the burning of coal used to create the energy needed to drive the factory machine.

This week I have moved onto creating a series of images painted onto timber boards, using black Acrylic ink. The boards I am using have a great pink and red feel to them and they also have a fantastic horizontal grain that adds a very likeable texture to the finished work! At first I was considering painting the board with a white under painted ground, In the end I made a great choice (I feel) in just painting directly onto the timber.

I intend now to work on a good collection of these boards, working with many different compositions, talking of which I feel this subject is all about composition and I am learning a lot in this area by doing this work, treating the factory buildings as shapes to be visually moved around in my mind, overlapping them and working them into a valuable depth from background to foreground, never letting any object rest and stand by itself until the ones that are the closest to the viewer…..


Figure drawing from the studio, May 2021

Figure drawing from the Studio
Charcoal on Paper
Nigel Borrington
May 2021

For sometime I have wanted to start sharing my charcoal and pencil figure drawings here on my blog, first however I wanted to get my drawing skills up-to a level I was truly happy with, I feel that I still have a lot of work to do in order to be consistent from drawing to drawing.

I am happy however to start sharing with people some of the drawings and painting I have been creating, this drawing was produced today , drawing as freely as possible and doing my best to make the minimum of marks needed to produce the finish work ……


The Bed on the Beach, by Hannah Flagg Gould

Panasonic gx80
Olympus M.ZUIKO 17mm f1.8
N Borrington 2021

By what rude waves hast thou been tossed,
To gain this quiet beach?
What wide-spread waters hast thou crossed,
This peaceful shore to reach?

An awful secret dost thou tell
About the yawning deep,
That, while her billows war and swell,
They most profoundly keep.

Thou speakest of one whose weary frame
Has sought repose on thee;
But not of kindred, home, or name,
Sad outcast of the sea!

Thou giv’st no record of his birth,
No token of the clime,
Where he was last a child of earth,
Or when he passed from time.

And who must now, on some far shore,
Await the coming sail
Of him, they will behold no more
Till mortal sight shall fail?

For fearful things dost thou present
Before the spirit’s view;
The parting bark! the canvass rent!
The helpless, dying crew!

Of one dread scene the fatal whole,
In thought, I hear and see.
It chills my blood—it makes my soul
Grow sick to look at thee.

‘The seas must render up their dead!’
Is all thou dost reply;
While o’er thee, cold and restless bed,
The tide rolls proud and high!

The guilty deep is taking back
The witness of her wrath,
To bury it with every track
That marks its troubled path!


The sea in the midday sun …….

Panasonic gx80
Olympus M.ZUIKO 17mm f1.8
N Borrington 2021

The midday sun glistened in the sea,
who would stand in the scorching sand,
Or get burned by the salty waves,
But there he was, a man

Frolicking, unafraid of the heat,
of the midday sun and it’s brilliant blaze,
He didn’t care for the sweet serenity,
of the dawn past, or the dusk to come

It was a dance, of a moth drawn to fire,
In solitude, for it was one’s goal alone,
A dark speck, that shined in the splendor,
It dashed towards a destiny, carved for those,
who dared to dance, where no one stood.


From the sun comes the power of the wind…….

The power of the wind
Panasonic gx80
mono image
Nigel Borrington
2021

Image

Sunset at Carnivan beach, Fethard on sea, county Wexford

An image from a weekend at Carnivan beach, Fethard on sea

Carnivan beach, Fethard on sea, is on of my most loved beaches along the Irish coast line, located in county Wexford, it is simply stunning and offers a view along the coast towards hook head lighthouse.


A Morning walk by the river bank, 30km from Home ….

A Morning by the river Suir
30Km from home
Nigel Borrington 2020

Images from a great walk this morning on the banks of the river Suir, county Tipperary some 30km from home ……


In The Green you can live ….

In The Green you can live ….

Don’t listen to the people
Who think they know it all
I open my heart
and write you a song

Time is Gone
Escape from all

And in the green
you can live
On the trees you can sleep
And the moon will make you smile
And the city says goodbye
And shout lalalalalala

I give you my bag
Old bag
For guitar and bread

I give you my shoes
Old shoes
And i give you my hat

Time is Gone
Escape from all

And in the green
you can live
On the trees you can sleep
And the moon will make you smile
And the city says goodbye
And shout lalalalalala


Mine is the freedom of the hills : By: Douglas Fraser – 1968

Freedom of the Hills
Irish Landscape Photography
Nigel Borrington

Freedom of the Hills

By: Douglas Fraser – 1968

Mine is the freedom of the tranquil hills
When vagrant breezes bend the sinewy grass,
While sunshine on the widespread landscape spills
And light as down the fleet cloud-shadowed pass.

Mine, still, that freedom when the storm-clouds race,
Cracking their whips against defiant crags
And mists swirl boiling up from inky space
To vanish on the instant, torn to rags.

When winter grips the mountains in a vice,
Silently stifling with its pall of snow,
Checking the streams, draping the rocks in ice,
Still to their mantled summits I would go.

Sun-drenched, I sense the message they impart;
Storm-lashed, I hear it sing through every vein;
Among the snows it whispers to my heart
“Here is your freedom. Taste – and come again.”


Life is about being Happy, finding a way to stay happy …

Derreen Gardens
Lauragh
Country Kerry
Canon G1x series camera
Nigel Borrington 2020

There are so many great quotes from John Lennon, but this one has to be one of his best 🙂

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

John Lennon

In current times finding happiness has become very important for our mental health, we all need to fight as hard as possible to achieve personal happiness, never let anyone for what ever reason put you in any other mood than a generally happy one !

One tool I have developed over the last weeks to active this aim is to stop reading/watching or listening to the daily news, I could write an essay on the why’s but life is to short!

Just stop listening, get outside as often as you can (walk, say hello to people, look at the landscape around you), it is not selfish to make sure your in a good mental place, you can give more to others if you are!

Happiness needs working at, working to find the things that make you happy and at the same time dismissing the things that don’t – it takes work !!!!


The Scribe in the Woods, Irish Poetry

Deep in the woodlands
Panasonic Lumix Gx1
Nigel Borrington 2020

The Scribe in the Woods, Irish Poetry

‘Over me green branches hang
A blackbird leads the loud song
Above my pen-lined booklet
I hear a fluting bird-throng

The cuckoo pipes a clear call
Its dun cloak hid in deep dell:
Praise to the Gods for their gifts
That in woodland I write well’


Isolation in landscape a Charcoal drawing …..

isolation in  landscape
Charcoal on paper
Nigel Borrington
March 2020

Fresh from my drawing board 🙂

To be honest it taken me a few days, just like us all! to come to terms with world wide events!

I hope everyone in the wordpress community is well and keeping safe and health !

This afternoon I setup by drawing board i did my first charcoal drawing for a week “isolation in landscape” is what I am going to call it 🙂

Can I pass on some wishes for you all!

Eat well !
Sleep lots – go to bed way to early and listen to Music not the news !!
Take Vitamin D – it helps you fight off infections !!!
Do not stress – its the Number one biggest enemy of the Immune system !!!!

I am going to add don’t drink alcohol of any kind its also a killer of the Immune system !!!

Read lots of positive things, watch Positive TV !! Talk , have family fun or fun with your friends, get outside 🙂 🙂

Please look after yourselves the world needs you as Do I xxx


New Art work 2020, A still life drawing of two Pears using ICON – Chalk Pastels

Still life study ,
Two pears,
Icon Chalk Pastels on Paper
Nigel Borrington 2020

Created as one of my first still life studies while attending an evening class at our local art school KCAT, located here in Callan, County Kilkenny this drawing is made using Chalk Pastels on cartridge paper. I love this type of still life study very much , it gave me a great chance to use ICON Chalk pastels for the first time and I loved the experience of using them and the results they created. The strong marks used to build up shades and form I truly feel creates a very strong result. 🙂


A weekends Drawing – Manchester’s Industrial Landscape ( Charcoal on Paper )

Manchester’s Industrial Landscape
In the style of Trevor Grimshaw
Nigel Borrington
March 2020

This weekend I gave myself sometime to add a physical Charcoal on cartridge paper drawing to last weeks Digital version in my last post. I wanted to do some work in the style of Trevor Grimshaw as I like his drawings very much and felt there was a lot of value in attempting to produce my own versions, I feel that his use of monochrome with its many varying tones, so carefully worked is wonderful…

So here is my first attempt to produce an A3 size drawing 🙂 I am happy with the results but will keep working hard in order to refine this style of working with Charcoal as a medium ……

I also want to add some Acrylic painting works to the project but for now I am loving using Charcoal 🙂


New art work 2020 – February light on Tipperary Fields

Acrylic on Canvas board
Nigel Borrington
Feb : 2020

Over the last few months and for the first time in a good few years, I have been attending some art Classes at our local art school KCAT, so I wanted to share some of the work they have helped me start to produce again, here on my blog!

The course has covered the subjects of drawing and of painting, I need to get my drawings and paintings so far captured so I can post them here, something I will do this week but for now here is an acrylic landscape painting, a view of a late February afternoon about 10 miles from home. I love these late winter days when its sunny, the Sun light on our green Irish landscapes is just amazing 🙂


Sheeps bit – Wild flowers at the old slate quarry

Irish wild flowers
Sheeps bit
Slate quarry’s
County Kilkenny

Sheeps bit – Wild flowers

The Slate Quarry at (Ahenny, Windgap, Co. Kilkenny) is one of our best local locations for wild life and wild flowers – at this time of year. There are three or four old open quarry pits most of which now form small lakes, along with many heaps of slate that remained in place after all the good slate in the area had been removed. In the summer the lakes are used for swimming in.

I often visit and today I captured these blue sheep’s bit flowers at lunch time and they cover most of the tops of the old slate heaps. Natural blue wild flowers are one of natures rarest finds so it was a true pleasure to see such a large amount growing in one place.

Here are some details about these very special little plants ….

Sheep’s-bit

Scientific Name: Jasione montana
Irish Name: Duán na gcaorach
Family Group: Campanulaceae

Also known as Sheep’s-bit Scabious, the books say this is a rather variable plant and can easily be mistaken for a composite or a scabious, but theAlso known as Sheep’s-bit Scabious, the books say this is a rather variable plant and can easily be mistaken for a composite or a scabious, but the florets have a 5-toothed calyx and not a pappus. Also the anthers in this plant do not project – unlike those of Devil’s Bit Scabious. I hope this helps. It is a pretty little downy biennial which grows in rocky places, cliffs and heaths up to 40cm high. It has bright blue rounded flowers aggregated in a compact head (15-25mm) which is borne on a slender stem. Its leaves have wavy edges and are hairy, grey-green and short-stalked. The plant is on flower from May to September. This plant is a native and belongs to the family Campanulaceae.

I first identified this flower in Laragh, Co Wicklow in 1976 and photographed it in Glenmalure, Co Wicklow in 2006.
florets have a 5-toothed calyx and not a pappus. Also the anthers in this plant do not project – unlike those of Devil’s Bit Scabious. I hope this helps. It is a pretty little downy biennial which grows in rocky places, cliffs and heaths up to 40cm high. It has bright blue rounded flowers aggregated in a compact head (15-25mm) which is borne on a slender stem. Its leaves have wavy edges and are hairy, grey-green and short-stalked. The plant is on flower from May to September. This plant is a native and belongs to the family Campanulaceae.

I first identified this flower in Laragh, Co Wicklow in 1976 and photographed it in Glenmalure, Co Wicklow in 2006.

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre


Irish Butterflies – Wood White Leptidea sinapis (lep-TID-ee-uh sy-NAY-piss)

Irish Butterflies
Wood White
Leptidea sinapis (lep-TID-ee-uh sy-NAY-piss)

It a pleasure to be into photography at this time of year, nature is in full flight and at her very best.

For many personal reasons I have no been posting regularly here on my blog for the first time in many years so it also a pleasure to be able to make a start again.

Last week I spent as much time as I could taking my much love Nikon and macro lens out into our local woodlands and capturing lots of nature images. Here is just one of the many images I managed to get the time to process so far.

Now that I am starting again to post here, I plan to be very specific this summer with my images and close-up nature images will be one of my main areas.

Wood White

Family: Pieridae Swainson, 1820
Subfamily: Dismorphiinae Schatz, 1887
Tribe: Leptideini Verity, 1947
Genus: Leptidea Billberg, 1820
Subgenus:
Species: sinapis (Linnaeus, 1758)
Wingspan 42mm

The Wood White is one of our daintiest butterflies with one of the slowest and delicate flights of all the butterflies. When at rest, the rounded tips of the forewings provide one of the main distinguishing features between this butterfly and other “whites”. Adults always rest with their wings closed. In flight, the male can be distinguished from the female by a black spot at the tip of the forewings that is greatly reduced in the female. This butterfly lives discrete colonies and was only recently separated from the visibly-identical Cryptic Wood White. This local species can be found in central and southern England and also in Ireland on the limestone pavements of Clare and South-east Galway. This species is absent from Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.


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.


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 🙂