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 🙂
In January , I spend sometime capturing images of a family of otters on the river Suir, county Tipperary, this was great fun and one of the highlights of the year for my own nature photography.
A winters morning along the river Suir county Tipperary ….
February and while sometimes it can feel like spring is just around the corner, some mornings can be as cold the coldest the winter can offer here. With this cold weather can come some of the most stunning views of the season along the river banks here in the south of Ireland, frost and mist and the deep blue of a morning sky …..
Irish Landscape Photography : Slievenamon Bog, County Tipperary, The Bog Lands a Poem By : William A. Byrne
The Bog Lands
By William A. Byrne
THE purple heather is the cloak
God gave the bogland brown,
But man has made a pall o’ smoke
To hide the distant town.
Our lights are long and rich in change,
Unscreened by hill or spire,
From primrose dawn, a lovely range,
To sunset’s farewell fire.
No morning bells have we to wake
Us with their monotone,
But windy calls of quail and crake
Unto our beds are blown.
The lark’s wild flourish summons us
To work before the sun;
At eve the heart’s lone Angelus
Blesses our labour done.
We cleave the sodden, shelving bank
In sunshine and in rain,
That men by winter-fires may thank
The wielders of the slane.
Our lot is laid beyond the crime
That sullies idle hands;
So hear we through the silent time
God speaking sweet commands.
Brave joys we have and calm delight—
For which tired wealth may sigh—
The freedom of the fields of light,
The gladness of the sky.
And we have music, oh, so quaint!
The curlew and the plover,
To tease the mind with pipings faint
No memory can recover;
The reeds that pine about the pools
In wind and windless weather;
The bees that have no singing-rules
Except to buzz together.
And prayer is here to give us sight
To see the purest ends;
Each evening through the brown-turf light
The Rosary ascends.
And all night long the cricket sings
The drowsy minutes fall,—
The only pendulum that swings
Across the crannied wall.
Then we have rest, so sweet, so good,
The quiet rest you crave;
The long, deep bogland solitude
That fits a forest’s grave;
The long, strange stillness, wide and deep,
Beneath God’s loving hand,
Where, wondering at the grace of sleep,
The Guardian Angels stand.
Mending the Wall
By Robert Frost
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
“Stay where you are until our backs are turned!”
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours.”
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
“Why do they make good neighbours? Isn’t it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.” I could say “Elves” to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbours.”
Night on the Mountain
By George Sterling
The fog has risen from the sea and crowned
The dark, untrodden summits of the coast,
Where roams a voice, in canyons uttermost,
From midnight waters vibrant and profound.
High on each granite altar dies the sound,
Deep as the trampling of an armored host,
Lone as the lamentation of a ghost,
Sad as the diapason of the drowned.
The mountain seems no more a soulless thing,
But rather as a shape of ancient fear,
In darkness and the winds of Chaos born
Amid the lordless heavens’ thundering–
A Presence crouched, enormous and austere,
Before whose feet the mighty waters mourn.
The last two days here in Ireland have brought the first Snow of this winter. The local Mountains including Slievenamon have been covered at the highest levels and its a great sight to wake-up to.
The following Poem is based on the great TV series “Game of Thrones”!
To : Game of Thrones
18 July 2013 · Barrie, Canada ·
A Game of Thrones (Poem) by James J. A. Gray
Summer is swiftly ending,
Its warm sunny days are past;
Life grows short in this time of changing seasons.
Gone are the Wolves in the North,
Their howling song drowned out in blood and betrayal;
Gone is the galloping of horses in the west,
Only echoes and mirages remain in the dust and sand;
Gone is the royal stag;
The proud beast laid low.
Here now Lions rule a liar’s kingdom
While the spider weaves its intricate web,
And the Mockingbird sings many songs in eager ears,
And the fear of recurring myth hangs heavy
Over an Iron Throne with
Fire and Brimstone, Scales, and Wings.
The sun fades slowly in the west,
The bird-song grows quiet each passing day,
And the blue turns to gray as the sky darkens.
The days grow shorter.
The nights grow longer.
A chill settles in,
Descending from the North like a great beast toward the wall and the Black,
And with it the White and the Wildlings,
And the wind, and Snow.
Winter is coming.
Ever since I started watching Game of Thrones, I could not help but relate it to the amazing history that surrounds us here in Ireland, the Landscape is filled with ruins of long ago, Wars from the distant past. Viking invasions and hundreds of years of the Normans, French Lords who ruled over these Lands. Game of Thrones is mainly based around life in the North and South of What is now the United Kingdom along with looking to the lands of the east, but Ireland was ruled by exactly the same powers in the periods covered by the Historic settings behind the Game of Thrones and would have fallen under the same kingdoms.
Carey’s Castle in just one of these places, a reminder of the past, it rests in woodlands near Clonmel in Co. Tipperary, on the banks of the Glenary River, running past the castle and adding to a very peaceful atmosphere here. To locate it you walk for around 500m down a wonderful woodland trail, it is well worth the effort when the trees part and Carey’s Castle appears before your eyes.
Carey’s Castle, Gallery
The Irish great elk is an extinct species of deer it was one of the largest deer that ever lived. Its range extended across Eurasia, from Ireland to northern Asia and Africa.
The skull and antlers in the main image above are located in the old 11th century dining hall at Cahir Castle county Tipperary Ireland. With antlers spanning 2.7 metres (8.9 ft) this Skull hangs high on one of the gable ends of the hall and seams to fill the room with its presence.
It is some 7000 to 8000 years since these amazing elk walked around the Irish landscape, it is not fully known exactly why or when the became extinct but the most recent specimen of M. giganteus in northern Siberia, dated to approximately 7,700 years ago.
The Irish Elk stood about 2.1 metres (6.9 ft) tall at the shoulders carrying the largest antlers of any known cervid (a maximum of 3.65 m (12.0 ft) from tip to tip and weighing up to 40 kg (88 lb)).
In body size the Irish Elk matched the extant moose subspecies of Alaska (Alces alces gigas) as the largest known deer. The Irish Elk is estimated to have attained a total mass of 540–600 kg (1,190–1,323 lb), with large specimens having weighed 700 kg (1,543 lb) or more, roughly similar to the Alaskan Moose. A significant collection of M. giganteus skeletons can be found at the Natural History Museum in Dublin.
It is understood that the first humans to live in Ireland were the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, settling in Ireland after 8000 BC so it is possible that the first people to live here lived along side these animals and even hunted them for food and for their very skin and bones.
Finnish paganism and the Elk
The elk is a common image in many Finnish pagan art works …
Finnish paganism was the indigenous pagan religion in Finland, Estonia and Karelia prior to Christianisation. It was a polytheistic religion, worshipping a number of different deities. The principal god was the god of thunder and the sky, Ukko; other important gods included Jumi, Ahti, and Tapio.
Shows many similarities with the religious practices of neighbouring cultures, such as Germanic, Norse and Baltic paganism. However, it has some distinct differences due to the Uralic and Finnic culture of the region.
Finnish paganism provided the inspiration for a contemporary pagan movement Suomenusko (Finnish: Finnish faith), which is an attempt to reconstruct the old religion of the Finns.
The Swiss cottage in country Tipperary is one of Ireland’s unsung treasures, it was built around 1810 and is a fine example of cottage orné, or ornamental cottage. It was originally part of the estate of Richard Butler, 10th Baron Cahir who married Emily Jefferys of Blarney , and the cottage was primarily used for entertaining day guests of the couple.
The cottage was designed by the architect John Nash, famous for designing many Regency buildings.
The cottage has been restored by the local group and the OPW and must be one of their most loved properties as the condition is just amazing.
If you are visiting county Tipperary this is a must see location !
Wiki link for John Nash
Swiss Cottage, Cahir, Co. Tipperary – A sense of place Gallery