Thursday, September 23, 2010

Culture Night Killarney

Lakes of Killarney 14" x 20" pastel on sanded paper 
6-11pm Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport,
New Road, Killarney.

Official opening at 6pm, music and refreshments
Exhibition of Killarney Area Artists
Music by the Killarney School of Music 6-7pm

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I live in Killarney one of the biggest tourist towns in Ireland.  Killarney is the largest town in County Kerry (known locally as ‘The Kingdom’). With a population of around 14,000 Killarney is nestled is in a deep valley in the MacGillicuddy Reeks, besides the Lakes of Killarney and part of the National Park.  Killarney has over a million visitors a year, this should be a great place for an artist to live work and sell their art.   So what could possibly be wrong?  

There are only two galleries in Killarney and one individual artist has his own gallery. There is no community art center no theater,  no cooperative galleries, no art associations or groups.  (If there are some they are quietly plugging away and I don't know about them and I appologize)  I find it very difficult to understand how a place of such beauty can seem so devoid of artistic spirit.  Ironically we are the home of the Irish Arts and tourism office.  

Oh! and  I almost forgot to mention that Killarney does have at least 14 book makers (betting offices for my non Irish readers) and over 30 pubs. Now that is something to be proud of. 

I often think about starting a cooperative Gallery myself, but the rents and the council tax and rates are out of most struggling artist price range ans is not an option.  There is so little opportunity for emerging  artist to show their work it is discouraging.   Killarney is missing out in an opportunity to high light the one of their greatest assets the local artists! 

So I keep plugging along and posting my work on Facebook and on my blog.  Getting wonderful feed back from my online friend that keep my spirits up and me motivated.  

I will do my little part and show the world that Killarney does have artistic spirit in the only way I know how,  through my  paintings
Killarney 14" x 20" soft pastel on sanded paper 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Facebook artists

My Facebook friends and their work

Facebook.  What an amazing thing social networking is.  I joined Facebook 2 years ago to keep in touch with my nephews in the US.  I didn't want to network, I had enough friends, so I would use it to post a few pictures and that would be that.  As the months and years went by, I started to find like minded people and slowly started to make new friends.  Most of the artist worked in pastels but I slowly met artist in all mediums. I admired their paintings, discussed methods, discovered new techniques and made lasting friendships.  Over the years these artist have been the most suportive and caring people I have never met.  (You know who you are)

I came in contact with a pastel artist named Alicia Sotherland. We started chatting and exchanging ideas.  I discovered she was going to do a work shop in France.  I had a brain storm!  Come to Ireland and do a workshop here!  As months went by the idea developed into reality.  Soon 10 artists and their partners from California, New York, England and Ireland arrived at the Lake Hotel in Killarney for a week of painting and socializing.  I had never met any of my Facebook friends in person, but I had formed a great bond with them.  When I finally met them it had felt like I had know them for years.  Hugs all around for all my old friends.

Unfortunately I know I will never have the opportunity to meet most of my new friends in person.  I do know that I would rather have them online, then not having them at all.
Plein Air water color by Mita highton

Pastel portrait by :Stephen Higton 
Workshop in the Lake Hotel Killarney

Student work
My completed work 
Alicia's demosttration
After workshop relaxation. Plein Air painting at the Lake Hotel Killarney

Plein air painting