It is beautiful here in Brittany. I am staying at my mother in law’s house in Ploubazlanec which is not far from a Paimpol where I painted this plein air sketch. I come here every year and love it every time. The weather can be unstable but I am used to that growing up in Ireland. It is actually hard to create a successful watercolour when there is a blue sky, this is something I have learned over the years.
Plien air painting with Daniel Luther and Pavel Pugachev earlier last week. We painted the view towards the parliament buildings here in Stockholm. It was fun meeting Pavel, he couldn’t speak much English and no Swedish, and my Russian sucks so we communicated through Google Translate. It worked most of the time!
I feel so strange in Northern Ireland, my family live here but I never did. I grew up in the south. The cultures are very different, surprisingly so because Ireland is a smallish island. So coming home is not quite coming home, my parents moved here just before the beginning of the new millennium, that was 19 years ago. Like I said, it’s a strange feeling. Anyway, where is home? It’s in Stockholm of course! So homes move – mobile homes, I like the sound of that.
To be fair Northern Ireland is a beautiful place and there is lots of great scenes to paint and sketch. Today I drove to Groomsport not far from Bangor and did a quick painting of a house that I have painted before. I have put a link to that one here. It was a lovely day, it felt nice to smell the sea air and hear the seagulls sing. Yes, I know they don’t sing very well but it was enjoyable anyway!
I like to think of myself as a pacifist so it was interesting to visit the Army Museum here in Stockholm with my Urban Sketcher friends back in February. The Swedish Cavaliers are in reality mannequins on stuffed pantomime horses so it was a challenge to convey a sense of brutality. I am still against war and hope conflicts can be housed in museums forever.
This watercolour was sketched in my Saunders Waterford block 28 x 19 cm, 300g, fine grain.
I am enjoying my trip to Asia. Right now I am visiting my son in Iwakumi. This sketch is of a father and son who queued up for ice cream at the Wooden Bridge, a tourist spot in Iwakuni, Japan. From my sketchbook.
This is a radar reflector beacon on the island of Sandhamn in the Stockholm archipelago. Not easy to guess what it is I know. It was such a strange object to approach on the lonely windswept beach, a little spooky – cold metal with sharp, angular form.
The sketch is about A5 in size and painted in my Moleskin watercolour journal.
Click the thumbnail below to see it full-size image