“Suaimhneas” an enchanting word from the Irish language denoting
We toured the magnificent Causeway Coast & Glens, Antrim, Northern Ireland recently. Before we set out, we compiled a list of “things to do”.
Top of this list was to pay a visit to:
We were also mystified by the stunning natural landmark and eerie
of Ballymoney in Northern Ireland.
This beautiful avenue of beech trees with their intertwining branches were planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century. The family planted an avenue of over 150 beech trees along the entrance to their Georgian estate. It was intended as a compelling landscape feature to impress visitors as they approached their home, Gracehill House.
Today this unique, tranquil and spellbinding tunnel of ancient beech trees stretches along the Bregagh Road, intertwining and entangling to create a spectacular fusion of light and shadow.
This has clearly put the Dark Hedges on the map.
I thought you might like to see a clip of the top five Game of Thrones locations in Northern Ireland:
Depending on the time of year that you visit, there is no doubt that you will capture compelling images with your camera. The combination of shadows between morning and evening light, the seasons, snow, mist or haze – it’s a photographers heaven!
It is particularly eerie as the evening draws to a close and the light fades.
Originally, there were about 150 trees, but time has taken its toll along with storm damage and we were told that tour buses were causing difficulty too. Sadly, only about 90 of the trees remain today.
An old legend tells us of a “Grey Lady” that silently glides along the avenue. She then quietly vanishes into the ether. But when Halloween arrives, she re-emerges accompanied on her walk by tormented souls of those who were buried beside her!
With the help of Heritage Lottery Funding The Dark Hedges Preservation Trust project has four aims – to conserve and enhance The Dark Hedges, utilise the hedges as a learning tool and improve and develop interpretation around the hedges. The Dark Hedges Preservation Trust is working in partnership with the Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust to deliver the project.
Let’s hope the Dark Hedges survive well into the future and if you are in Northern Ireland, take the time to check them out – well worth a visit!
Here are some other paintings from my trip to the magnificent Causeway Coast & Glens, Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Read the blog post here
Glendalough, Co. Wicklow is one of Ireland’s most beautiful destinations.
It is a popular visitor attraction and has always been a favourite among artists to interpret.
“Glendalough will still your mind, inspire your heart and fill your soul!”
Glendalough (gets its name from the Irish language Gleann Dá Loch, “Valley of the Two Lakes”) It is noted for its magnificent scenery, rich history, archaeology, flora and fauna, abundant wildlife and mining history.
Glendalough is also one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland. This early Christian monastic settlement was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century. Most of the buildings that survive today date from the 10th through 12th centuries.
There are many walking trails of varying difficulty around Glendalough. I have added some photographs which I took from my phone while on a recent visit with my family. We took the “high road” (one of the difficult routes) and the mountain climb ensured a great workout! Thankfully, we were well rewarded with magnificent views over the valley when we got to the top.
I hope you like my painting and enjoyed reading this post.
Thank you for sharing.
The Giants Causeway lies at the foot of the basalt cliffs located in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is one of those places I had heard about, and read about so many times. It went on my list of “must-see” attractions.
The Giants Causeway was included on the World Heritage site list in November 1986.
It is said that to walk along The Giants Causeway is like a voyage back in time. There are many colour coded walking trails to guide you in order to take in the magnificent scenery and wildlife.
It is made up of some 40,000 massive black basalt columns sticking out of the Atlantic ocean.
Geological studies of these formations over the last 300 years have greatly contributed to the development of the earth sciences. They show that this striking landscape was caused by volcanic activity during the Tertiary, some 50-60 million years ago.
The dramatic sight has inspired legends of The Irish Giant Fionn mac Cumhaill striding over the sea to Scotland.
It was a pleasure to witness the majesty of The Giants Causeway and the Atlantic coastline with its unique rock formations full of intrigue and mystery.
Please like and share if you enjoyed this little insight too!
I always liked the painting and have made a number of renditions around this theme. For me, this lady arouses a sense of curiosity and intrigue as she looks out through the window and on into the garden.
Why is she there? What is she thinking about? What is the occasion? Is she happy or is she sad? Will she turn around and reveal more about who she really is?
While I consider it always an honour and a privilege to see one of my paintings in somebody else’s home or in an office setting, my artistic eye couldn’t help but make a critical assessment of the painting.
Eventually, after some discussion and laughter, my friend gave me permission to give The Lady in Red a makeover and so I took the painting home with me.
Next day, I found myself adding a few “touches” here and there and before I knew it, I had refreshed the entire painting and added a few more curves to The Lady in Red. She had now blossomed into a slightly more buxom and curvaceous woman and I think she looks all the better for it!
Thankfully, my friend agreed and was pleased as punch with her re-vitalised painting.
Consequently, I began scrutinising some more of my paintings. Working with the medium of oils makes it easier to make adjustments, value changes etc. This brings me back to the age-old problem that many artists encounter – when is the painting really finished?
This time, I think The Lady in Red has, let us say, grown with maturity.
Maybe it’s because it is Spring time – my subconscious is compelling me to review, re-arrange and fix!
Perhaps overall, it is better to leave well enough alone.
What do you think?