Doolough Valley, Co. Mayo

Doolough Valley
Doolough Valley 16 x 12 inches, Oil on Canvas

On a recent visit to some of my favourite parts of the Irish countryside – Connemara and the Mayo coastline, we came upon this charming site

Doolough Valley

It is located in Co. Mayo, along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Doo Lough (in Irish meaning “Black Lake’)

Driving through the Valley is a unique experience. It is embedded in a mountainous landscape of unspoilt nature – Mweelrea Mountain and Sheeffry Hills. There are two lakes on the east-side, where the Wild Atlantic Way winds its way through.

A yearly walk is held along this route in memory of the
Doolough dead and to highlight the starvation of the world’s poor, still today.


A stone memorial cross can be found on the northern edge of the valley, dedicated to the victims of the “Doolough Tragedy” marking one of the most tragic periods in Irish history. During the Great Famine in 1849, hundreds of people made their way from Louisburgh to Delphi Lodge. Threatened by starvation, their suffering was ignored and they were turned away. Many died from malnutrition on the return journey to Louisburgh in Doolough Valley.


“How can men feel honoured by the humiliation of their fellow beings?”

Mahatma Ghandi

This question of Mahatma Ghandi is engraved in the cross.

Doolough Valley Framed
Doolough Valley framed with an inner white mount and silver frame 18 x 20″ overall measurement

View the painting in a room setting

Doolough Valley Room Setting

If you would like to purchase this painting, please contact me

Dark Hedges

The Mystifying Dark Hedges that lured Games of Thrones to make a scene!

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:

The Giants Causeway

and then

The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

 

We were also mystified by the stunning natural landmark and eerie

Dark Hedges 

of Ballymoney in Northern Ireland.

Dark Hedges - 60 x 60 cms Oil on block canvas
Dark Hedges – 60 x 60 cms Oil on block canvas

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.

 

The Dark Hedges are  the most photographed location in Northern Ireland.   So much so, that even the  popular Game of Thrones  filmed a scene at this enchanting  road.

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.

Dark Hedges Donna McGee

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.

Dark Hedges Donna McGee

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!

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Here are some other paintings from my trip to the magnificent Causeway Coast & Glens, Antrim, Northern Ireland.

The Giants Causeway - Oil on Board 10x12" Donna McGee
The Giants Causeway
Oil on Board 10×12″

Read the blog post here

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge 10 x 8 inches Oil on Canvas
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge 10 x 8 inches Oil on Canvas

I hope that you have enjoyed this journey to The Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland.
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Thank you for liking and sharing this post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two of the beech trees are pictures collapsed across the road

 

 

 

Upper Lake Glendalough

Upper Lake Glendalough - 40 x 30 inches - Oil on block canvas
Upper Lake Glendalough – 40 x 30 inches – Oil on block canvas

 

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.

A view of Upper Lake Glendalough
A view of Upper Lake Glendalough

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.

The Round Tower at :Glendalough,
The Round Tower at :Glendalough,

St. Kevins Monastery at Glendalough,
St. Kevins Monastery at Glendalough,

 

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.

Art Source Final Preparations

Into the Ether Collage
Into the Ether Collage

Art Source

and the final preparations

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This is the most exciting art event of the year

I am  putting the finishing touches on my work

Scrutinising Fine Art with fine detail …

Labels for typing …

Catalogues for printing …

and excitement building!

Come, join me at Art Source, RDS, Dublin 11th – 13th November 2016

where over 120 contemporary artists and 22 Irish and international galleries gather together to showcase Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Illustration, Prints, Ceramic and Glass Art.

 

Art Source - Donna McGee

 

Painting the Himalayan Range. Nepal

Painting the Himalayan Range Sarangkot, Nepal

Himalayan Range -Sarangkot 30 x 10" Mixed Media on Nepalese Hand Made Paper
Himalayan Range -Sarangkot 30 x 10″ Mixed Media on Nepalese Hand Made Paper

This is the first painting I have attempted since my return from Nepal. Continue reading “Painting the Himalayan Range. Nepal”

Shades of Diversity Preview – Sneak Peek!

Shades of Diversity Preview

Thought I’d take a final visit to the library today  ‘just to be sure, to be sure’  that everything was just fine for the opening of my exhibition

Shades of Diversity

that takes place  tomorrow. Continue reading “Shades of Diversity Preview – Sneak Peek!”

The Pigeon House, Dublin

Pigeon House Dublin 14 x 12" Oil on canvas Oil Painting Donna McGee
Pigeon House Dublin 14 x 12″ Oil on canvas

About The Pigeon House

The Pigeon House, also referred to as The Poolbeg Generating Station is situated on the River Liffey in Ringsend Dublin.  The iconic chimneys are so-called, because of their caretaker John Pidgeon. The story began with the shipping difficulties encountered in navigating  Dublin bay around the time of the late 1700’s.  Construction work began to make the channel deeper and The Great South Wall, the longest of its kind in Europe was constructed.

A more permanent fort  built shortly afterwards,  remained in operation until 1897, when the building was sold to Dublin Corporation.  They wished to build a power station to supply energy to the fast-growing city.  The power station, initially coal-fired, began operation in 1903.

View of The Pigeon House in the distrance from Dalkey © Donna McGee
Distant view of The Pigeon House from Dalkey © Donna McGee

It was finally decommissioned in 1976.  Its massive chimneys became a famous Dublin landmark and have become a favorite with many artistic interpretations.

Take a flight inside the Poolbeg Chimneys

My Meraki Painting

I came across the Greek word “Meraki” and its meaning caught my attention.  For me, all I could think of was that it had to apply to a painting.  This is the nearest English translation:

“Meraki” to do something with soul, creativity, or love; to put something of yourself into your work

meraki [may-rah-kee] (adjective) of Greek origin

Sunlight through the trees
Meraki 10 x 14″ Oil on Canvas

And so, this is my Meraki painting!  It has been sitting on my easel for quite a while now – nameless, so I am happy to have found a title to compliment it.  These are the kind of scenes I like to paint because they are the places my mind often visits and lingers for a while.

I hope you like it.

Evening Glow

Evening Glow Oil Painting

burning light of the setting sun re-ignites the dormant marshlands oil painting
Evening Glow – Oil based mixed media on block canvas 24 x 36″ © www.donnamcgee.ie

The burning light of the setting sun seeps through the woodland.  Languidly, it   re-ignites the dormant marshlands

An evening glow ensues!

 

Please share this post  if you like the painting.

Connemara Views

A recent trip from Galway city to Clifden  and on to Cleggan left me feeling much inspired.

It was a cold and wet day  but the constant changing light danced around the rugged  landscape,  shifting its mood and tone as it contrasted  with the Twelve Bens   mountain range to the north. Sheep grazed in the surrounding  bog-lands that were illuminated by shades of gold as time stood still.

This painting reflects my memory of the trip.

Irish Art_Connemara_View_Oil_Painting_
Connemara View 10 x 12 Oil painting on block canvas © www.donnamcgee.ie

While I am speaking about the glories of Ireland and its rich countryside, may I take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick’s Day