I wish I was a Gannet!


I wish I was a gannet (well…. maybe for  just for a little while! )

From our boat trip along the shores of Carrigaholt and  around Loop Head, we were mesmerized by the gannets as they dive-bombed into the sea from up to 40 metres and hit the water with a streamlined elegance that Tom Daley and his Olympic buddies could only attempt to emulate.

Gannets are the most  amazing seafaring birds to watch.   They are the largest of Ireland’s sea birds and with a wingspan of just under 2m.   They have snow-white plumage,  are tipped with black on the wings and are crowned with a buttery almond glow.

The Gannet Watch 24 x 16 Oil on Canvas
The Gannet Watch 24 x 16 Oil on Canvas

As the boat swayed to and fro, I gazed up into the morning light and thought about my best efforts at a pencil dive, then as I watched another rapid dive,  I thought …… no more cooking….. no more cleaning up…… sushi for every meal – how wonderful and simple life could be!  I wish I was a gannet!

Shortly thereafter, we arrived back to shore!

What would you like to be?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of Irish culture throughout the world, so whoever you are or wherever you are in the world, have a happy time and celebrate with us.

Happy St. Patrick’s weekend!

Please take a moment to watch this short video which will give you a taste of Ireland today and if you like it,  please share. 🙂

New Irish Art Update

Fuschia Sunset 20 x 30" Oil on canvas © donna mcgee
Fuschia Sunset 20 x 30″ Oil on canvas

I have updated my art on the New Irish Art Website.

New Irish Art Update

I invite you to   browse around the site and see the huge selection of amazing and diverse work from over 500 artists.

Enjoy – you might even find that perfect and unique Christmas gift 😉

Safe Haven

Safe_Haven_ Cave Oil on canvas 20 x 30" © Donna McGee
Safe Haven – Oil Painting on Canvas 20 x 30″

Inspiration from a trip to the west coast of Ireland and in particular to the dramatic cliff walks in Kilkee, Loop Head and boat trips from Carrigaholt, I tried to capture the memory of this  special place.   

The painting, Safe Haven  began  to evolve and become an immersive virtual environment of sedimentary rock formation that could give shelter from the elemental forces of nature.

 “The spectacular scenery at the Mouth of the Shannon ranges from pastoral slopes and sand dunes to very dramatic cliffs with exposed layers of sand & mud sedimentary rock dating back 350 million years.

The ledges create ideal nesting areas for thousands of sea birds every year, including guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and fulmars.

Cliffs, coastal caves, sea stacks, rock folds and historic maritime features all contribute to this wealth of natural beauty to be seen from the water”.  Dolphin Watch Carrigaholt

– could this be a safe haven for the weary boatman to shelter from the stormy seas?


– a safe haven for  wildlife such as the  grey seals that also populate this area?

Either way, it is a place to explore!

Make hay while the sun shines

Miniature Oil paintings

Having just come back from a trip to the west coast of Ireland and in particular the very beautiful  Co. Clare,  my mind was racing with images and photographs of subject matter for painting.

The Loop Head Peninsula is where the River Shannon opens out to the Atlantic Ocean.  Next stop – America!

Magnificent architectural  rock formations of the peninsula trace the evolution of a large scale river delta during the Upper Carboniferous Period about 320 million years ago.

Despite images flooding my mind of the untamed waters of Kilkee, Loop Head and the majestic  Cliffs of Moher, my thoughts were of rock formations, flora and fauna and the onset of Autumn colour  – I found myself painting  abstracts in  oil.

“Making hay while the sun shines” or in other words, taking full advantage of the extended period of sunshine, now that Autumn has arrived.  Painting, varnishing, framing – multi-tasking en plein air and sunshine in the comfort of my garden – bliss!

These are some of the miniature 5 x 5″ oil paintings showcased in white frames that I have worked on and I hope you like them.

I look forward to more painting in my garden while this borrowed sunshine lingers and hope to post the results of my work  here shortly.


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

Affordable Art Fair – Dublin Exhibition

The Christmas season is  upon us and  there is only six weeks left to the big day.

I am getting excited about the  Affordable Art Show in Dublin  where  I have taken a stand   and  here are the details of  the exhibition:

Atlantic Crash, Atlantic Ocean, at The Affordable Art Exhibition Dublin,
Atlantic Crash 23 x 15″ Oil on board © www.donnamcgee.ie

Affordable Art Show 2012

Clyde Court Hotel  (formerly Berkeley Court Hotel), Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 

Saturday 24th  Nov & Sunday 25th Nov, 2012

Opening Times:  10.00 am – 6.00 pm

Please come along and say hello.  There will be some great works of art  for sale from a variety of artists.  This is the perfect time to pick up a unique gift for Christmas and to keep within your budget.

I have been working on a number of new oil paintings  and included in this are some  framed miniature oil paintings mounted on block canvas at  very  affordable prices – the ideal gift for Christmas!

Hope you can make it and looking forward to seeing you there.


Sunshine in my Heart

Sunshine on Magheramore Beach, Wicklow

Irish Art - Maghermore Beach, Co. Wicklow, east coast of ireland, sandy beach, rock pools, cliffs, water reflections
Maghermore Beach, Co. Wicklow – 8×10″ Oil on Canvas © www.donnamcgee.ie

The long bank holiday weekend in August – already thinking about school uniforms, book lists …. and all the routine “duty” that is so much a part of this time of year.

But hey, I’m still waiting for the summer to come! What is happening  to our planet? Is it Global Warming?  Global Freezing?

The rains came and made our gardens grow,  the  grass grew greener, then more rain came and flooded our fields and gave headaches to  the farmers.

Quietly, I wait for the sun to announce summertime.

Well,  last weekend the sun came!  We made it to one of my favourite places – Magheramore Beach in County Wicklow.  This small little secluded beach embraced children playing, families picnicking, people swimming,  dogs prancing with delight and we even saw a seal proudly perch its head above the waves as if to say “Hi – let’s play”.

My camera phone and my sketch pad kept me  peacefully engaged in quiet absorption as I stole away some time to record the scene.  The sun shone and the undulating waves rippled a slow mesmerizing imprint on the shoreline.

I transferred my sketch to canvas as soon as I returned  –   hoping that somehow I could hold this sunshine in my heart just a bit longer.

The Artistic Journey of the Violin – Day Four

Instrumental Art  Exhibition Opening in Dublin


  • May 25th – June 24th.  2012
  • Exhibition Space, Top Floor, Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre
  • Opening Times Mon-Sat 11am-7pm.Thurs 11am-9pm. Sun 11am-6pm
    Free Admission

Instrument art, oil painting on a violin, oil painting of the creation of adam, musical youth foundation, soul picnic

Heaven’s Above by Donna McGee – Instrumental Art Dublin

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this exhibition, the world’s first Instrumental Art Exhibition featuring over 100 unique pieces.  It is truly amazing to witness the diversity  in creativity across this talented group of artists :  (from violins converted to medicine cabinets and a “well heeled guitar” literally  perched on high heels!)

Opening Night at Instrumental Art Exhibition, Donna McGee, Rod Coyne, artists
Opening Night at Instrumental Art Exhibition
Instrumental Art Dublin - Saoirse Meehan and Donna McGee
Instrumental Art Dublin – Saoirse Meehan and Donna McGee
Derek Lyons - Instrument Art Dublin
Derek Lyons – Instrument Art Dublin
Paul Flynn - Instrument Art Dublin
Paul Flynn – Instrument Art Dublin
Instrumenl Art Dublin, Soul Picnic, Musical Youth Foundation
Instrumenl Art Dublin
Staple Art - Instrumental Art Dublin, Soul Picnic, Musical Youth Foundation
Staple Art – Instrumental Art Dublin

This event has been organised by Soul Picnic in association with Dublin City Council and Failte Ireland.  On 26th – 27th  May, the 6th annual   ‘Dublin City Soul Festival  will take place live from the beautiful surroundings of Merrion Square Park.

The event  will raise much needed funds for  ‘Musical Youth Foundation’ (MYF) which provides children with access to a musical education.

You can make a donation directly to The Musical Youth Foundation  and at the Soul Picnic festival, or go along to the exhibition and purchase a truly unique musical instrument.

In addition, Merrion Square Art will continue, as always,  around the railings on the Square.  So feast your eyes and ears on great music and an excellent, broad  range of original paintings.

p.s. Sunshine has also been arranged.

Related Posts:

The Artistic Journey of the Violin – Day Three

Instrument Art

Naming the Violin

The Musical Youth Foundation charity was established in 2009 as part of the Dublin City Soul Festival project.   At the heart of the project is a deep wish to have a long-term positive impact on the local and wider community by providing children on the Island of Ireland with access to a musical education.

As a part of their fundraising events, an instrumental art exhibition, featuring over 100 pieces of art will open on 24th May and this violin is what I have been working on:

Instrument art, oil painting on a violin, oil painting of the creation of adam
Violin 5

Thank you to those  who came up with names for this violin and the name accepted is  “Heavens Above”.  The instruments will eventually be auctioned off to raise funds for this worthy cause.

Stay tuned or subscribe to continue the journey of Heavens Above

Related Posts:

Artistic Journey of the Violin – Day One

Artistic Journey of the Violin – Day Two