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.
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!
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!
Loop Head, Co. Clare
Kilkee Coastline, Co. Clare
Kilkee Coastline, Co. Clare, West Coast of Ireland
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.
Carrigaholt and Loop Head Peninsula, Co. Clare
Lilly on Lilly pads
Oil painting, drying, varnishing and multi-tasking
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.