Today is Tuesday the 26th March, I have had the morning off, just me and the dog, to recharge the system after what can only be described as a very hectic weekend…right now I’m sitting in a little café here in Monaghan called Kingas, sipping coffee and typing whilst my youngest attends the local hall for a class…45 minutes to tell you what I’ve been up to….On Sunday I had the pleasure of teaching my “Encaustic with an Iron” introduction class to a group in Blessington, Co. Wicklow, if you follow my social media feed and particular my stories you may have seen this already.
The group called Cruthu are a west Wicklow arts group established in 2006, they base themselves in the astoundingly beautiful Russborough House courtyard where there are a small number of workshop spaces for arts and crafts workers…including Judy Heffernan with Jemglen Jewellery, Greg Long Visual Artist, Eamonn Heffernan bog oak sculptor and BeaJordanArts, amongst others.
The site is pure magic, set in a beautiful parkland and historic house with so many amenities provided, café, maze, house tours, icecream parlour, bird of prey centre, playground, 19th Century riding school, walled gardens and a wildlife habitiat to name but a few….no photos I had the time to take would do this amazing place justice….I had 20 minutes after the class to have a wee wonder about prior to the gates being shut at 6pm on this Sunday…no time to see half of what was on offer – needless to say if you find yourself touring this neck of the woods mark this spot on the map for a full days stop – its vast and simply gorgeous.
My group, and the reason I found myself at Russborough, comprised of ten participants of mixed abilities, some artists in their own rights, others not. we even had a candle maker I chatted wax with (we wax nerd-ed off on one another lol) I presented to the group a brief history of encaustic, introduced the tools, materials and equipment we would be working with for the day (all supplied by me)had a wee chat about health and safety and then we dove straight in ….starting as I do with basic colour application, in no time at all the ladies were producing botanical inspired colourful wax flowers, shaped and painted with their craft irons and they were off. The morning progressed with several versions of work created including an introduction into my 5 step landscape, we broke for lunch provided in the beautiful and cosy onsite café.
In the afternoon after a suitable amount of re-caffination, we had another walk through of the techniques applied in the morning session to re-inforce the learning. Then the participants had time to further develop their works and get creative…Iater I gave a demonstration on the creation of candle images using the iron (how could we not with a candle maker in the house) and everyone had a go before clearing up, mounting a number of works each and heading off for the evening.
We simply couldn’t believe how quickly those four hours had passed and with a little tech difficulty courtesy of my new sum-up machine finally a number of people even headed off with kits of their own to experiment and develop their skills – a delightful group to work with, I enjoyed the class immensely and would be very happy to visit with them again such was the enthusiasm for the session.
After packing up the car and preparing for the long drive home I had little time to explore the site for photographs as I mentioned before, however I do intend to revisit and really explore and when I get that chance I will share here x
Connected at the Copperhouse - an update
So last you heard from me I shared a wee process video ahead of my part in the group exhibition called Connected@thecopperhouse (through all social media channels follow #connected12 to see images and updates from the entire gambit of artists involved) the work was broad ranging, mixed media, advanced paper works, clay, encaustic, watercolour, graphic portraiture and photography and as mentioned before it was colourful, it was THANKFULLY a packed house AND it was fun….
I was ever so grateful to see a couple of familiar faces, family and friends pop in to lend their support. I landed a tidy commission I shall tell you more about another time but for now want to give a shout out to Mark at The Copperhouse Gallery for his support, Tara Prendergast from Biscuit for the support and to Monica Loughman for opening for us on the night. I especially want to thank the following artists for their comradeship and for the opportunity to show along side of ye all – a good bunch – cheers ladies x
Ana Dorado, Emma Higgins, Deborah Cogley, Karen Hickey, Isabelle Gaborit, Miriam Fitzgerald Juskova, Angela Emsen-West, Liga Valge, Rachel McDermott, Valerie Sweeney and Fran Halpin.
I do hope this finds you well..Happy Friday, how's your week been?
Here, with both the O'Connor children heading back to school its been all go go go to return to a normal routine after what I can only describe as a long hot summer..gosh but it was good!
I think I mentioned previously I am chomping at the bit to return to the studio, the studio which is now back at home in the garden build, a little tidier then when I last looked at it and just itching to be used. I have stocked up on some new materials and have two new works, and happily a commission, currently brewing in my head ...and while I am simply waiting for Monday morning to roll round and free me of some upcoming commitments I have been looking at the diary for the winter season and all that is ahead.
As you may or may not know I am very much looking forward to presenting a full encaustic demo on Culture Night at the fabulous space that is Monaghans Garage Theatre...thats Friday the 21st of September for those of you who want to mark the calendar. As part of the night I have committed to a 'wee taster" session on the night on a FIRST COME FIRST SERVED basis which I am happy to share with the first 15 folk that sign up on the night.
In replying to messages and enquiries since posting these details I have decided to follow on from this by holding an EU Encaustic Class in Saturday 29th September again at the Garage Theatre...its a fun, creative and productive session which teaches the joys of painting with wax using irons on card. Its an Introduction class...you dont have to know how to draw or paint as no previous experience is required - if however you are a painter its still a great days exploration...so if you feel the need for colour and creativity this is the class for you!
Saturday the 29th September 1-5 pm is the date and costing 55euro per person including all materials and equipment its going to fill up fast...Do get in touch to book your place and until then go well .
I will be in the studio if you need me. Wish me luck.
Contemporary Visual Artist working in mixed media/encaustic based in the durmlins of Co.Monaghan. Ireland.