The Belated Tour

The image above is a composite photo of the scenic vista from the rear sunroom at Ballinglen. To the right, sits a stone church and some ancient stone walls and structures. At the center, just beyond the trees one can often see the ocean and Ballycastle beach.

I have had several requests to post some photos of my living and working environment during the residency. It is pretty funny that this never occurred to me. In going through my photos, I have realized that, from an outside observer, my photo choices might seem curious. As tourist photos they are odd in that they usually include no sky. The majority of my images are landscape photos where, if the sky appears at all, it is a sliver at the top of the frame. To someone not familiar with my recent work, these photos might not make much sense. I have many (hundreds?) of photos of the landscapes that I have encountered – from these I have either completed onsite sketches or I will use them for future works. The skies are often quite incredible in this region, but my interest in creating these new paintings has been on the landforms and peat bogs. Here are three examples:

This photo shows the charming Ballinglen cottage I was provided. The ocean is in the distance and some spirited cows graze just beyond the fence. I wasn’t kidding about the dramatic skies.

On a hike, not far from downtown Ballycastle, I photographed this shot of Down Patrick Head on the right of the horizon.

The Ballinglen facility is a re-purposed courthouse. The exquisitely designed building includes a complete print studio, a library, and a gallery in addition to the artist-in-residence studios and offices. The (sometimes rare) sunlight shines on my studio window in the upper left of the photo.

My studio is directly across from Polke’s store. As I worked, I documented the protective movements of their dog Wisa (ultimately diagrammed in one of the paintings), but also the ever-important Guinness van!

This is the street in front of Ballinglen including Mary’s Cottage café on the far right. The best scones on the planet earth.

The same stretch of street periodically is also a cow trail.

Healy’s Pub presents a weekly jam-session of local musicians and provided a lovely Guinness-filled Thanksgiving concert for us American guests. On a side note, the Smithwick’s beer is brewed in nearby Ballina.

The tour would be incomplete without the standard sheep on the road shot. Let me say that the sheep have been a constant inspiration for me – ultimately ending up in my “Viconian Sheep” diagram.

And finally, my Ballinglen studio space on the first day of the residency and then in the last days of the residency.