Thursday, November 9, 2017

Broken Arms Are Not Conducive To Making Art

At the end of June I broke my arm. For a more detailed report, see here. Luckily it was my right arm and I am left handed but that was about the only good luck in the whole affair. 
It renewed my interest in hands, and now arms.
Some drawings from those days are below


Monday, May 29, 2017

The Deckchair

I went out to take the deckchair in.  Heavy rain was meant to be coming through in the night.  In the seat there were flowers fallen from the tree above.  I got the camera and took some photos.  I forgot to put the deckchair in the shed and when I woke up the next morning, the rain had been lashing down for hours and the deckchair was soaked.



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hands and Homage

Invigilating at Massimo Bartolini's solo show 'In A Landscape' on a quiet day. 

The orange-nailed hands are mine, I wanted a photograph of them together neatly folded on my knee in proper invigilator fashion.

The hand prints are not mine but those of the curious around one of the sound holes in the sculpture.  Clustered and smeared together, it is almost as if they are paying homage to the notes coming out or touching a revered idol.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

River Water

I went to Croagh Wood through which the river Mahon flows on it's way to the ocean at Bunmahon. These are the swirls and eddies, the floating leaves and underwater pebbles.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Photoshop strikes again.  I have to invert almost every photo I like - just to see, you see.

Most of the time it looks rubbish - now and again, it works.

Monday, March 13, 2017


I bought a very small printing press recently and printed a an old drypoint plate yesterday.  The smudged printing ink around the plate gave me the idea for this digital development.  Apparently this fellow is called Gaspard.  I scratched the name into the plate when I originally drew it.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Twenty Five Years Later

Twenty five years ago I worked in a textile factory laboratory and office.  In the spare time at the office, I often used to doodle.  I made one particular doodle that I particularly liked and copied it.  It remains, an A4 sheet of paper with a small doddle copied many times on it.  It is dog eared now but I'm glad I still have it. 

Recently I decided to immortalise it in print and while I was printing it I thought back to working in the office and how stifled and trapped I felt.  I would never have imagined, when drawing this doodle, that one day I would be in a print studio in Kilkenny, twenty five years later printing it.

On The Desk

Today I am mainly still messing about* with my parasite drawings

print + ballpoint pen

ink + ballpoint pen

* when I was at art college, one lecturer always told us off for saying 'messing about'.  We should say 'experimenting with'.  So of course, I always say 'messing about'.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Like Hummingbird Wings

I was in the print studio and shot 10 minutes of video. 

I condensed 6 minutes of it into 1. 

The paper sounds like hummingbird wings (she said fancifully)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Two Books

I made two new books for the Artist Book fair at Limerick School of Art and Design.

I'm not entirely happy with either of them for the reason that I don't think there is a complete synergy between the idea, the form and the execution.

You can't really just decide to make a book without thinking everything through and then thinking it all through again, then starting and always being willing to abandon an idea if it isn't working.  I think artist books teach you to have a very elastically creative mind but then giving up on an idea, especially when hours of work are there in front of you, is very difficult.  I gave up some ideas but never really started again from scratch and I think these books aren't 100% because of that.

Book 1:  Irish Bus
A set of 11 postcards detailing a bus journey from Hospital, Co. Limerick to Oranmore in Co. Galway wrapped in a hand-reproduced bus timetable for route 51.  I love travelling by bus and kept a diary, recording conversations, things overheard on the radio, and things I saw.  I also took photos and made 11 little scenarios out of my notes.  Currently Bus Eireann is in severe financial difficulty and may not survive for too much longer so these anachronistic postcards my turn out to be a record of an anachronistic journey.

Book2: To See Your Own Light
I often listen to Hildegard von Bingen while drawing and made a drawing into a single page book, housed in a folder.  The outside of the drawing has one of her pieces of writing that I thought especially pertinent written on it;

We cannot live in a world that is interpreted for us by others.  An interpreted world is not a hope.  Part of the terror is take back our own listening.  To use own our voice.  To see our own light.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Sunshine is my Jack Russell/Chihuahua cross.  He is the greediest creature I know.  He actually trembles when he is watching you eat.  When he has eaten his dinner, he is as round as a barrel.

He has no coat to speak off.  No fur hardly on his chest and just bare patches under his 'arms'.  In winter I put jumpers on him which he likes but he is so small and wriggly that they usually fall off him again.  I drew this quickly when he was sat up in a purple jumper like a little man watching me.  His head really is that small.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Origami Printing

For Christmas I got some origami paper.  It was beautiful and as I've never tried anything like this before, I followed some online instructions to make a few origami pieces.  I found it very addictive to the point where every day I try and learn a new piece or practice making ones I've already learned.  My memory is shocking and I frequently forget after a few days how each one is made if I don't keep practicing.

So then, looking at the flat origami shapes, I thought about making larger versions and printing from them.  It worked after a little trial and error and here are the results.

(It is only a coincedence that I am posting this now, so close to Valentines Day as I am not sentimental, nor into any of that gushy, once a year, lovey-dove fest.)

I thought that the ghost print of the origami would be the best and I tried it in gold.  It was NOT GOOD.  There was no detail and the sewing on the paper origami 'plate' didn't help.

The actual print from the origami itself was better.

So I tried it in black ink against a roughly inked up background to contrast with the lines and precision of the origami

The different levels of ink on the origami give different results but what was really nice and intriguing were the ghost prints from the back of the origami

Then I printed a star.  The origami has to be flat so I need to learn a few more to continue this series.


*Not suitable for printing!