Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Paris-Exhibition in the Irish Embassy

I'm getting ready for my next couple of exhibitions for May.

One is in Saint Germain Les Corbeil which is in the Seine et Marne region of France. The other is in the Irish Embassy in Paris where I'm going to have a solo show on the opening of the newly renovated building. More information on those below. I'm also negotiating with a gallery in Paris for a September show but more on that when it's finalised.


The first exhibition on May 16th, will be in the prestigious opening day of the Irish Embassy in Paris. The building has been renovated and is magnificent. Our ambassador, Anne Anderson has managed a fabulous restoration project.

My paintings will be hanging in the hall, landing, smoking room, music room & dining room. Here is a photo, taken yesterday, of the beautifully restored dining area.
The details are:

May 16th, 10am - 4pm
12 avenue Foch
75116 Paris

Entrance on Rue Rude.
Further information

Recent Paintings

As usual

As usual I've been very busy creating new works, experimenting and drawing.
This painting, called 'Natures Eye', is in oils on canvas and it's talking about our connection to nature. How we can see the world through the eye of nature and respect our interconnectedness with it.

'Gene Pool' is about tinkering with the environment. The fish is a new species. The round spheres are natural genetic structures and the square ones are man made additions. It's painted in oils on canvas.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Leaving Maubec

I don't want to go but have to get myself back to Paris. It's been a lovely week here, storms and all. The place is marvelous and after Dingle in the west of Ireland I am happiest here.

With the painting etc I didn't get much of a chance to be out and about much. I painted most of the time. To have the light and to be surrounded by nature was worth coming here for.

We did visit a monastery called Ganagobie (meaning "Big Fish"). It's built upon a tableland overlooking the Durance valley which has a wide river, hense the reference to the fish. The history is remarkable. It seems to have had long links with the celts and was a spiritual fortress or stronghold for thousands of years. More recently it was founded as a monastry in the 10th century. There are a lot of relics showing the celtic connections but now it's a benedictine monastery which has been completely restored to it's former glory.

Here are a few pics of the place. The Ganagobie church entrance. Me, having a sandwich in the village of Apt. My nephew (on the french side) and a sketch which I gave to a friend of the family (I did get some drawing done).

The painting which I started isn't finished but it has a good essence. The most rewarding work has been the work which I do from imagination or dreams. This really surprises me. I had always feared that my internal vision was not profound enough to create works like this, hense my focus on realism and study. Now all that understanding is mixing with my own internal imagination and works which I don't believe I would have been able to successfully do before, are coming out. I'll post a photo of the painting next week.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Machine dream

Tonight I had a weird dream. There was a young robotist building a machine which a man could fit into and basicly use it as a shell within which to work. To do manual labour for farms, building etc.

He was very comfortable within this machine shell and develeopes a good intuitive relationship with the machine shell. He called it that, a shell! The day arrived when he had to show the machine to an audience and give a presentation on how it worked.

He packed the robotic shell onto the back of his pickup truck and got in. His intention was to drive the hundred miles to his destination (somewhere in the USA) and then speak in front of an audience. The car broke down half way there and he had the bright idea to get into the suit and give it a field test. So he strapped himself in and started off across country. Eventually he arrived at a bridge and not wanting to attract too much attention he decided to cross the riverbed over the foundations of the bridge. He did so. Eventually he arrives at his destination. A little worse for wear and the suit a bit muddy (it's grey/white and quiet small relative to the shape of his body). The audience is surprised that he is late but he recounts his journey, showing video clips of the machine, taken from it's onboard camera. People are amazed at the potential of his devise.

So, what starts off as an agricultural working aid, ends up having huge military potential.

The next part of the dream.

The shells have been adapted for military use and one man can opperate ten at the same time. This becomes a standard squad. The central shell is occupied by a man or woman and the remaining machines mimic their actions in a battle situation where the ideal is simply to move forward and destroy.

So, cut to a forest scene. A great grandchild of the original inventor is fighting to protect his families land from the military organisation which want to take it over. It's mostly wooded territory. His education is pretty basic because he never had the advantages of his grandfather. Not well connected enough and in fact he doesn't even realise that the advancing army were originally designed by predecessor.

Despite this he is very intuitive and well connected to the land and such farm machinery which they have. He sets a trap for the shells. Identifies the central machine and sets out to isolate it. A simple rope trick is used where the central shell is traped, hoisted off the ground and isolated very quickly. Once isolated he quickly destroys it by taking over one of the others, switching it from auto to manual and using it's firepower to destroy the isolated central shell. Now he is inside the shell. He takes controll of the others and arranges the other machines to dig a hole among the trees, enter the hole and cover themselves untill he calls them. Which he doesn't intend to do anytime soon.

What happens next is like a second stage in evolution. He begins to live as an outlaw with the shell as an extension of his body. It becomes his home and he studies it and developes a connection with it which has never existed before between any human & machine. He learns to recognise that the machine has an intuition and a range of senses that were never intentionally built into it.

A new era of sentient life evolves. End of dream.

I found this dream to be very disturbing and very likely to actually happen. Most people won't be following science the way that I do but the technology for such a dream to come true is well and truely in existance already. I'm not disturbed by the potential military use of such a machine, though I should be given the way that simple building machines such as caterpillar trucks etc are being used as weapons. It's more the connection with the machine and the resulting disconnect with the natural world which the young character experiences. Using our current mode of living as a guide where corporations are more machine like than responsible or moral, as a model, it is easy to see how we could easily fall into the trap of using things in a purely disconnected manner. Disconnected to humanity, to morals, to honesty and trust. Fundamental building blocks of a society that is actually alive, as opposed to self destroying.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Oh la! It's really raining. The light just vanished and the clouds unleashed a massive downpour. So I'll not be painting any more this evening. Might get some drawings in. The painting is only a third of the way through. You can see a bit of each layer. The charcoal drawing, the greyscale underpainting, and the colour in oils.

Here are a few pics. This is nothing on what I can see out the window right now. It's as dark as dusk. The lights are flickering here so I think the electricity might go off soon. Big storm rolling in.

It really is like Ireland now :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Why go to the south of France?

If you're not going to paint the landscape, why go to the south of France?

Everyone talks about the south of France as though it is a heaven for artists. Not everyone who comes here paints the landscape. So why not Paris, there are surely a lot more galleries?

The reason that artists and art collectors both rave about the south of france is the light, the people and the history, the space it gives you to think and the changing seasons and colours. The best time to come to the south is not the summer. Despite that, tourists and artists alike flock here at that time. For those who live here, the summer is the least attractive season because of the heat & it's getting hotter of course.

We are in spring now and it's almost as green and rich looking as Ireland. The iris' are in bloom and trees are showing off their rich colours. Blossom is everywhere and plants I've never seen before are showing pink, white, purple & mauve. The light is gentle, yet bright. It's not hot, there is a cool breeze today.

The landscape varies from flat to hilly to mountainous very quickly. It's a human scaled landscape. Most structures are built from local stone. As people can travel so easily now, there are a lot more visitors by car during holiday seasons and land is more valuable to sell for housing than to farm. Despite this, farmers work and cultivate the land, producing the best wines and incredible vegetables. The quality of the food alone is a good reason to live here and always has been.

In the winter the light is perfect and there is no searing heat. Photographs rarely capture the magic of the more simple aspects of the landscape. Yet the artists eye is very impressed by even these parts because of the surprising sense of distance and perspective. The easily perceived definition on everything. The landscapes shines. It fills you up with a new sense of colour and an appreciation for values of light which will help you no matter what you are painting.

When you come here you have to grow into the land as well. We can't have the benefits of the city while enjoying contact with nature. Nature can't survive that. When you come here, be a farmer, an artist or a writer for a while & leave the TV behind.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Marcus Mcallister Expo etc

It's been a while since I posted (apart from a couple of minutes ago). That doesn't mean I've been quiet. The opposite applies. I've been drawing intensely, painting, teaching, and getting my work out there.

I also got to go to a couple of exhibition openings. One was Marcus McAllisters show in Paris. Not his first by any means but this is the first time we have crossed paths. His show was in the Style Pixie gallery and it was full to bursting with a really wide range of people from all communities. His work is a real mix of media but the images are very creative, inspired by his note books, one of which he keeps with him at all times so that when inspiration strikes he can make a note or drawing. Some of the pages are so detailed and interesting that they became framed pieces in themselves.

You should check him out.

Here are some photos from the evening. All taken with my cell phone so the quality is far from great.

Etsy evening in Paris

Had a great evening in Paris tonight. I met up with some of the organisers of Etsy. We met in the Petula Cafe, 6, Rue des Ciseaux, 75006 Paris, Tel : 01 44 41 01 09. Metro St Germain des Pres/Mabillon. is an online arts and crafts site where people who make things by hand can sell what they do. By coincidence I opened an Etsy shop last night and the timing was perfect because Maria and Liz, the speakers, have never been here before. My etsy shop address is

There was a nice bunch of people at the meeting. Apart from me, they were all women :)

The conversation was very interesting. Lots of important things relating to selling and creating were discussed in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Great to see people who are involved in creating and recycling being so dynamic and friendly.