This morning I left my Northern Ireland home. It's been swell and I got to learn about sheep finally! Here is the parting gift that I made for my hosts. They had been asking me to draw up a farm plan as reference for future helpers. So I did.
Today I begin a pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick Mountain which is where Saint Patrick was supposed to have fasted 40 days. I will be walking more or less with my feet all the way from here (the northeast coast) to there (midwest coast) for mass atop the mountain on the 26th. Should be a wild ride. The name of this game is liveing outside my comfort zone for a month, so no steadfast planning. God's planning this trip for me :).
Oof, it has been a while since I updated. I can blame it on the fact that I am very excited about the things in my life that are unrelated to internet availability and the creation and documentation of consistent art. You see, I am finally working on a sheep farm!
Since I last updated strange, unexpected, exciting, beautiful and ugly things have happened. If you would like to learn about the things I've learned through it, you can read all about them in my book Ten Gazzillion Things at a Barns and Nobles near you.
Since I don't really have anything else to share for the moment, here are some of my favorite sketchbook moments:
actually it was god-awful, but beggars can't be choosers hey?
And here, for your perseverance in this long-winded post, is a more brilliant segment of a pen pal letter if I do say so:
Thanks for bearing with. See you next time!
I'm in Scotland now! And although I am on the go, I am still doing all the art things! So here is what I've been working on for a kind lady client back in the ol' USofA. His name is Olaf and he is a puppet made to honor the memory of a beloved real-life, full-sized kitty.
Animal portraits used to be one of my least favorite things because, it takes a very long time to find something in an animal's face to make it individual. Call me breedist, but all them cats look the same, whereas people have more distinguishable features and mannerisms. That is not to say that they are all exactly the same, BUT one wrong move and it looks like any old cat. There isn't too much room for play, is what I' saying.
So when I thought about how I could make this project fun for myself, the great Beatrix Potter and her personality-infused animals sprung to mind. The photos of Olaf reminded me a bit of the Gentleman Foxy Whiskers, in his waistcoat and finery. So I drew him like this:
But was deemed too serious for Olaf's temperament. He was a silly cat.
So I took Beatrix Potter into the 21st century and gave it a bit more of my own style.
There are few things that I've experienced that are more magical than the fairy stories told by those that truly understand them. Fairies are perhaps a beautiful manifestation of boredom blended with imagination. Maybe they are Spirits physically taking form in living, breathing creatures. Maybe it's a combination. At least part of the truth is that the ambiguity, scope and mystery of the lore does not detract, but adds to our enchantment in fairies.
And now I'm in Germany for a few days, then it's back to Ireland to be a nanny until the end of the month (and stopping by to visit The Valley House of course). 'Til next time.
Today I'm leaving my home of the last couple months, The Valley House of Achill Island.
Achill Island is a relatively small island right off the west coast of Ireland. It is the off-season now, which pretty much means it isn't summer, and therefore mostly empty and closed down. I keep hearing about how wonderful and buzzing the island is during the summer with tourists, surfing, shops, 20 hour long days, sunshine, etc. Right now it's desolate. But desolate can be far more beautiful than buzzing, I think. In truth, I'm just a normal tourist, but when I'm one of the only tourists around, it feels like I alone, have found something special and so so full of character.
The scenery is breathtaking. Walking through the empty landscapes is like being in a Lord of the Rings movie, but the best part is the people I've met here. I could spend forever writing paragraph after paragraph on each person I've been acquainted with. That is not why you or I are here, however, and this is arguably just another way of telling their stories.
"There are so few people that come to this place. So when they do, you've gotta really love on them."