people and the riverscape along the lagan and on this island ...
commission finished today... Blàr Chùil Lodair ... oil on board 24” x 12”. In 1745 General Sir John Cope faced the highland army at Prestonpans or Gladsmuir as the Highlanders called it, Johnnies redcoats couldn’t withstand the Highland Charge and came a very bad second. The tune, today, set for pipes, is the regulation pipe call for Réveillé in the Highland Regiments and also the Scots Guards, what a way to remember and celebrate his failure. “Hey, Johnnie Cope, are ye wauking yet?
Or are your drums a-beating yet?
If ye were wauking I wad wait
To gang to the coals i' the morning.
Cope sent a challenge frae Dunbar: 'Charlie, meet me an' ye daur,
An' I'll learn you the art o' war
If you'll meet me i' the morning.” -Adam Skirving.
Journey 1 and Journey 2 - oil on board 9” x 6”
This morning I heard a single piper play Abide with me ... written by a Scots man so I opened my Norman MacCaig and read; “He's gone: but you can see
his tracks still, in the snow of the world.”
commissioned today and a just started the underpainting... Blàr Chùil Lodair ... oil on board 24” x 12” - I visit this moor each time convinced I will never be back, each time I know I will.... I believe the story that the birds don’t sing there ... go and prove me wrong.
Reading Norman MacCaig again. “The ghosts I never saw and don’t believe in won’t go away.
They speak to me but won’t answer me. When I whirl round They’re never there ...”
An Mullach Fada ... work in progress .... oil on canvas 20” x 20”
I only lived in Mullaghfad as a child, yet I still remember the names ...and faces ...and sounds ...and the rhythm of the men cutting hay with scythes, only broken by the sharpening stones.
Samson and Goliath from the Garmoyle Pool ... oil on canvas 20” x 20 “
Private Commission ..... I still hear this in my head when I come back into the city when I’ve been away - one of the greatest songs ...... “There's nothin' for us in Belfast
The Pound's old, and that's a pity
OK, so there's the Trident in Bangor
And then you walk back to the city
We ain't got nothin' but they don't really care
They don't even know you know
They just want money, we can take it or leave it
What we need” - Burns/ Ogilvie
Home ... mixed media 4” x 4” so much has changed in the 10 years since I painted this, we all change, yet none of us can escape the landscape of home and place......... “I can't pretend
it gets sick for me in my absence,
though I get
sick for it. Yet I love it
with special gratitude,since
it sends me no letters, is never
jealous and, expecting nothing
from me, gets nothing but
cigarette packets and footprints.” - Norman McCaig
thanks for the messages, so many people knew .... my copy is the colour of my underpainting .....Happy St Patrick’s Day to you all
“A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, he said, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. But we do be afraid of the sea, and we do only be drownded now and again.” - John M. Synge
Scotland sketch book ... but thinking about St Patrick’s day and a first line from somewhere else “I am in Aranmor, sitting over a turf fire, listening to a murmur of Gaelic that is rising from a little public-house under my room” name the book - read the book
Exhibition finished today ... a big thank you to everyone who bought paintings ... Underpainting tonight - where’s laganoarsman!!!!!
Wee Moss is with its new owners ... enjoy
sometimes reality and paintings become one ... wonderful “Longing for snow”. By Seamus Heaney or ‘Explicit Snow’ by Norman MacCaig - “First snow is never all the snows there were