Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Art In The Open, Wexford, Ireland

Here's a view from the hotel hall window overlooking the Irish Sea in the distance.

Sunday night was the greet and meet here at White's Hotel. Probably 100 artists converged for the reception; 180 from 7 countries are expected to participate in the paint-out. Three lovely Irish ladies came right up to me from the crowd and introduced themselves, setting me right at ease. They had been told to look out for me by Julia Patterson, a Colorado artist I met at the International Association of Pastel Societies in Albuquerque this June. THANK YOU, JULIA!!! And then another beautiful red-headed Irish lass, Jane, introduced herself; she had been told to look for me by fellow Atlanta artist Marsha Savage. THANK YOU, MARSHA!!!

We were warmly welcomed by the Mayor of Wexford, a shorter, stouter version of Alec Baldwin, wearing his heavy ceremonial 180 year old gold chain. We then spent the next couple of hours introducing ourselves to each other over free-flowing wine.

Early Monday morning all artists converged at Carne Beach on the Irish Sea, where we spread out in diverse directions and hunted for the perfect views to paint. Plein air painting is a love/hate thing with me... rain, dirt, unrelenting sun, bullying winds, heavy equipment to lug and balance. I was holding an umbrella in one hand this morning during intermittent rains, while painting with the other..and was thinking, "Damn. This is for the birds. I'm going back to the studio." When I am all of the sudden oblivious of all the little inconveniences and am hearing only the crashes of the waves and the seagulls overhead, and the only important thing in life is getting that dark sky value just right so that little white house in the distance glows just right in the shadows. Of course I don't get it right, but I am consumed with the task until it is right. In 2 hours I'm packing up my gear and in search of a new perfect view to paint. Our bus retrieved us at 5ish, but we rode away leaving a good many artists still intently painting.

I am still waiting for my luggage. Thank you USAirways. I've been wearing the same clothes for 3 days now. I have no idea what people are thinking of me.



  1. Hi Margaret .. glad Jane came up and introduced herself! And, regarding the clothes ... no one even notices! Love the coastal paintings... and yes, plein air really is a love/hate relationship many times!

  2. These are great, Margaret. Especially love that little red boat.

  3. These paintings are quite wonderful and seem like a departure from your previous work. Maybe you should work outside more often! I love the plucky little red boat, all alone on the shore.