Posted on 18 Comments

A Donegal Year

It was a year ago that I painted my first painting of Donegal. Here it is. It is a small one.
Old School, Owey Island
Old School, Owey Island
It’s quite a modest painting. You could say that I started off tentatively. I was feeling my way. The light in Donegal is very clear and the scenery is beautiful. That’s an overused word in this age of social media, but it is beautiful. My husband, Seamas (he likes counting things) tells me that I have painted over 50 Donegal paintings (including 3 commissions). That pretty much averages out at one a week. I am pleased to say that I have already sold over half of them. I discovered that I had to use a different palette from the one that I use in Wales. The greens and yellows were more yellow ochre than lemon yellow and the sea was more turquoise (but not quite as turquoise as I first painted) thanks to the clear water.  I loved the rocky landscape of the Rosses. It was a landscape like no other I’d seen before. Someone has said to me that it’s quite alien, like a moonscape in places. I love the granite rocks. We have a massive one behind our cottage in Donegal. I feel very affectionate towards it. It’s a protective presence, especially when it’s windy. Of course, when you are in a different country to the one you were brought up in, everything seems fascinating. I have loved painting both the modern Donegal houses as well as the old cottages. I will freely admit I am quite obsessed by landscape spotted with old cottages on the Donegal islands, on Arranmore and Gola in particular.
donegal painting of Gola, West Donegal.
Spring Light on Gola
I haven’t really got to grips with the mountains of Donegal. What I mean is that I need to visit them a lot more, walk up them and get to know them better. So far I have just admired the “Seven Sisters”, including Mount Errigal and Muckish from a distance.
Painting of Irish mountain
Swirling Clouds Round Errigal
Of course, the real joy of Donegal is the clouds. The changes skies. I am used to it raining, (I have lived in Wales for over 25 years) but the light is different by the North Atlantic Ocean. It is often more slivery, and more changeable.   I think about Donegal every day when I am in Wales. My husband will place his current favourite Donegal paintings in the bedroom and in the lounge so he can look at them whilst we still have them. Here’s my most recent painting Donegal painting. I am currently working on a painting of Arranmore Island, unfortunately, it rained so much here yesterday, the light went and I have yet to finish it.
Donegal painting
Back Road to Burtonport

18 thoughts on “A Donegal Year

  1. I just love these Donegal paintings.

  2. Congrats, love the retrospective

    1. Thank you, Michael Stephen

  3. I love your skies, and your almost photographic representation of the cottages and the landscape. Very nice and truly artistic. Bravo!

  4. I love your skies, and the almost photographic representation of the cottages and the landscape, truly artistic work. Bravo!

    1. Thank you so much. I have worked hard at the skies. They go through a very chaotic stage before I manage to impose a sort of “order” on them. It can be quite alarming!

      1. Skies can be such a lovely and interesting subject to watch. I’m always amazed too when I look at the skies in paintings of the old masters.

      2. John Constable painted some amazing skies too. He did a series of studies that are just beautiful.

      3. Yes, I love Constable for his trees and skies. Also the Irish artist Paul Henry who painted the skies in Connemara.

      4. Ah, Paul Henry painted Donegal too. I love his work.

  5. I like the consistency of your palette in all the paintings. It really makes them work together as a defined group depicting a specific place.

  6. What a wonderful places

  7. […] This is a footnote to Sunday’s post about A Donegal year. […]

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