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Bád Eddie, Bunbeg, Ireland

Painting of Bad Eddie by Emma Cownie

 

I decided to apply the detailed techniques I have used for painting the hilly city of Swansea to the rural homes of the coastal townland of Bunbeg. I am usually drawn to painting old fashioned Irish cottages, as I like their clean lines and simple shapes. This time, I decided to challenge myself by painting modern Irish houses. The … Read the rest

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Tory Island, Donegal

Tory Island Donegal, paintimng by Emma Cownie

The ferry to Tory Island runs all year round. In the summer months (June onwards) there are extra sailings. We had decided to get an early boat as Seamas, my husband said the weather forecast was for sunshine in the morning, cloudy around midday and then sunshine in the afternoon. I think we are learning to take weather forecasts for

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Donegal Blues

I warn you now that this is a blog post about paint; about one shade of blue in particular. It might even involve watching paint dry. Which, unless you are an artist, probably isn’t very exciting.

Paints represent a sort of non-verbal language for me. I actually find it hard to put into words how I feel about paints. I … Read the rest

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Painting Bunbeg Donegal

Painting of Errigal

Bunbeg. The word has a pleasing sound to it. It’s short, easy to say and has a nice rhythm to it. Most place names in the British Isles are simply descriptions of locations, or who used to own it. That is not always obvious to modern English speakers because the descriptions originated in Anglo-Saxon, Welsh,  Gaelic (Scots) or Gaeilge (Irish).

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From Fall Island

Painting of Donegal, Ireland

I like to explore nooks and crannies and I usually use a map to help me. This way I can find interesting scenes to paint. I love looking at maps but I didn’t have one in Donegal. I thought I’d get one with the hire car but instead we were given a Stat Nav (Satellite Navigation).  You can’t spend hours looking … Read the rest

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Over to Owey Island

Blog about Owey Island Donegal, Ireland

I love painting the coast, particularly if it’s rocky. Owey Island, lies just a short distance off Cruit Island near Kincasslagh in west County Donegal. Strictly speaking there have been no permanent residents since the 1970s. [Photos from http://www.welovedonegal.com/islands-owey.html]

There is no electricity or mains water, yet plenty of people visit and many visit during the summer months. If … Read the rest

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On the Way to ArranmoreArranmore

Painting of cottage near Arranmore, West Donegal, Ireland

I wonder whether the post to Arranmore Island, Donegal, goes astray a lot. There are two other islands with similar names off the coast of Ireland and Scotland. There are the Aran Islands off Galway Bay to the south as well as the Scottish Isle of Arran. Arranmore or Árainn Mhór, in Irish Gaelic.

It lies off the west … Read the rest

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Under The Shadow of Errigal

In Steven Spielberg film “Close Encounters” (1977) Richard Dreyfus experiences a close encounter with a UFO and subsequently becomes increasingly obsessed with subliminal, mental images of a mountain-like shape and begins to make models of it, including one made from his mash potatoes.

I bring this up because my husband got a bit like that with Mount Errigal. It has … Read the rest

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Round the Rosses

The Rosses (in Gaelic, Na Rosa) is a region in the west of County Donegal, Ireland. The name comes from “Ros”, the Irish word for headland. It is a curiously rocky place. Not rocky, in the sense that national parks in the American west, like Utah and Arizona, are made of 100% rock, but rather the bedrock is covered with … Read the rest

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Across to Dunfanaghy

Donegal, or Dún na nGall, meaning “fort of the foreigners”, felt like a very foreign place to me.

Or rather, I felt like a foreigner there. Every time I opened my mouth to speak, I was very aware of how very English I sounded compared with the Ulster and Scots accents I heard around me.

Donegal is one of the … Read the rest