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Glenlough Bay, Donegal

Glenlough Bay _Emma Cownie

In my last post I decribed visiting the abandoned fishing village of An Port tucked away in a remote corner of the Donegal shoreline (read it here).

We were inspired to seek out this very remote spot by American artist Rockwell Kent, who visited and painted the area in the 1920s. I was waiting for a book on the artist to write this post but it only had a couple of sentences about his visit to Ireland so the delay was unwarranted.

https://www.wikiart.org/en/rockwell-kent/sturrall-donegal-ireland-1927

Sturral, Donegal by Rockwell Kent
https://www.wikiart.org/en/rockwell-kent/sturrall-donegal-ireland-1927

Annie McGinley's House at Port (from the far side of the cove)
Annie McGinley’s House at Port (from the far side of the cove)

 

Rockwell Kent enjoyed Donegal and had originally intended to stay longer. He stored his larger paintings in Annie McGinley’s family home in Port (see my previous post about Port) but  he actually spent most of his time in the neighbouring valley of Glenlough. He rented a old barn (byre) from hearing-impaired farmer Dan Ward. He lived in it with his second wife, Frances, and used it as his studio. The paintings of the views from Glenlough, especially of the bay and the giant sea stacks, are quite remarkable.

Welsh poet Dylan Thomas later stayed in Glenlough in the summer of 1935.  His stay didn’t go too well, he found the soliditude difficult to bear and he described himself as “lonely as Christ”. He left without paying his bills (although his editor later paid them).

Glenlough Bay - Rockwell Kent
Glenlough Bay – Rockwell Kent

 

When the Sunshines, Rockwell Kent
When the Sunshines, Rockwell Kent

 

Following in Rockwell Kent (and Dylan Thomas’s) footsteps is easier said than done. For a man who loved to visit and paint inacessible and elemental places in Newfoundland, Alaska, Terra Del Fuego and Greenland, maybe this should not be a surprise; even a century later.

The Road to Port
The Road to Port

 

Glenlough is an anomaly in this modern world. It is a lost valley. It’s located on the lip of a gale-swept edge of north-west Ireland. It’s an inacessible part of a very remote county. No one has lived there for more than 30 years. There is no road in and no road out. There isn’t even a footpath. The local farmers ride the curves of the rough landscape on their quad bikes.

There is a song “The Road to Glenlough” by fiddler, James Byrne, from near by Glencolumbkille, Donegal. The title must be some sort of joke as there is definately no road to Glenlough. I know, I have looked very hard for it. You can find Glenlough Bay on a map. Here. Where that red tag is.

Map of the North of IrelandMap of the North of Ireland – the red tag marks Glenlough Bay, Donegal

Map of an Port and Glenlough Bay
Map of an Port and Glenlough Bay – its all rock and blanket bogland

Google confidently suggests that route to Glenough Bay is quite straight forward. The straight white dotted line should immediately suggest wild over-confidence on the part of AI. Compare it to the dotted blue line, which is the single track road to An Port.  This road/track does not exist. Road to Glenlough

We decided to (sort of) follow the coastline from Port and climb up the very steep hill to Glenlough. The map only gives you a hint at how truly rough and rugged the terrain is. Its all elevated upland bog with and massive bolders dropped by glaciers thousands of years ago. The first part of our “walk” invovled a scramble up a steep path strewn with rocks (see photo below). I had my walking poles with me and I clambered  up this section like a weird four legged beast. I have a lot of pins and screws in my left leg from a bad break I had two years agao, and this section terrified me. I would not have done it without the additional help from the poles.

View of Port from above
View of Port Bay from above

 

We first passed the remains of the village of Port.

Ruined house at Port

With walking Poles: Photo credit: Seamas Johnston
With walking Poles: Photo credit: Seamas Johnston

 

The climb up hill seemed to go on for ever. Up and up. First we followed sheep tracks upwards. The sheep aren’t very interested into getting to Glenlough and so we were on constant lookout for ways upwards in the right sort of direction. The sheep track kept vering off to the left and right. I had never walked somewhere where there was no human path before. I found it quite exhausting looking for a way up. The ground was springey underfoot. It’s bogland. It was mostly dry. It was one of those cimbs where you keep expecting to reach the brow of the hill but there’s just more boggy incline, going up and up!

It's a long way up hill
It’s a long way up hill

Eventually, there were spots where we could pause and take our bearings. The view was something else.

View from ridge above Port
The view from ridge above Port

I haven’t mentioned that it was very windy too. We stayed away from the cliff edge. He sat in the shelter of a dip in the landscape to eat our sandwiches and look at the view towards An Port.

Fence to stop the sheep getting blown off the cliff top
The fence is to stop the sheep (and daft tourists) getting blown off the cliff top

 

A painting of sea stacks From Port to Glenlough (Donegal)
From Port to Glenlough (Donegal) Emma Cownie

Dont go too near the edge!

Dont go too near the edge!

Donegal Ireland, Rockwell Kent
Donegal Ireland, Rockwell Kent

Finally, after a lot of walking when we were thinking of turning back, it appears. Our view of Glenlough Bay. We stand and gawp at it in wonder. It is vast and the colours are vivid. The colour of grass on the stacks is an intense green, the colour of the sea is a cold blue. The sea water is very clear and you can see the massive boulders on the raised beach from up here. It is hard to covey how stunning it is in a photo or a painting. We watched the shadows cast by the clouds pass over the landscape. It was mesmerising. The last time I starred at a landscape in such wonder when was when  we visited the incredible Grand Canyon.

Glenlough Bay
Cloud shadows over Glenlough Bay: Photo credit Emma Cownie

I wish we could have got closer but we were already very tired and decided to come back another time to go down to valley of Glenlough itself. I am not sure I am able bodied enough to make it down to the beach (see the video by Unique Ascent below) but we could come back with a drone camera and take photos. I just want to see the buildings where Rockwell Kent and Dylan Thomas stayed all those years ago.

Glen Lough - One of Rockwell Kent's "Missing" Irish paintings
Glen Lough – One of Rockwell Kent’s “Missing” Irish paintings

 

The Cottage , Rockwell Kent
The Cottage , Rockwell Kent

 

Unique Ascent’s video makes the visit to the shore of Glenlough Bay look so easy!

 

Over Glenlough Bay, Donegal-Emma Cownie
Over Glenlough Bay, Donegal-Emma Cownie

 

The Rock Climber’s Guide by Unique Ascent 

https://uniqueascent.ie/glenlough-bay

Glencolmcille the rugged soul of Donegal

For more on Rockwell Kent

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/searching-for-the-road-to-glenlough-1.1155107

http://bellender.com/an-port-annie-mcginleys-rabbit-pie/

Click to access The-Missing-Irish-Kent-paintings.pdf

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/art-and-design/visual-art/before-cong-got-john-wayne-glencolmcille-got-rockwell-kent-1.3539050

IRISH ARTWORK BY ROCKWELL KENT AT SOTHEBY’S NEW YORK

For Dylan Thomas’ visit to Glenlough

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/im-10-miles-nearest-human-2404375 

 

Click to access The-Missing-Irish-Kent-paintings.pdf

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An Port (Donegal)

Painting of An Port, Donegal

An Port has loomed large in my imagination for a long time. It’s very remote and quite difficult to get to. To reach it, you have to drive down a very, very long single track road (it’s about three miles but it feels longer) on the way to Glencolmcille. There are plenty of sheep and only a few people.

The Road to Port
The Road to Port

At An Port there is a small quay and a tiny deserted fishing village which looks out over a small bay, surrounded by cliffs and truly massive slabs of rocks and sea stacks. Its one of those landscapes that you imagine can be found all along the west coast of Ireland but is actually unique. When I visited Texas in the late 1990s I thought it would all look like Monument Valley, thanks to those John Ford films. I was surpised to find it was pretty flat.

An Port, Donegal - pphoto creditEmma Cownie
An Port, Donegal – photo credit Emma Cownie
An Port: Photo credit Emma Cownie
An Port: Photo credit Emma Cownie

The village was still inhabited in the 1920s. The hillside is littered with the remains of the stone houses

Remains of houses at An Port: Photo credit Emma Cownie
Remains of houses at An Port: Photo credit Emma Cownie

There is one inhabited house, now an AirBnB property. You can see it on the hill behind me in the photo my husband took of me (below). This was Annie McGinley’s family home.

Me at An Port
Me at An Port

I first heard about Port in 2018 from a TV programme about the famous American landscape artist Rockwell Kent and his stay in Donegal the 1920s. Rockwell Kent is probably best known today for his illustrations for Moby Dick.

Moby Dick Illustrated by Rockwell Kent
Moby Dick Illustrated by Rockwell Kent

 

Unfortunately Kevin Magee’s film (in Irish with subtitles)    “Ar Lorg Annie” or “Searching for Annie” is no longer available but you can see a short clip on Youtube here. A friend of Kent’s,  Rex Stout, had funded his trip to Ireland. He paid him $300 a month on the condition that he had the choice of two painting when he got back. This is one of them in California,  “Prince Charles’ Cove”.

https://donegalnews.com/2018/04/58113/
https://donegalnews.com/2018/04/58113/

 

Rockwell Kent and his second wife Frances Lee Higgins (they were on honeymoon) spent several months in the near by valley of Glenlough on a farm belonging to farmer Dan Ward. Kent stored many of his paintings back at Port, in the home of Annie McGinley, who modeled for him. Her she is.

"Annie McGinley" now rests in a private collection in New York
The original “Annie McGinley” now rests in a private collection in New York,

 

Rockwell Kent returned to Donegal, 32 years later. He had wanted to buy Dan Ward’s farm but it had already sold to another farmer. Instead he sought out ‘this singularly lovely teenage girl with whom I had danced many a jig’ and found her in nearby Crobane, married, midddle-aged and ‘broad-beamed’. She had had 14 children, 12 had lived.

Annie McGinley 1958
Annie McGinley and Rockwell Kent in 1958

 

Rockwell went to find Annie’s long abandoned cottage in An Port where in 1926 he had dried his Donegal paintings. It turned out to be the only structure still standing, barely supporting the weight of an overgrown thatched roof, a year or two from dereliction. ‘This house, we thought, we ought to buy and fix and have as a place to come every year …’ but he didn’t.

Painting of fishing boat at Port Donegal
Fishing Boat at Port Donegal-Emma Cownie

 

If you look on the left hand side of my painting “An Port” (below), you will see tiny fence posts along top of the cliff. They help give a sense of scale of the huge cliffs and rocks. I can’t remember who first described this landscape it as the “land of giants”but it truly apt.

painting of An Port, Donegal
An Port, Donegal_Emma Cownie

 

It is hard to do justice to this incredible landscape but I think that Rockwell Kent’s paintings do. He really capures the majesty and warm colours of Donegal. He also excels at Donegal skies and light. I am really in awe of him.

 https://www.wikiart.org/en/rockwell-kent/sturrall-donegal-ireland-1927

Rockwell Kent – “Sturral”  https://www.wikiart.org/en/rockwell-kent/sturrall-donegal-ireland-1927

I wish I could see the original paintings but this is very unlikely. It seems that none of Rockwell Kent’s large paintings stayed in Ireland. Most of them are either in the USA or in Russia. But that’s another story.

I have added a few links about the artist below.

 

Rockwell Kent and Donegal

http://in8motivation.com/tag/rockwell-kent/

https://www.gleanncholmcille.ie/rockwell_kent.htm 

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-44534911

Click to access The-Missing-Irish-Kent-paintings.pdf

Irish paintings of American artist Rockwell Kent in new documentary Ar Lorg Annie on TG4

The Girl in the Blue Dress

https://www.sullivangoss.com/artists/rockwell-kent-1882-1971 Includes a chronology of his life (but doesn’t mention his Irish trip)

Stay there/near by

https://www.bizireland.com/port-donegal-cottage-087-253-3166

There is the amazing Cropod too which got rave reviews in the Irish TImes more than once  – https://www.irishtimes.com/life-style/travel/2022/09/01/cabin-fever-12-get-away-from-it-all-cabins-to-retreat-to-this-autumn/

How to Get there

http://www.welovedonegal.com/port-ghost-village.html

Climb the stacks (if you are brave enough – not me!)

https://uniqueascent.ie/  There are some excellent guides to the seastacks of Donegal on this site.

 

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Boat on Rossbeg Beach, Donegal

Painting of Rossbeg Beach

The west coast of Ireland is dotted with islands, big and small but also plenty of sea stacks. Perhaps, they were once sea arches, I am not sure. If they were the crown of the arch fell in to create these majestic pillars. They can be seen from miles away. Even on misty days. This one, Tormore (in the painting above and below) is miles away, near a very remote location called Glenlough Bay. There is something exciting and other worldly and timeless about  it.

Rossbeg Beach, Donegal
Rossbeg Beach, Donegal (Photo credit:Emma Cownie)

 

Rossbeg (sometimes spelt Rosbeg) is a tiny townland on the west coast of Donegal, just three miles south-west of Portnua and Nairn. This is the Dawros Peninsula. There is a pier and a scattering of houses, some are modern, but many are old cottages, probably used as holiday lets.

Road above Rossbeg Beach:- Phot Credit Séamas Johnston
Road above Rossbeg Beach:- Photo Credit Séamas Johnston

There is another beach around the corner too.

Rossbeg on the Map
Rossbeg on the Map
Boat on Rossbeg Beach: Photo Credit - Emma Cownie
Boat on Rossbeg Beach: Photo Credit:- Emma Cownie
Rossbeg Beach, Donegal
Rossbeg Beach, Donegal (Tide further in): Photo Credit:Emma Cownie

 

Rossbeg postcard
https://www.johnhindecollection.com

 

The beach and the view is just perfect. The water is so very clear that the rocks and seaweed are visible from quite some distance from the shore.

Rossbeg Pier (From Marina.com) note the cows on the baech
Rossbeg Pier (From Marina.com) note the cows on the baech
Rossbeg Pier (From Marina.com) note the cows on the baech
Rossbeg Pier (From Marina.com) You can see the seaweed from up high too!
Rossbeg Beach:- Photo Credit Séamas Johnston
Rossbeg Beach:- Photo Credit Séamas Johnston

Boat on Rossbeg Beach, Donegal, painting by Emma Cownie

Boat on Rossbeg Beach, Donegal, painting by Emma Cownie

Buy the painting here 

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Errigal from Cruit Island, Donegal

Errigal From Cruit

There is a definite shift in the seasons.  In summer here, the light seemed to stretch on for eve;  well past 11pm. Suddenly the days have started shortening fast. It is now dark before 9pm.   It has rained solidly for the last two days. In typical Donegal fashion, the sun has come out and everything is bright and fresh.

Artimus (aka Artie) our Donegal rescue cat has just passed me to go outside in the catio to smell the breeze.  He used to be a stray. It’s hard to believe as he’s so beautiful and such a softie. He now enjoys the warmth and comforts of indoor life (especially hiding under the towel rail)  but he still enjoys the smells and sounds of rural life outside. We lost three pets in the last year (two cats and a dog) and I am not letting him outside when there’s a busy road at the bottom of the garden. I cant face the heartache, if I dont have to. So Séamas, built a catio. Or the cat veranda as I like to call it. Both of our cats, enjoy it but Artie, especially so but not when it’s cold. He’s been in and out of it four times in the last twenty minutes. I think he wishes it was warmer. He must have found life as a stray really tough!

Artie in the Catio (through the window)
Artie in the Catio (through the window)
Catio - aka cat veranda
Catio – aka cat veranda
Artie - indoors
Artie – indoors

Errigal from Cruit Island, Donegal:-This was one of a pair of large paintings I started before I got ill. It sat in it’s greyscale state for over a month and a half until I recovered enoungh stamina to complete it! Large painting require a lot of strength as you lift your arms/hands above your head, even if you are just moving the canvas.  I was very glad to finish it.

Donegal Greyscale #1
Donegal Greyscale #1

I enjoyed painting the rolling landscape; splattered with rocks. I took great pleasure in adjusting the colours in oil paint and “tightening up” the details. The rash of rocks amongst the boglands is quite unique to this part of Donegal. Further south towards, Glencolmcille, there are far fewer bolders and rocks. There the bogland blankets the landscape uninterupted. There are far fewer houses there too. This area of Donegal, the Rosses, however, is dotted with houses old and new. I like that the old houses nestle in the nooks and crannies of the landscape; keeping out of the prevailing westerly winds and showers.

Painting of mountain Errigal from Cruit Island. Donegal _ Emma Cownie
Errigal from Cruit Island. Donegal _ Emma Cownie

 

Buy the painting here

Gentle Artie came from AnimalsinNeedDonegal – They found him a home because long-haired stray cats don’t live long lives outside in Donegal, their long coats are hard to keep fully dry.

Here’s their facebook page here  They also have a charity shop in Donegal Town and you can make donations here. You can also follow them on Instagram

Artie - He a wee dote
Artie – He’s a “wee dote”

 

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Oileán na Márbh – Isle of the dead, Donegal

Oileán Na Marbh, Donegal

Maps of ireland Some places cannot be found on google maps. Sometimes you have to get out an old fashioned paper map and look for yourself. I have a small collection of Ordnance Survey “Discovery Series” maps of North-West Ireland. I spend a lot of time looking at them and familarizing myself with an unfamilar landscape. Up until last year, I spent more than half of my life in Wales,  and I have so much to learn about Irish Geography and History.  My favourite map is number 1. Where I am right now.

I have noticed that there are a lot of “Tramore” beaches in Donegal, – its probaly not that surprising that it means “Big Beach” in Irish. There’s a Tramore beach opposite Dunmore Strand at the north end of the peninsula they build Donegal Airport on. Just to the north of the long beach that lies to the west of the runway, there’s a tiny island that can be reached at low tide. It’s called Oileán na Marbh, Isle of the Dead. I was intrigued. So we went to visit yesterday, on a blustery day.

It is a poignant island on the edge of the land; it is in a windswept and wild place. In accessible at high tide. Both beautiful and very sad. For it was on this island that over 500 stillborn and unbaptised babies were burried between the time of the Great Famine in the 1840s, and 1912. For centuries, until 2007, it was taught by the Catholic Church (and also by the Anglican Church) that unbaptised babies did not go to heaven when they died, but to a place called “Limbo”, and therefore could not be buried in consecrated church land. In other communities it was common to bury these unbaptised mites on the outside of churchyard walls, or in even farmer’s fields. In this part of Donegal, however, this island, served as the final resting place; in limbo between the watery world and the mainland. It was also where the local community buried the bodies of sailors that would sometimes get washed up on their shores.

Today, it is a popular spot for wild swimmers and campers. And yes, in case you are wondering, the sea really is that incredible shade of blue. In the distance you can see the islands of Gola (to the right) and Inisfree Lower, and behind that, Owey (to the left). A truly liminal space on the margins of the physical and spiritual world.

OileanNa Marbh, Donegal _ photo credit James Henry Johnston
Oilean Na Marbh, Donegal _ photo credit James Henry Johnston

OileanNa Marbh, Donegal _ photo credit James Henry Johnston

Oilean na Marbh, Donegal _ photo credit James Henry Johnston

OileanNa Marbh, Donegal _ photo credit James Henry Johnston
Oilean Na Marbh, Donegal _ photo credit James Henry Johnston

 

Find out more about OIlean Na Marbh

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/oilean-na-marbh-1.603911

A Short film about the isalnd with footage from the island (in English)

 

A longer film from TG4 about the island in English and Irish (with subtitles)

 

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Summer Newsletter

Emma Cownie Newsletter Summer 2022

While many of you are baking in England and dealing with a hosepipe ban, in Donegal it’s cloudy with occasional showers. I thought I would share you my recent newletter. They have ended up being quarterly. It depends of how much news I have and how busy I have been. I always make it strong on the visuals and light on the words! I also make the typeface large for reading on smart phones!

Emma Cownie Newsletter Summer 2022
Emma Cownie Newsletter Summer 2022
Emma Cownie Newsletter Summer 2022
Emma Cownie Newsletter Summer 2022

 

Emma Cownie Newsletter Summer 2022
Emma Cownie Newsletter Summer 2022

 

Emma Cownie Newsletter Summer 2022
Emma Cownie Newsletter Summer 2022

 

Read More

More about greyscaling 

Buy Paintings 

Visit our viewing gallery

Commission a landscape painting 

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If you go down to the woods today…

Magicland Dungloe Donegal

It took a while, but I finally worked it out. On sunny days Lidl’s car park in Dungloe is pretty full but the shop is quite empty. Just across the road from is the entrance to the River Walk. I have eyed this entrance many times as I have bundled the shopping into the back of the car.  Mothers with prams and toddlers are often headed this way. Yesterday I finally crossed to road and wandered into a magical woodland. No teddies to be found but a magical woodland with fairies and a giant troll. Here he is.

Troll from Dungloe's River Walk Land of Magic 2022
Troll from Dungloe’s River Walk Land of Magic 2022

 

The Troll: Photo credit Seamas Johnston
He’s really big! Photo credit Séamas Johnston
From Destination Dungloe on Twitter @DungloeD
Hitching a ride on on the back of a lorry from Northern Ireland last year. – Credit: Destination Dungloe on Twitter @DungloeD

 

Here’s a selection of images from the walk. It was inventive, funny, engaging and charming in equal measure. I just loved it.

Land of Magic - from Dungloe's River Walk Land of Magic 2022
Land of Magic – from Dungloe’s River Walk Land of Magic 2022
The backstory - from Dungloe's River Walk Land of Magic 2022
The backstory (in Irish)- from Dungloe’s River Walk Land of Magic 2022
The backstory - from Dungloe's River Walk Land of Magic 2022
The backstory – from Dungloe’s River Walk Land of Magic 2022

 

Some pretty cool houses
Just love those chimneys!
It’s also got a tiny out door privy

 

On such a sunny day there was plenty of washing hung out to dry
A fine bit of dry stome walling too.

 

An insect hotel too
Evidence of diverse bunch of fairies live here

 

 

I liked the pine cones around the edge
I liked the pine cones around the edge

 

EU notice - from Dungloe's River Walk Land of Magic 2022
EU notice – from Dungloe’s River Walk Land of Magic 2022

 

I wonder how many sightings of magical creatures have been reported to the Elf-13 office at the EU? A fair few I shouldn’t imagine.

More about the land of Magic

https://www.facebook.com/TheLandOfMagicDungloe/

Find out more about the talented people who made the Land of Magic  https://www.facebook.com/stickyfingersartsnewry/

https://www.newrydemocrat.com/news/2021/09/12/gallery/tri-na-draiochta-represents-a-new-dimension-in-cross-border-collaborations-18350/

Stor the Troll has settled into his new home in Dungloe

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“The Quiet Girl” – my painting, the book and the film

The Quiet Girl Curzon Film

No sooner than I arrived in Donegal and made a start on two large paintings than Seamas and I came down with Covid 19.  Apparently the current wave has been mopping up many of the people who  had thus far avoided the horrible virus. I never gave up wearing my mask in shops but I still caught it. Darn! So I have spent most of the last two weeks sleeping and lying in bed trying to do very little, in the hope that my immune system will bounce back and my energy levels will return to normal.

Book Cover - Foster by Claire Keegan
Book Cover – Foster by Claire Keegan

 

I am also feeling faintly stupid but very delighted  because I only just realised that Claire Keegan’s novella “Foster”, is the basis for the film “The Quiet Girl”.  My oil painting “The Traditional House, Gola”  has been used for the cover of the reprint of “Foster”. Actually, never mind the covid, I nearly fell over when I made the connection.

Oil painting of Gola Donegal by Emma Cownie
My painting – The Traditional House, (Gola)

 

I must have seen these adverts on TG4 (the Irish language chanel) because I thought of this film by it’s Irish language title  “An Cailín Ciúin” – as just about all the dialogue is in Irish. I didn’t realise that it was the same story as “Foster”.

It’s story about a nine-year-old girl,  Cáit, who is sent to spend the summer with her aunt Eibhlín (Carrie Crowley) and her husband Seán, who live in the Rinn Gaeltacht, County Waterford. The film is directed and written by Colm Bairéad , based on Claire Keegan’s story “Foster”.  It has won a whole pile of International awards, rave reviews and has been breaking box office records in Ireland and UK. I am really excited and greatly honoured to be connected, even in a tenuous way, to such an amazing project!

I am now going back to bed, in the hope that I haven’t over done it.

The Quiet Girl Curzon Film
The Quiet Girl – Curzon Films

 

More about the film

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/12/the-quiet-girl-irish-language-film-box-office-ireland-uk-an-cailin-ciuin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Cail%C3%ADn_Ci%C3%BAin

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2022/may/11/the-quiet-girl-review-beauty-and-pain-in-rural-ireland

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Foster-Audiobook/057137350X

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Back in Donegal

I have decided that perfect is the enemy of good, and I need to give up on the idea that I should write lengthy blogs posts, as I end up writing nothing! So here goes,

Donegal Paintings
Two grey scale paintings

One of the many great things about being back in West Donegal is that I can paint much larger paintings as my art studio is much bigger here than in Derry. So I now have two on the go!

Donegal Greyscale #1
Donegal Greyscale #1

These are both painted in acrylic paint. I find it easier to make adjustment in the value/tones in acrylic before I move onto a layer of oil as a final layer. Acrylic can act as a foundation layer for oil, but not the other way around. I had forgotten how physically tiring painting a large painting is.  My arms are tired!

Donegal Greyscale #2
Donegal Greyscale #2

 

If you want to know about Greyscaling and why I have adopted this technique since moving to Ireland please see my post “Adventures In Acrylic Paint” 

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Recent work (of Derry and Donegal)

Recent work - Emma Cownie

We are about to decamp to Donegal for the summer/early autumn. I have mixed feeling about returning to oil paints. It’s been a quite a steep learning curve getting comfortable with acrylic paint but I feel like I finally got there. I am not sure what it will be like to paint in oils again; oh the the joy of easy blending! I am looking forward to being able to paint larger canvases. I will continue my practice of laying down an underpainting in grey-scale paint, regardless.

Here are some of my recent acrylic paintings, mostly of Inishowen Penisula (Donegal)

Kinnagoe Beach - Emma Cownie
Kinnagoe Beach – Emma Cownie
Down to the Rusty Nail, Inishowen_Emma Cownie
Down to the Rusty Nail, Inishowen_Emma Cownie
a painting of Fanad Head and lighthouse
Fanad (SOLD)
On the Way to Kinnagoe Bay (Drumaweer, Greencastle)
On the Way to Kinnagoe Bay (Drumaweer, Greencastle) (SOLD)
painting of Doagh Strand, donegal_Emma Cownie
Down to Doagh Strand, Donegal

Painting of Lambing season at Fanad Head (Donegal)

Lambing season at Fanad Head (Donegal)

Carrickabraghy Castle, Inishowen
Carrickabraghy Castle, Inishowen
Acrylic painting of Portmór Beach, Malin Head, Donegal
Portmór Beach, Malin Head, Donegal

 

Also of Derry city – what a great little city.

The Walls of Derry painting by Emma Cownie
The Walls of Derry

 

The Sperrinspainting Upper Dreen_Emma Cownie

Upper Dreen_Emma Cownie

And finally a few also of my favourite, Gola Island.

painting of house On Gola (Donegal)
Still, On Gola (Donegal)
The Turn in the Road, Gola - Emma Cownie
The Turn in the Road, Gola – Emma Cownie
A Sandy Road Through Gola-Emma Cownie
A Sandy Road Through Gola-Emma Cownie

The weather forecast is for cool weather, so I will be packing some light jumpers. I have found, however, that forecasts are pretty unreliable for Donegal so it could be very pleasant. I am looking forward to the sweet breezes!