Friday, 2 of December of 2022

My Cill Rialaig Diary.

Day 13, Saturday 14th March 2009

"Hogshead" oil on canvas, 50x40cm.

After breakfast I load up a selection of paintings from the past two years and head for the Siopa Cill Rialaig at the village of Dun Gagen. This is the gallery and visitors centre for the Cill Rialaig Project. Profits from the work sold there go towards the renovation and maintenance of the project. I collect the pieces I’ve had there during the past twelve months. It takes a while to complete the receipts and paperwork.

Weather wise its warm and quite clear, and now I can finally see the panorama of mountains and headlands. The irony is that today is my last painting day and I’ve got only the afternoon to get something done. The feeling of spring is too uplifting for me to be frustrated.

Now I finally get a chance to paint Hog’s Head across Ballinskellings Bay. At first it goes very wonky, and the image looks stiff and awkward. I take a big brush and blend all the colours into one, leaving just a shadow of the image. Next I use the palette knife to carve a skyline around the head. I trawl raw sienna and ochre onto the highlights of the peninsula and finally scrape white wave crests across the green, blue sea. That’s better.

I am running late as I search for some clothes without paint stains. I head for the pub arriving two minutes after kick-off. The fixture is Ireland versus Scotland in the Rugby Six Nations Championship. The game is played at a ferociously high tempo, but Ireland get ahead in the last quarter and clinch it. This result makes it four out of four for Ireland; now only Wales stand between us and the Triple Crown, the Six Nations and the first Grand Slam in fifty years. There is time for a few pints before dinner with Becky and John and I am in bed by midnight.

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