Friday, 21 of June of 2024

Guitar Project

They asked me earlier this year if I would paint on a guitar, but I just had too much on my plate at the time. So I said yes, because I have always fancied the idea of painting on a guitar. It is part of a charity event to raise funds with the aim of giving musical tuition to every school kid in the country, all the more reason to become a part of it: Along the way I managed to get Anja Coyne and Jimi Shields on board with art guitars of their own. The grand opening is next Thursday, 24th May 2012, and upstairs in the Stephens Green Centre, Dublin, Ireland. Please come along and support this worthy cause.

The following are a selection of photos documenting the creation of my “Atlantic Blues”…I hope you enjoy them.

Evite Instrumental Art

Chris Maher stripped and sanded the guitar for me, I added a coat of acrylic primer.

After hours I set it up on my easel…

…and started an under-painting in acrylics.

…and started an under-painting in acrylics.

...more sky...

...and some waves...

...and some sea...

...atlantic beginning to show...

...atlantic beginning to show...

After the acrylics I gave it the final once-over with oil paints and a palette knife.

Rock Star Rod.

Poetry Anthology

Out of the blue an Irish book publishers contacted me last month if they could use one of my paintings as the cover for a new poetry book. The anthology is for leaving certificate students during 2013 and 2014. Over 100K students will use the poetry textbook over the two years. At an average age of 18 they will all be potential collectors with 10 years.

It all brings back memories of one of my own schoolbooks from the last millennium. I know it was an English literature book but can’t remember what was in it as I spent most of my time looking at the cover. And on that cover, wrapped all the way from front to back was the “The Liffey Swim” by Jack B. Yeats.

I am really delighted about this opportunity, not less that they searched me out for the project. The book is now in production and I personally know quite a few people who’ll have it in their school bag.

“The Liffey Swim” by Jack B. Yeats.

"Setting at St. Finans" by Rod Coyne, selected for cover of Poerty 2014.

Poems 2014 Dummy Cover

Ferrybank Blues 2010-2011

People often ask me if I prefer to work from photos or from life. I’d have to say I have no preference but it’s usually one or the other. “Ferrybank Blues 2010-2011” is obviously the exception to the rule. I started the painting at the Art in the Open, , festival in 2010 but ran out of time before I could finish the painting. I liked the composition and how the painting was shaping up but I was nowhere near finished. I used my digital camera to take a shot of the scene in the off chance I might finish it at a later stage.

The painting went into the storeroom and I got on with all the other things I was doing. From time to time I would have it in my hand but never felt like finishing the job and I even thought of over painting the canvas and using it for a new picture.

More than a year later I found the photo on my computer and I was pleasantly surprised how cool it looked. I printed it off the image and pulled the canvas back out of the storeroom.

The original plein air work was done with acrylic paints and brushes and I was determined draw a line between the first and second sitting. So I made a point of working in oil paint and using a palette knife. I worked on the image long enough to see that it could make a strong piece but I still wasn’t finished. I looked at it closely for a week before getting stuck in late one Friday night.

The next morning I surveyed my work in the daylight and was quite pleased with my efforts. In fact I was delighted with the painting and it proved to me that there’s no reason that a piece can’t start out in the open and finish off in the studio.

The new painting will be having it premier next month at Greenacres Open Exhibition, Official Opening at 12 noon on Saturday February 4th. Greenacres Art Gallery, Selskar, Wexford, Ireland. Tel: +353 (0) 53 9122975

Ferrybank Blues

"Ferrybank Blues" oil on canvas, 40X120cm.

The back-up image.

The back-up image.

The outdoor studio.

The outdoor studio.

Struggling and Juggling

I was struggling with a wobbly construction of a painting at the fourth annual Art In The Open Festival of plein air painting this afternoon. I met loads of people who I knew and even more for the first time. This festival is taking off.

Trying to balance the castle, the Abbey Quay and the weir at Enniscorthy Bridge proving a task for an artist with more than three hands. So I stopped struggling and started juggling,  and in the end I was quite happy with the results.

More painting tomorrow in Wexford town. I can’t wait, Rod Coyne.

I am sure of one thing; i want water in my paiting.

I am taking part in the fourth annual Art In The Open Festival of plein air painting: July 29th, 30th, and 31st 2011. This is an opportunity to see myself and several other artists out painting around Wexford and Enniscorthy during the weekend, further details:

First the Drawing...

Early stage: take no prisoners and get stuck in!

getting into the painting groove...

...and then suddenly the picture was finished.

S.O.S. to Little Bo Peep!

We knew it would never be plain sailing with the TAG Tinahely sheep flock and it wasn’t long before some were bent by climbers, defaced or simply kicked over. But the worst shock came when I got this email:

“…Sadly one of Ishbel’s lambs has gone missing. It was placed on the Hacketstown Road and was obviously the easiest one to take as it is the smallest one… It was sighted on Muskeagh hill on one of the forestry lanes (Cross Bridge direction) and was located there until Sunday evening. However, it has been removed from that location now, unfortunately and is still missing!”

Followed closely by:

“Sadly, Irene’s sheep has gone missing from the Hacketstown Road. Please find attached another missing poster to share on your web-pages, the people in your inbox, your Facebook profiles, to print out and hang up in local shops etc. “

Regardless of these setbacks the TAG Tinahely sheep flock has been heralded as a complete success turning heads of tourists and locals alike. So if you can hang up our poster and keep you eyes peeled we might just get our woolly friends back.

Missing Sheep Poster A4.jpg

Busy bank holiday weekend coming up; please have a little look and feel free to forward it to family and friends:

I will be taking part in the fourth annual Art In The Open Festival of plein air painting: July 29th, 30th, and 31st 2011. This is an opportunity to see myself and several other artists out painting around Wexford and Enniscorthy during the weekend, further details:

There is an Exhibition of art created during Art In The Open Festival opening on Monday the 1st of August 2011 at 4pm at Greenacres Galleries,  Selskar, Wexford. P: +353 (0)53 9122975

Also on  Monday the 1st of August 2011 some of the TAG sheep flock will be putting in a guest appearance at The Tinahely Agricultural, my sheep Daisy will not be joining them but I will have artwork on show in the VIP / Press tent, details:

During the coming month we will be having a 1-Day outdoor painting workshop on the 20th of august, and a 5-Day outdoor painting break from 8th-12th august. For details please see:

And remember our Avoca Painting School special offer to run throughout summer 2011: you can bring along a friend for half price to any of our upcoming 1-Day outdoor painting workshops, for details

And finally, on the August 6th 2011 I will be giving a 1-Day outdoor painting workshop at Greenan Farm Museums & Maze – Ballinanty, Greenan, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow, booking and further details at:

The clouds were almost too fast for my paintbrush on Wexford Bay, Art in the Open 2010.

The ewe has landed.

We spent all day Tuesday planting sheep. We used shovels, rakes, sledgehammers, and a sticky compound called T7. It was sweaty, satisfying work, and it raised more than an eyebrow or two. Most people had heard about our public art installation but they were pleasantly surprised to meet them face to face.

Personally I was blown over to see how diverse and beautiful each sheep had been retrofitted and modified. I spent so long in my own “Daisy” bubble that I couldn’t imagine what else she might have looked like untill I saw all these other weird and wonderful creatures. It was hard to tell they had all started from the one template.

Sheep Meeting.

What time is it Mr. Wolf?

Wierd and worderful.

Turn the other sheep.

No animals were harmed in the creation of this artwork.

The (sheep) brians behind the operation.

Not interfering with farmyard animals.

Flocking great art. 100% thumbs up, Rod.

The Ewe Tube.

Daisy and I.

Sheep Launch

You are invited to the launch of our inaugural public art event:
marking the beginning of the 2011 Tinahely Trailwalking Festival
at 6.30 p.m. on FRIDAY, APRIL 29th at the MARKET SQUARE, TINAHELY
and then at the Courthouse Arts Centre

A curious flock of sheep and lambs, created by members of TAG, will be “grazing” around Tinahely for the summer: each artist, starting from a uniform steel template, has worked through the winter to create their own individual animal. It is hoped this will become an annual event and our arty sheep will multiply every spring. TAG is a collective of artists and craftspeople, all living and working in the Tinahely area. Members and their work represent a diverse range of disciplines and media, including painting and drawing, photography, sculpture, textiles and ceramics, glassware and metalwork. More info at

The birth of Daisy

My original idea was to fuse a racer bicycle with my sheep template. I thought the handlebars as horns would make a handsome ram.

Two basic sheep templates…the journey begins.

While rooting through skips and dumps I turned up a couple of little girls bikes and started to rethink my plan A. Considering I live in a house of women I decided to get in touch with my feminine side. Here the raw materials.

I was lucky enough to get my friend Jeremy, a top class custom bike builder to do my welding for me. He saw the humor in it and did quite an artistic job.

I started preparing the surface on a hot April afternoon. Photos by lola.

I was advised to invest in a good quality primer. The instructions on the tin told me two coats with 24 hours between them, so I did as I was told.

Finally I’m painting, I knew this project was going to more labour intensive than painting any oil on canvas.

All primed and ready for some real colour. Daisy is finally taking shape, I have an idea of how she might eventually look.

I needed to mix up a nice shade of pink to echo the Daisy bike’s original colour. I took advise from two girlie experts.

It is such a relief to see a colour other than grey rust primer.

Deciding against black the legs and head were painted ivory. The original bike had cream coloured tyres.

It took half a day to cut contact and create the all important daisy stickers…

…and ten minutes to stick them on.

Late into the night I replaced the saddle and added sheep-eye-stickers and the girlie tastles.

A happy artist. Daisy is ready for transport to Tinahely where she’ll be mounted on a base and the placed in her summer grazing place along with the rest of the flock.

The Sheep Project

Back in March I had a curious delivery to the Avoca Studio Gallery. It was a sheep, but not a woolly one, this was a steel sheep. 25 artists of TAG (Tinahely Arts Group) each got a 2-D life-sized sheep template to create their own individually styled art-sheep. They will make up a public art display around the town of Tinahely, Co. Wicklow. They will be on display through out the summer and be taking part in various events, including the Tinahely Walking Festival and the Tinahely Agricultural Show.

As a painter I knew I would be out of my depth working with metal. But I devised a plan and enlisted some help…

Here is the text from our Press Release:

Hung for a Sheep as a Lamb

A curious flock of sheep and lambs will be descending upon Tinahely this summer in time to join the annual Trail Walking Festival at the May Bank Holiday, 2011. These art-sheep, created by the members of TAG (Tinahely Arts Group), will be “grazing” around the town and surrounding area. Each artist, starting from a uniform steel template, has worked through the winter to create their own individual take on Wicklow’s familiar woolly friends. The results promise to be as diverse as they are quirky, while adding a new dimension to the renowned Tinahely Trail Walking Festival.

Tinahely Arts Group is a collective of artists and craftspeople, all living and working in the Tinahely area. Members and their work represent a wide and diverse range of disciplines and media, including painting and drawing, photography, sculpture, textiles and ceramics, glassware and metalwork. Formed in June 2010, the group seeks to share knowledge and techniques, pool resources, and work together on projects to promote awareness of the wealth of creativity in the region. In addition, members combine to ensure that the arts and crafts heritage of South Wicklow is visible in as many local events and tourism initiatives as possible, and to contribute their talents to community enhancement projects.

The Tinahely Sheep Flock will be comprised of approximately two dozen 2 and 3 dimensional metal sheep (almost one meter in length and more than half a meter tall, with some smaller lambs), each of which will be customized by individual artists in a variety of styles and materials. The flock will celebrate Tinahely’s history as a vibrant market town and will be unveiled at Market Square, Tinahely on the Festival Weekend, on Friday April 29th 2011 at

7.00 pm. Each sheep will have an ear tag identifying its designer, and the flock will make a striking visual display for this busy weekend. For the rest of the summer, the eye-catching sheep and their lambs will be situated out and about in Tinahely in unexpected locations around town, to be enjoyed by residents and visitors sampling our wonderful location and outdoor pursuits. In the autumn the sheep will return to the Market Square, and will be taken home to over winter with their artist owners. It is hoped that they will increase and multiply over the winter, as well as getting some refurbishment if needed, and will return to the roads and hills around Tinahely as an annual event.

Details of TAG and our members can be found on the group’s website at: