Sunday, December 30, 2012

Life Drawing 2012

Finally got around to doing some well overdue site updates today. I re-arranged the "personal" section of work and amalgamated a few sections that didn't really need to be separated. Here is some of my life drawing and painting from the last year, all done as part of Applied Arts course in CCAD.

You can check out online updates to my drawing portfolio here and the painting portfolio here.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Yesterday evening I went to the opening of a special art exhibition / event just off Douglas St. in Cork. It's called Notions and it's the work of my good friend, Lauren Baylor. It's so beautiful! It's only open for 3 days and it's in a garden in a convent in the middle of the city, a really serene location. It's based on a story that Lauren has written, the story is so lovely. It's autobiographical, but in Lauren's inimitable fantastical way. I'll ask her if I can reproduce some of it here on the blog.

Here are some pics of the exhibition taken yesterday evening. It's open until tomorrow so i'd recommend popping in. She's selling some really beautiful photographs connected to the work which I hope she'll show on her own blog soon.


I spoke to Lauren today and she gave permission to reproduce some of the (beautiful) story on the blog. Here it is:

Part of it became alive by these characters
whose liveliness could spark up a room
and animate the night
Fiery, warm and fun

Then there was the other part, the art?
The quieter one that was dark
and the sorrow wanted to dominate


Have you ever met someone and felt like you knew them before?
They have these powers, you see
They share and can feel what you feel
like sweets...mmm!
or a cut knee


She loves to question and inquire
(and hoard up all the answers)
She also loves to journey
With arms outstretched she dances

Also she is usually mostly starving

WOW, it's all so good. These few paragraphs really aren't doing it justice. I'll leave you with this one last bit...

The heat turns,
It bubbles, boils and in a ball-shape it burns
The speed
it travels
Its insides push to the out in a constant race, self-propelling its journey

Is it getting faster?
Could it even get hotter?
The atmosphere, the darkness, the silence have broken
A freak spell like, terror, crackling the air, it fights against itself

Its direction is erratic
Its energy majestic
The space it finds itself in has transformed in so brief a moment
But its impact will last

like the first time you click with someone...time has no meaning any longer,
that familiarity of friendship withstands time

This invasion is fiery, quick
but it leaves a warmth, like the memory of and unexpected embrace.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Lino Printing

A series of lino prints created as part of the curriculum studies module in the H.Dip for Art and Design teachers. I used a photoshop painting I did a few years ago (pictured below) as a starting off point. I hadn't done lino since school and I really enjoyed this process, particularly experimenting with cross-hatching to build up tone and depth and printing on different types of paper for different results.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wire Sculpture

First ever wire sculpture! This was done as part of the curriculum studies module for the H. Dip in art and design teaching. I focused on retaining the cleanness of the wire line and building this as sparsely as possible. I went on to build another wire sculpture, taking the opposite approach - layering it up with loads of wire to create texture. I'll photograph that and pop that up here too when I get a chance.

We've finished semester one now, it's been great! I've really enjoyed it. We don't have college again now until February so it will be really nice to be able to fully concentrate on teaching at school and put in longer days there.

First Year Animations

One of my first year groups recently completed these animations in our art class. I'm so impressed with how much they learned and how well they applied it, we had very limited time to complete these animations and I thought that we would still be working on them after Christmas, happily, they all got done in time for the Christmas break. So proud of them!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Kristian Hammerstad

I'm doing illustration with one of my first year classes at the moment. I've rediscovered a load of illustrators that I used to follow fairly closely, but kind of lost touch with due to becoming so busy. I love these illustrations from Kristian Hammerstad! Really fun and retro, tapping into an old school b-movie horror vibe.

Winter Sky

Great looking sky in Carrigtwohill the other morning!

Saturday, December 8, 2012


These are a few monoprints I did as part of the H.Dip course. The two more drawn-looking ones are based on previous drawings i've done (the hair one should be pretty familiar - i've gotten great mileage out of that!). I love the very different line quality that monoprint affords. The slightly scary one was made by taking away ink from the plate using the back of a paintbrush and a piece of bark, a totally alternative way of creating an image and it can have very interesting / different results. It's coming close to the end of semester one now, feeling the pressure!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sharp Suits

This is the best thing i've seen in a while! Sharp Suits is a series of posters designed in aid of the Temple Street Children's Hospital. The posters all immortalise various cringe-worthy client comments through the years. I've featured some of my favourite above, but they're all amazing!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Stages of a Still Life Painting

I've been neglecting my blog so much, i'm not going to feel guilty about it though! As I mentioned before, i'm studying for the H.Dip in Art and Design Education at the moment. It's MENTAL busy, so i'm thinking two posts a month until June (when I get my life back!) I'm also making a teaching blog as part of the course, it's private at the moment but i'll make it public once i've finished the course.

On a Wednesday, we have peer teaching day (curriculum studies) when we make art and learn a new discipline with the aim of teaching that discipline in class. Here is a series of shots of a still life painting I did recently, I had an earlier still life that I really wanted to improve on, rather than re-working that I started again here.

Observational Drawing

I did this drawing as part of the curriculum studies module in the H. Dip for Art and Design teaching in Crawford. It's on a2 paper so it's pretty huge, a massively blown up drawing of two fairly small, odd looking gourds.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

More Day of the Dead!

I came across the Dia de los Muertos celebrations in Ogden Museum on my twitter feed. I had the pleasure of visiting the museum last Mardi Gras. I loved it! It's one of the best museums i've ever been to. So much original and unique Southern style art. I loved the Folk Art tradition in New Orleans, it has a distinct humour and really vibrant style. The Ogden's Dia de los Muertos celebration is no exception! The museum is very connected with the culture and people of New Orleans. Museums can be a bit elitest but this one is so open and inviting to the public. It has an eclectic mix of music nights and loads of other events. I wish I could be there this Hallowe'en!

These photos are from the museum's facebook page. The calendar page of the museum site gives the following info:

"Artist Cynthia Ramirez creates a Day of the Dead altar to honor New Orleans icon Uncle Lionel Batiste. The altar will include items that she has incorporated into it, as well as those the public has brought her to include."

"Presented by the Consulate of Mexico, New Orleans; Tulane University's Stone Center for Latin American Studios and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art."

Saturday, October 27, 2012

ATAI Conference 2012

I was at the ATAI Conference last weekend with a lot of my classmates on the dip.

It was a really interesting day with talks from Lesley Burgess, Gemma Tipton and Mary McCarthy, followed by a panel discussion on various topics in art education today. I had not been aware of the proposal to amalgamate all teacher training courses into one facility, it was interesting to hear thoughts and opinions on that from the panel.

The most enjoyable part of the conference for me was perhaps the opportunity to see some of the leading student work from around the country. Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera, so I had to make do with my (poorer quality) camera phone. There's a few images here to feast your eyes on anyway!