Anyone who has followed my work for a while will know that I have always been very discreet when it comes to posting pics of my children online. I can relax now, partly because they don’t mind and are already out there all over the place, and on a more practical level, because my eldest, Honor, has recently unblocked me (after five years), meaning I am now physically able to do so. Hurray!
In the same day, both of my girls won creativity competitions. Honor is 18 and she won the third level category in a competition organised by Galway City Council to design and make your own homemade Hallowe’en costume. She made a headdress of ram horns (papier maché) and lots of beautiful flowers (satin and silk with their edges melted and singed) and red berries (papier maché and sticks) and also made a beautiful crimson satin skirt with a black lace overskirt, from a pattern she found on You Tube. She is thrilled to bits.
I was telling my younger daughter Olivia on the way home from school and she said, “Well, I don’t want to steal her thunder, but I also won a prize in that art competition I did…” The theme for all the entrants was Force of Nature and I think Olivia’s entry is magnificent. It depicts the Northern Lights and the Antarctic Scientific Research Station, which I think makes the green glow in the sky the Southern Lights. The painting is in acrylic, A3 in size.
This morning I took Olivia down to Gort, where she goes to school, to accept a presentation and receive a voucher to buy herself a treat. It’s enough to buy herself an outfit, so she’s delighted. I am very tight and mean, and the only coin I had was €2, which was far too much for the meter, but we were running a bit late (we actually weren’t, but Olivia is far more punctual than me) so I sucked it up. It’s Gort, for heaven’s sake – 50c would have been plenty. So after the award ceremony I decided to do a bit of sketching to get value out of my parking ticket. There was a building I had long wanted to draw anyway.
Gort is in the heart of rural Galway and Keane’s is one of those shops where you can get lots of stuff for a house in the country. There are all kinds of spades and forks for digging, any number of brooms to keep the outside where it belongs and infinite items to keep you warm: ash bins, bags of coal, briquettes, coal buckets. I loved the bright yellow and blue colour of the outside. Soon I was too cold to paint any more and called it a day. But I got to use my letter stamps again!
Gort is home to a very rural Irish population, and also lots of Brazilians, who came to work in a meat factory about 15 years ago. It’s gone now but lots of Brazilians stayed, and they fit into Gort perfectly. That’s why I chose a Brazilian as my passer-by, and also because he had a cool do-rag on his head (that’s probably wrong but I can’t think how else to describe it).
Here’s Liv receiving her award:
And here’s her beautiful painting:
I’ll put up pics of Honor’s lovely costume tomorrow!