• Reality Is Sooo Boring November 14, 2018 Róisín Curé

    I started a new children’s art class today. Like yesterday’s new class, it’s one I haven’t taught for many months. This time it’s in the Gaelscoil in Oranmore, which is the Irish-language-only school that my kids went to. I had figured on taking about 12 children in total, and then I agreed to take an extra two because they were siblings of children I’d already accepted. So I was a bit surprised – well, terrified – to see what looked like a hundred tiny red-jumpered children ready to go to class. It turned out there were nineteen in total. I ...

  • Never Always Work With Children And Animals November 13, 2018 Róisín Curé

    (Never) Always Work With Animals And Children Yesterday I saw some beautiful beech leaves that I wanted to paint. There was something so magical about them. The colours, the hues…I don’t know. I did try to go out and paint – I had been stuck in front of a screen all day – but God had other plans. He was clearly saving up clouds (for a rainy day, lol) and you can’t paint in pouring rain. Reuben the terrier and I had to run for cover within a minute. So I painted this nice apron instead, a gift from my wonderful ...

  • Geology: A Symphony Beneath Our Feet November 11, 2018 Róisín Curé

    I met my fellow artists, USk Galway, today for a sketch-out under the archways of National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG). We huddled together from the cold under stone arches and sketched the beautiful 19th-century courtyard, called the Quadrangle, or Quad for short. It was a trip down memory lane for me: I walked through one of those red doors (the second from right) about a million times in the period from 1992-2003, for that is where the Geology Department is. When I started second year in university, we could choose three subjects. I can’t remember why I chose microbiology and ...

  • My Girls Are A Force Of Nature November 10, 2018 Róisín Curé

    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 ...

  • Reuben Isn’t Waterproof November 9, 2018 Róisín Curé

    There’s a beech hedge at the bottom of my drive. Over the last few weeks it has been a riot of flame-coloured leaves and every time I drive past, I think I really must sketch it. Days passed and I did no such thing, even though I knew they were starting to blow off with a vengeance. Finally, I decided to wait no longer and chose today as the day that I would sketch the tree. Unfortunately, it was also the day that God decided to get rid of all the rain he’s been saving up (for a rainy day, ...

  • Viva España! A Spanish Vibe in Galway’s Film Fleadh November 9, 2018 Róisín Curé

    I occasionally teach Spanish to young people. It’s hard to get a fun vibe when you’re teaching a language outside of the country where it’s spoken, as it can be a little dull by comparison to be taught by one person. Learning Spanish in Spain means the following: – sun – warmth – fab new foods – happy, loud people – beautiful sights – blue skies – beer on terraces – foreign young girls and boys loving your cute accent Whereas learning Spanish in Galway means… – cold – rain – same dinner as always – one voice droning on and on – grammar – forgetting stuff – no one around but your kid brother to ...

  • Hurray, It’s Time For Irish November 8, 2018 Róisín Curé

    Every schoolchild in Ireland must learn Irish. You can only be excused if you arrived late into Ireland from another country, maybe 10 years old or so. Growing up, there was usually one or maybe two kids in the class who didn’t have to do Irish. We envied them more than words can say: they could read whatever book they wanted in the cosy library while we had to tackle the most impossibly difficult grammar known to mankind. I sent my own kids to a Gaelscoil, where the only language allowed is Irish: partly so that they would never find it ...

  • As Sweet As…Salt? November 6, 2018 Róisín Curé

    I’m a terrible woman for heading for Dr Google when something is wrong, real or imagined. It’s a mistake, I know, we all know it, but we can’t resist. So my machine was my first port of call the other day because I was experiencing a curious symptom. Everything tasted salty. No matter what tasty little treat I made, it wasn’t right. Apple and blackberry crumble, shortcrust pastry, then – my favourite at this time of year – pumpkin pie. I was torn between disappointment that I wasn’t enjoying it and relief that I wouldn’t be making a pig of ...

  • Making A Bad Drawing Is Good November 5, 2018 Róisín Curé

    I love sketching at the bus stop while I wait for the kids. No one can disturb me. The car is tiny but it doesn’t matter. And the only subjects are some trees and a big grain silo so it doesn’t matter what happens. And if the worst comes to the worst and the kids arrive (which they tend to do at the bus stop) then I can come back the next day and do a bit more. In this sketch I tried to put into action some of the advice that was given to me by John Short, an ...

  • “I don’t care what he looks like – I fancy him.” November 4, 2018 Róisín Curé

    Sixty years seems like an eternity to a child, but in reality it’s practically yesterday. The Battle of Britain Museum is a place to stir emotions like none I’ve ever experienced.

  • Hallowe’en in Galway November 2, 2018 Róisín Curé

    Every year since they were old enough for me to indulge my desire to dress my kids up (ie. under 1), my children have taken part in some kind of Halloween festivity. I swaddled them in every costume I could think of, some of them elaborate creations hot off my sewing machine (a purple velvet frock coat for a Louisiana voodoo witch the year The Princess And The Frog was in the cinema stands out) and some less swanky (a threadbare nightdress I hacked with less-than-sharp scissors to make an “angel” comes to mind). When the kids were very small ...

  • Wales in Watercolour: Part 1 October 20, 2018 Róisín Curé

    On board the Oscar Wilde with my colleague and buddy Sharon… Sharon and I are taking part in a project called Bluefish. It’s a joint Irish-Welsh project looking at blue growth and the possible effects of climate change on the marine sector along the coast of the Irish and Celtic Sea. I was tasked with producing 16 sketches of marine businesses along the coast. The idea was that by combining art and science, a much greater impact would be made upon a person than a dry old paper. Sharon and I were well prepared… Here’s my first sketch. We’re on board the Oscar Wilde. ...

  • Right-Looking Eejits June 26, 2018 Róisín Curé

    The other day, my husband Marcel and I were driving into town. There was a buzzing coming from somewhere in the car. “There’s a bee in the car,” said Marcel, who dreads getting stung. “It’s a bluebottle,” I said. “It’s a bee,” said Marcel. “Oh yeah, there it is,” I said, having spotted a fat, orange furry lad buzzing around the boot of the car. “I’ll let it out.” “No, don’t do that,” said Marcel. “It’ll get separated from its colony.” We have all heard about the terrible plight of bees. “Of course!” I said. “You’re dead right. We’ll let it out back home.” After a while and ...

  • No Idle Hands May 2, 2018 Róisín Curé

    “Hands up whose hair drives them mad when it needs a cut,” I said, showing the kids I teach my latest sketch of a barbershop. I had explained that I had been there for two and a half hours, and they had asked why my son needed to go to the barbershop when it was that busy. A flurry of hands went up and a chime of 10 and 11-year-old voices asserted that yes, their hair drove them mad sometimes. A young lad at the back with a good head of hair groaned and said that right now his fringe was driving ...

  • Home Made Bread Roll Pizza and still Sugar-Free…but for how long? April 30, 2018 Róisín Curé

    Bread. It has sugar in it. But I’m still gonna eat it… This Bread Roll Pizza was my husband Marcel’s excellent idea the other day, and I’ll share what I did in a minute. Neither of us likes going to the supermarket, so these days it’s hard to find something nice in the fridge for lunch. One thing I nearly always have, however, is beautiful home made bread. No, there is nowhere to buy wonderful bread in Kilcolgan, which is why I make it. I have to because the kids take sandwiches to school every day. We won’t talk ...

  • Sugar-Free-Sketching Day 6: (No) Cabbage Borscht & Soda Bread April 23, 2018 Róisín Curé

    Borscht and soda bread. Comfort food at its best… Boo-hoo! I am feeling rather sorry for myself today. For the last few years the middle finger on my right hand was refusing to open when my hand was closed. This apparently is called Trigger Finger. It was getting worse, and my doctor recommended an injection of cortisone. He didn’t mention how painful the injection into the tendon on your hand is. Ouch! Afterwards I was in dire need of comfort food and all I could think of was making a delicious pot of cabbage borscht. I made it last ...

  • Sugar-Free Sketching Day 5: Chilli For Breakfast April 22, 2018 Róisín Curé

    Chilli for breakfast is a far cry from the porridge and cereal I grew up with, but I love it. Day 5 and I’m back on the wagon. Actually Day 4 I was too as it was the previous day that I fell. It’s Sunday and I thought I’d make Huevos Rancheros, mainly because I had one corn tortilla left over from last night’s dinner and I knew that another day would see it turn dry and yucky. Besides, Marcel loves huevos rancheros. “Watch out,” I said to him. “I put lots of chili.” “No such thing as too much chilli ...

  • Sugar-Free Sketching …Day 3 and I’m Already On The Cake April 21, 2018 Róisín Curé

    Off the wagon! And it’s only Day 3! I was celebrating, and there was cake involved. This is how it happened. Under The Cosh My son Paddy is in Transition Year. That means he does very little in the way of actual work, but spends lots of time on personal development. Part of Transition Year is to do work experience. They had to find three weeks’ worth of work experience in three different places. “I know what I’d like,” said Paddy. “One hands-on job with boats, one science job and a fun one.” This is very Paddy. He lives in ...

  • Sugar-Free Sketching – Day 2 April 19, 2018 Róisín Curé

    It’s Day 2 of my Sugar-Free Sketching project. Nothing like a community spirit to increase the chance of success – why not follow my progress!

  • No Sugar, Thanks – Day 1 April 18, 2018 Róisín Curé

    I am so fed up being fat. After the awful winter we’ve had, I feel like this most days, but yesterday it was worse than usual. I had spent a couple of days with my dad, who is a demon for sugar. He has broken his ankle and isn’t driving so I went to the shops for him. He rang me while I was there. “I was wondering why you were taking so long,” he said. “I’m stuck at the dessert aisle,” I said. “I can’t decide which ones to get you.” “I love junk food,” he said, which was his ...

  • Not So Smug Now: Last One at the Airport April 6, 2018 Róisín Curé

    After scoffing at my husband’s desire to be punctual for flights, I nearly paid the price. There’s a (very obvious) lesson in that somewhere