Sunday, 31 January 2010

Interest and Incongruity

Until the advent of digital technology I'd only used cameras for holiday snaps; then I got myself a Canon Sureshot, which although now only nine years old, is already a museum piece, with it's 64MB memory card and the four AA batteries needed to power it up. By the time I bought my Ixus 850 I'd discovered Picasa and was also bringing my dormant Photoshop skills into play.

When you have the ability to take a hundred photos a day (yes, I've done that!) it's easy to lose track of them, and useful sometimes to look back through the archive; you unearth all sorts of forgotten bits and pieces which deserve a bit of an airing. I've dug three out to share on today's blog; not the most scenic, or the prettiest, but ones where something unusual caught my eye.

The Ballroom of Imagination and Desire, Waterville, Co Kerry
© Teresa Kirkpatrick, 2005

The first was taken on a holiday in County Kerry; we were taking a walk around Waterville when I spotted this doorway up an alley. It refers to an art exhibition held four years previously; there was something haunting and at the same time incongruous about it. It's still one of my favourite Ireland photos.

Arnemetia's, Buxton

© Teresa Kirkpatrick, 2005

The next photo is the window of Arnemetia's the Purple Shop in Market Street, Buxton. We were staying just around the corner for the Gilbert & Sullivan Festival; every time we passed this window I had to stop and look! When I took the photo I knew that the houses opposite would be reflected in the glass but I hadn't realised how successful the effect would be. Again, it was the incongruity of finding a lovely little New Age shop in a side street of Buxton which first grabbed my attention - although, when I think about it, why not?

Shed, Ballinskelligs Pier

© Teresa Kirkpatrick 2008

The final photo is a more recent shot of a shed near Ballinskelligs Pier in Co Kerry. It's a lovely area with beautiful scenery, so why this, you may ask? I liked the colours and textures of the paint, and the stone, and the bits and bobs lying about. The shed itself isn't incongruous - it fits perfectly well in its own surroundings - but perhaps my choice of subject is!

We are all photographers now; the digital age has seen to that. Long may it continue!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Paint and Personality

Pato's Wish
© Teresa Kirkpatrick 2010

Here are two new paintings completed earlier this month. Random subjects, I thought; the only thing they had in common was that I'd been meaning to get round to them for ages. The first is Pato's Wish, which is intended to be a companion to The Marbre Therese at Portmagee. These two fishing trawlers have been based at Portmagee since I started going there more than ten years ago (and longer, I daresay); but earlier this year Pato's Wish was decommissioned and is no more. I think she went for scrap. The Marbre Therese (or Marber Therese, as she is actually registered - she now bears her correct name following a repainting) is too small for decommissioning and I have high hopes that somebody will take her on. I have fond memories of watching both boats have their catch unloaded, usually after dark in the freezing cold; the crews were always friendly and didn't mind having their photos taken, although we were careful not to get in the way!

I was keen to paint Pato's Wish while she was still relatively fresh in my mind; I've taken many photos of her over the years so it wasn't hard to find suitable source material. As usual I put in the background, and a little foreground, then started to work on the boat herself. At which point I'm almost embarrassed to admit I became terribly emotional, being only too aware that I was depicting the passing of an era. So this painting, while I'm glad I've done it, made me feel terribly sad; hopefully that will pass.

Lear at the Globe
© Teresa Kirkpatrick 2010

The second painting is another London-based one; I walk past the Globe Theatre every day on the way to work and have seen quite a few plays there. The atmosphere is marvellous, always buzzy, and I wanted to try and portray that; the views are spectacular but always a bit crazy, given that the space is circular so you're often looking at the stage from the side. I wanted to show that too, so I threw careful perspective out of the window (the Globe doesn't have any windows, anyway) and just enjoyed myself making up little stories about the people as I painted them in (these are some Scandinavians over on holiday, here are a couple of students etc) even though they were only impressions. But to my mind the building itself is the star of the show in this picture - as it is in real life . . .

It was only when both paintings were finished and I took another look at them that I realised I hadn't just painted a boat and a theatre. They are both distinct personalities; one sadly no longer with us, the other hopefully around for many years to come!