Tag Archives: Ireland

Corvids And Erratics

2 Oct

02 doolin pier

On our recent trip to Ireland, Husb and I began exploring The Burren in County Clare. We stopped at Doolin Pier to look at the slumped sedimentary rocks in the cliffs and the glacial erratics, massive rocks from far away, dunped on the ground by ancient glaciers.  As I was drawing Husb near one of the huge erratics, I noticed loads of crow-like birds trotting around all over the place. I’m not a twitcher, I could tell they were corvids but couldn’t be more specific than that. They came up really close, making a ‘clicking’ sort of clucking noise and scrounging food. When I threw them some scraps of sandwich, they stored the pieces in their lower mouth and their necks swelled up very clearly.  They completely distracted me from the landscape and I filled the paper with them instead. Like all the other birds I’ve drawn, they didn’t stop fidgeting!


I drew them into my A5 cloth-bound sketchbook with Faber castell Pitt drawing pens in various sizes. I prepared the paper with torn strips of brown wrapping paper stuck on with Pritt stick glue.

Here’s A Cow

1 Oct

01 cowHusb and I spent a few days in Ireland last week and travelled up to County Clare for the first time. The scenery is spectacular but to be honest, I don’t like drawing land / sea scapes. I like to photograph them but drawing them leaves me cold. So I scribbled a cow instead. Here she is. She’s pale brown and creamy white.

We visited the Cliffs of Moher in the Burren Geopark and walked along the windswept clifftop path. It has been lined with large Liscannor flagstones, made from siltstone, that are covered with fossils; some are ‘trace’ fossils, the tracks of ancient animals in the soft mud; others are ripples from the bottom of the sea. I noticed that some of the fossil patterns look a bit like Celtic knotwork.

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30 Sep


Husb and I spent some of the night on the ferry from Ireland to Wales. We finally got to bed at 3am but had a nice lie-in and just chilled out today. It was a smooth crossing and I didn’t vomit once! The Irish Sea can be really rough but it was behaving itself last night. Husb can sleep through a hurricane and I sketched him as he snoozed on my Samsung Galaxy S4 using the Magic Marker app.

I like travelling but it’s soooooo good to get home and sleep in my own bed. The cats have been really glad to see us but Sparta looks like she’s been getting double rations. Kitty diet for the rest of the week!

Killarny Bar

28 Sep


Husb and I spent some time in Killarny in Ireland yesterday and wandered into a very posh hotel that had live music in the bar. It’s a good opportunity to scribble as people are engrossed in the music. Here are a few of the people there . It’s also a chance to draw an interior that I don’t normally see; I don’t get to go to posh bars normally 🙂

I drew them into my clothbound A5 sketchbook that I’d prepared with some ripped paper stuck in at random,using Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens.


27 Sep


We’ve been having a few days in Ireland and doing a bit of touring. We crossed the Shannon River from Kerry to Clare on the ferry from Tarbert . On the Clare side is a ruined jetty that’s been colonised by cormorants . They sit quietly and wait for the right opportunity to dive for prey . Not easy to draw,like most birds I’ve drawn they don’t keep still, so I have to capture a quick impression.

Long Journey, Scabby Cat

25 Sep


Husb and I started travelling late last night,all the way to the West Coast of Ireland,via ferry and lots of hard driving. We’re in a tiny village near the Shannon river and this scruffy little feral cat has persuaded my relatives to feed him. He’s unapproachable but content to hang out in the garden in this unseasonably warm weather.

He hasn’t been neutered and he’s obviously been in lots of fights and has a deformed ear. So my family call him van Gogh. Or Scabby Cat. He stayed still just long enough to do a bit of a scribble on my tablet using the Magic Marker app.

The Soaked Bride of Meenagahane

23 Sep

Driving along the County Kerry coast with husband and young niece, we followed a small road down a steep, narrow valley to a tiny inlet with an old stone jetty and a few ancient cottages. A friendly geriatric collie dog ran out of one of the gardens and showed us around the tiny bay. The waves were crashing over the jetty which was covered in a thin slimy seaweed – the old dog was used to it but we skidded around all over the rough stones. While we were exploring, a wedding party in cars and a minibus pulled into the small carpark and walked down to the pier, the bride shivering in a beautiful but skimpy gown and veil. The groom was in full formal dress but everyone else was casual and there was a photographer and film cameraman with the group.

Ink sketch: The Soaked Bride of Meenagahane.


To our surprise, the bride and groom, photographer and cameraman walked to the end of the jetty, stepped into a little wooden boat and rowed to a small rocky island a few hundred yards across the bay. The happy couple clambered up to the top of the steep rock and after holding hands for a few minutes for everyone to take photographs, they leapt fully clothed off the cliff into the choppy sea. We were gobsmacked! Some of the wedding party saw our faces and came up for a chat, explaining that it’s common in Ireland for newlyweds to have their formal wedding photos on the big day and then arrange an ‘adventure’ photoshoot for another time, things like skydiving, scuba diving, bungee jumping and, as we saw, jumping off precipitous islands into the sea!


It’s challenging sketching in circumstances like this. It was cold and wet, everyone was moving around a lot and it stretched my speed drawing skills! I did these two little sketches which are very rough and I was tempted to redraw them from photos that Husb took, but I decided not to because they captured a few moments in time and a particular set of events in a very spontaneous way. I had no idea what the couple were going to do when I made the drawings, but Husb has a great video of them jumping off the island [here’s a link to it – http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=492822355829 ].


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