Friday, 5 April 2013

5th April 2013

Had I the will-power to stick by my resolve to make a drawing each day I would be posting forty-one drawings today plus two sketch book title pages and an end page; instead I have only a paltry  eleven drawings plus the two title pages and one end page.  Those close to me will kindly argue that I have other things to do.  This is of course true but it is not a valid excuse for not doing the drawings; I have more than enough time.  I do not know quite why I do not buckle down and get on with that which I convince myself I want to do; it is yet another of life’s great mysteries to me.

With two exceptions the following drawings have been copied from photographs.

This self-portrait I drew from a photograph taken by my good friend and mentor, Gill.  She caught me sketching during a short break during one of the delightful ‘`Saturday Strolls’ which she leads each week around local tracks and by-ways. 25/2/2013

The Old School, now a private house, at Augwillan, Co. Leitrim, Ireland
John McGahern’s mother taught at this school.  The school and the lanes leading to it from the young John McGahern’s home are well documented in his writing. 8/3/2013

‘Mount Vernon’ 
This historic house was built close to the Flaggy Shore, Co. Clare in 1788 for Colonel William Persse, a friend of George Washington.  In the late eighteen hundreds Mount Vernon belonged to art historian Sir Hugh Lane, whose collection of impressionist paintings is presently the nucleus of the Dublin Art Gallery’s collection, later drowned when the Lusitania was torpedoed.   Mount Vernon then passed to Sir Hugh’s aunt, Augusta, Lady Gregory, friend and confidante of several of irish literary champions Yeats, Synge and Shaw amongst others.  Lady Augusta made a wedding present of the house to her son.  He subsequently died serving as a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps.  Yeats' poem 'An Irish Airman Foresees his Death' was, apparently inspired by Robert Gregory’s death in action over France.
Presently the house is a pleasant, well recommended Bed and Breakfast establishment.  Some of the mature trees around the house are reputed to have been planted as saplings sent by George Washington from his home at ‘Mount Vernon’ in the United States.  12/3/2013

Drawn form a photograph I found somewhere.  I think it may have been taken in Ghent. 12/3/2013

An abandoned cart axle beside a road in the East of Iceland.  The photograph was taken by my partner Elisabeth who flees to Iceland each summer to escape the heat of it here in Greece!  3/3/2013

Winchelsea, Sussex.
Drawn from another of Elisabeth’s photographs, this one of a street in Winchelsea, East Sussex, England.  6/3/2013

‘The Barracks’, Cootehall, County Roscommon, Ireland
When John McGahern was but ten years old, his mother died.  He was taken from the house in which he had lived with her to live with his father, a senior police officer, at ‘The Barracks’, Cootehall.  McGahern’s first novel, titled ‘The Barracks’, published 1963, was clearly inspired by the years he spent living there.  9/3/2013

Moore Hall, County Mayo, Ireland
Moore Hall was built in 1795 for an ancestor or the writer George Moore, whose ‘The Lake’ anticipates and must surely have been an influence on John McGahern’s last book, “That They Should Face the Rising Sun’.  The Moore family continued to occupy the house until it was plundered and burnt by the IRA in1923.  9/3/2013

Bowen’s Court, County Cork, Ireland
This magnificent house was built around the same time as Moore Hall and remained in the Bowen family until in 1959 when, for want of the wherewithal to maintain it, writer Elisabeth Bowen sold the property and went to live the remainder of her life in England at Hythe in Kent.  Shortly after he bought the estate the new owner had the house demolished.  11/3/2013

From the french windows: A failed attempt to capture an effect of early morning mists and hazy cloud over the Messinian gulf.  19/3/2012 

A self portrait from a photograph of me gazing across the flaggy Shore, County Clare, Ireland. 12/3/2013

Title Page

Drawing made 2nd April 2013