2023 in review ……..working backwards!

2023 was a good year in many ways. I’d forgotten how much I did until I started looking at photos to upload here. I ran so many workshops, did so much drawing and painting, had an exhibition, made a book, went to Australia and so much more!
I really should be updating this website much more!!

I am moving into a new phase of my life. I got my pension and now feel I need to spend time on me.
I plan to focus on what interests me without worrying about where it will take me. I’ve managed to survive this far without the ‘art market’.

Yet again I was lucky to have got some funding from ARTLINKS to make another booklet. This year it was centred on Nicks garden and the fields surrounding our house. Below you can see the two booklets. If you’d like one message me or check out my Etsy page…..when I work out how to work it…lol

here is some work from my exhibition in Thomastown in August

I have become slightly obsessed by the local environment wherever I am.
As a longtime pleinair painter/sketcher I find like to get out, draw and get to know my surroundings. It helps me understand where I am and it’s good for my mental health. My version of ‘forest’ bathing except it’s field and bog sketching.
I think it’s important as humans that we are connected to what surrounds us. It is very fashionable to talk about getting out in nature and yes it is. However we are nature so really we are just connecting with ourselves, seeing ourselves in the planet as part of it, not in charge but involved.

Here I am at the fantastic winter Open Call Exhibition in An Chead Tinne with my 3 pieces. Just looking at these pieces makes me realise they portray three of my longest lasting obsessions, horses, trees and painting……I had just returned from 3 weeks in Western Australia? A trip of a lifetime

This piece above has been selected as a shortlist for a residency in France with Hambly & Hambly in Enniskillen. I’d love to be selected on this two week residency with the facilitator Eamonn Colman. This piece incorporates my interest in the local trees that grow out of the stone walls in this ancient area of Co Carlow. The materials are all, apart from the paper, made by me from natural materials. No plastics, no polymers, meaning acrylics!
Walnut ink, inkcap ink, charcoal from twigs, the blue is from copper and vinegar and a few more…….cant tell you all my secrets!

Above is a sketch of the flower and plant of the famous Jarrah tree, from the numerous ones I did on our trip to Cowaramup near Margaret River About 3 hours south of Perth. A bit of Paradise which of course they are busy paving! We are a virus and we seem determined to kill our host. However that’s another conversation.

Earlier this year I treated myself to a workshop with the lovely Botanical Artist Mary Dillon.
this really helped me restart and refine my love of drawing and painting plants and all things natural.

trying out some Pomegranate……highlights and flatness


work in progress

The beautiful Bindweed

A shot from a workshop that I delivered in my studio under the umbrella of ‘let the long grass grow’ a project run by Maura Brennan of The Acorn Project. She employed 4 artists and herself to respond to a poem she wrote in response to a dream she had during lockdown about the hares surviving in the long grass

. She asked us to choose a plant preferably an endangered one and do a piece in response that she would make banners for future projects with. We also did a workshop each of us to share our practice with a group of people.

in the background you can see some of my stitched paper work with hares and horses. Inspired by the awful wildfires around the world and wondering about how the animals are coping.

Nettle leaf bellflower and Bull thistle on Fabriano using home made inks

works in progress using handmade inks

just a little bit of digital fun using one of my paintings

Homemade inks on Mulberry paper then waxed