Blasket Sunset

Blasket Evening - oil on canvas  041

What a great privilege it was to sit and observe the beautiful colors of the late evening as the sun sets over the Islands of Great Blasket and Beginish.

More paintings of the Blasket Islands on my website:

www.helene-brennan.com/c62-blasket-islands-paintings

Photos of the islands can be seen at: www.helene-brennan.com/c53-blasket islands-photogtaphs

Pattern and Rhythm

Cliffs of Moher
The famous Cliffs of Moher, in County Clare, on the west coast of Ireland. The forms of the cliffs running into the distance create a rhythmic aspect to the composition, and I have attempted to express the richness of the patterns in each area of the picture.

Have you ever thought about how much your life is affected, governed, controlled by patterns and rhythms. Rhythms are intrinsic to our existence. Our bodies have rhythms; the earth has rhythms; seasons are rhythmic. Rhythms are all around us in our environment.  We seem to have a basic need to organise our life and working spaces into rhythms and patterns. Without this organisation we would have chaos.

Rural farming landscape in the hills of Northern Thailand

The furrows in the field, the trees in the distance and the banana trees in the foreground all offer variety and interest to the rhythms and patterns of this composition. I also use fast flowing strokes to further contribute to the rhythms and movement in the picture.

Small wonder that works of art are often designed with the use of clearly defined areas of rhythms and patterns, which are important aspects to the composition.

Rough Sea with Sleeping Giant

Stormy Sea on Clogher Beach with Inis Tuaisceart (also known as the Sleeping Giant) in the background. The sea provides endless possibilities for the expression of rhythms and patterns.

Patterns in nature are free and random, while still maintaining a sense of organisation. Rhythms and patterns are to be found in many art forms.

Fermoyle Beach, on the north side of the dingle peninsula, West Kerry

The rhythm of the waves on the sea,rolling into the beach, an endless rhythm, random, yet repetitive, maintaining an irresistible visual excitement.

It seems our artistic sensibilities and responses are, in many cases, strongly influenced and encouraged by our need for rhythm and patterns. Often, in visual art, it is impossible to clearly define the difference between rhythms and patterns, but you know – it doesn’t really matter.

Wood Shed in the forest, by the River Wye

The wood pile, the corrugated roof, all framed by the rich foliage provided a wonderful opportunity to express the wonder of nature in its fabulous varieties of patterns

Of course there are many other aspects to a work of art, but for this post I am focusing on pattern and rhythm. I have selected some of my paintings and photos that have examples of pattern in the composition.

Villages and Terraces in the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco

Mountain terraces and village houses offer fascinating sources of patterns in the landscape, in the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco

 

ventry sand patterns 2
The retreating tide leaves patterns in the sand, enhanced by the golden light of the setting sun
Sunset at Slea Head, Dingle Peninsula, with the Blasket Islands in view

Without the pattern in these clouds, there would be limited visual interest

In a pond beside Tralee Ship Canal, two swans negotiate a film of ice around the edge.

There is a hint of rhythm created by the two swans, working with the grasses in the foreground. The pattern on the water in the background contrasts with the smooth surface of the ice around the edge.

Evening clouds on Ventry Beach, Dingle Peninsula

Clouds are a wonderful source of nature’s patterns

The setting sun reflects on the fishing boats in Dingle harbor

The visual rhythm created by the row of boats is enhanced by the strong golden evening sunlight, and their colours are unified. The composition gains further interest by the patterns in the clouds, water and stone wall etc.

Nature has taken root in the walls of this old building

Reduced to black and white, we are encouraged to appreciate the details of the patterns in the wall and nature’s growth from the crevices.

The ruin of the schoolhouse used in the movie 'Ryan's Daughter'

In this old skeleton of a ruin of the schoolhouse used in the movie Ryan’s Daughter, over thirty years ago, the sunlight shining through provides interesting rhythms of light and dark.

DINGLE PENINSULA PAINTINGS

Oil pastelsOIl pastels Ferriters cove 1 Oil pastels Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, in the South West of Ireland, is one of the earth’s most gorgeous places.  As with most parts of the country, it’s seen at its best when there is good sunlight, which enhances the characteristically beautiful and luxuriant colours of the land and sea. The range, intensity and vibrancy of blues and greens are particularly distinctive; added to this is the often luminous quality of the green fields, particularly in spring and summer. Summer brings other changes to the landscape as some meadows are cut and the greens turn to shades of beige, pink and pale browns. The hedges appear to expand and soften, indeed resulting in a softening effect on the entire landscape. The often seen dramatic weather – at any time of the year – also adds tremendously to the picture, when there is a juxtaposition of brilliant saturated sunlight, dark moving shadows, with heavy billowing clouds in several shades of blue and purple, white edged; their dark shadows moving across the hills, revealing fascinating contours and details that otherwise may not be noticed.

Being a peninsula, the sea (the Atlantic Ocean) is a dominating feature of the visual aspect of the area.  The sea colours, like everywhere of course, reflect the colours of the sky and clouds, but there is something about the blue that appears here on a clear day. A glorious deep blue – not dark but rich and satisfying. On other occasions, less frequently, there is a very special, rewarding shade of light blue – to be seen for only a short time of the day.  The effect is enhanced by the sun being in such a position that precludes visible shadows on the sea waves, so that the pale colour is not darkened by the shadows on the water. To observe this colour and soak it inside you is like having a deeply relaxing massage

But all weathers have something beautiful and special. The sea and the landscape have many different moods and seasons, ever changing, always compelling. I love painting and photographing these diverse moods, each mood being unique, never to be seen again. If you don’t catch it on the moment, you will never see it like that again. Described by many as a magical place – and why? Well in my view it’s not about magic in the sense of being outside of reality, but about the gloriously therapeutic effect of just being there, experiencing and observing. Being a person who is deeply responsive to visual encounters, this wonderful place is a source of profound joy.

There is so much more to be described; I hope at least to whet your appetite. More  on specific locations later. More paintings on my website: http://helene-brennan.com/c15-dingle-peninsula-paintings