EVENING WALK ON BALLYHEIGUE BEACH

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You may notice that just I love the West of Ireland Sunsets. This is Ballyheigue Beach, my current regular walking spot, on which I have taken hundreds of photos, but each one is different. That is the wonderful thing about this climate; it offers something new every day.

I am still struggling with a frustratingly slow Internet connection speed, so my posts are now infrequent, but I expect things will improve in a few months time.

Thanks a million to you bloggers who have liked my posts and apologies that I have not been able to access many blogs to view and like them. It’s taken at least half an hour to get this far with creating this post. In order to avoid wasting so much time I go and wash up, make a cup of tea or play my flute while waiting for pages to load!

More photos from Ballyheigue on my website http://helene-brennan.com/c110-north-kerry

I would like to take this opportunity to wish a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR to all bloggers and all others who view this. Thanks you for taking the time to view my post. May all good things flow to you this coming year – and always!

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Mount Brandon in the late mid-summer’s sun

 

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This photo was taken in the late evening sun on the longest day this year. It was a perfect evening with an almost clear sky.  It was great to enjoy the long hours of daylight to the last minutes of the setting sun. I’m a little late posting this – but better late than never!

PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE: 

http://www.helene-brennan.com/mount-brandon-on-a-mid-summers-evening

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

 

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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.

Irish Wildflowers – Roadside Wildflowers of the Dingle Peninsula

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“Flaming flowers brightly blaze….” (Don McLean on Vincent Van Gogh).

Indeed the wildflowers of the Dingle Peninsula are brightly blazing at this time of the year, and have not been created by any artist other than nature, admittedly with a little help from the humans who have introduced many non-indiginous species such as the highly invasive montbretia. Nonetheless, I just love the fantastic swathes of colour they create along the roadsides in the rural areas.

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July and August are the best months for these wonderful exhibitions of nature’s art, offering a joyous and thrilling experience for any tourist or local person driving, cycling or walking along the roads. For the driver, the challenge is finding a parking space to leave the car on these narrow roads, in order to get out and walk or take photos of these spectacular and colourful exhibits.

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Sadly, there are many people who have either little regard or little awareness of this precious heritage, and often one can see evidence of weedkiller spray along vast areas of roadside at times when the flowers haven’t even had time to bloom and seed. So much must have been lost.

These photos were taken on the roads from Ventry to Ballyferriter, and from Ballyferriter to Murioch. The latter is on the famous Slea Head Drive, but on a section that is often missed by tourists who fail to take the left turn at the Dingle Peninsula Hotel, and instead take the shorter cut back to Dingle.

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MORE OF THESE PHOTOS CAN CAN SEEN ON MY WEBSITE:

http://www.helene-brennan.com/c802-irish-wildflowers-photos

 

 

The Gathering Ireland 2013 (Part 2)

So if you come visiting Ireland this year – what can you expect? There will be so much for you to enjoy. You will, of course, merrily connect with your cousins, who will give you a tremendously warm Irish welcome. You will observe their features and mannerisms, and it will seem like you already knew them, they look so much like your sister, your uncle – or your cousin May back home. So that’s where you got your nose from, and now you see the genetic pool from where Barack Obama got his ears. Well – have you ever seen a true African with those ears?

You make a trip to see the old homestead – or what’s left of it. There’s no roof, and not a lot left of the tumbling stone walls either. But you walk inside, just to feel what it’s like in there, amongst the nettles. There’s not much to see, no possessions left here – but wait – what’s that bit of broken crockery there wedged between the stones? You pull it out and reflect. Did this once belong to your great, great, great grandmother? Was this a treasured bowl, that took pride of place on the modest kitchen table? Is this what she used for the beautiful homemade bread or scones that she made in the pot oven over the peat fire.  You reflect on the lives and activities of your ancestors here in this very room, their joys and sorrows. You feel the presence of these people, you feel welcome, connected – it’s a wonderful warm feeling.

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Looking through the open door of an old cottage on Great Blasket Island, County Kerry, Ireland.

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View from Castlegregory Golf Club, County Kerry, Ireland

You have a superb choice of entertainment of all kinds – music, dancing, singing, theatre, and countless other events. You learn the meaning of ‘ceol agus craic’ (music and fun). There are many interesting tours. How can you find the time? Your cousins all want to share their knowledge and make suggestions. You are just overwhelmed by the hospitality, the generosity, the fabulous food, the vibrant and talented people, the characters – and that I’ve come home feeling!

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A young couple play hurling on the beach at Couminole, Dunquin, County Kerry.

You experience the rewards of fair and foul Irish weather too!  You discover the beauty in the drama of the deep purple clouds, luminous sunlit fields, ferocious winds, hazy hills, rain, rain and high soaring seas. You are joyful for this opportunity, and euphoric on those beautiful soothing sunny days when you are able to walk up the heathery hills and along the long scenic sandy beaches. You are in raptures as you behold the sights of those breathtakingly brilliant West of Ireland sunsets. Such a privilege! You want to stay here – forever!

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A dramatic view on Curracloe Beach, County Wexford

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Patches of glowing sunlight on the fields of Dunquin, County Kerry

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A beautiful sunset on Banna Beach, County Kerry.