Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Ghost of Christmas Present: Nearly There

MaryBrigid Turner bought me a coffee on Saturday afternoon when the picture was nearly finished, and we talked about the whole business of painting in public, the pros and cons. You can see the interview here at the Inís website
I reckon MB owed me the coffee as she was the one who dreamed up the whole idea of me as artist in residence in Hodges Figgis window.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Ghost of Christmas Present: Help from the Punters

Here's a link to a story on RTE's News2Day programme about the painting in Hodges Figgis window.
The kids were from Griffeen Valley Educate Together School, and they had some great ideas that I was able to include in the finished painting.
I finished up yesterday and the picture will stay in the window till Christmas.
It's strange that it is all done now.
I was getting quite used to always having an audience behind me.
It was the weirdest week ever, but I really enjoyed it, and I got a heck of a lot of work done.
Many thanks to Conor, MaryBrigid, Stephen, Liam and all at Hodges Figgis for their help and hospitality.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Ghost of Christmas Present: In the Shop Window

The first day working in Hodges Figgis window was certainly weird , but I got a bit done and all the people in the shop and those who stopped to watch were really nice.
If you come along, and I don't look round, please don't think I am being rude, it's just the only way I can get the work done.
Here's one of MaryBrigid Turner's photos.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Ghost of Christmas Present: Blocking In

I got a lot done on my Christmas painting yesterday, which is a good thing because I have no idea if the conditions in Hodges Figgis window will be conducive to doing decent work.
At least it's a nice typical Irish overcast day, so the lighting should be OK until 4.30 at least.
Anyway, we will be shipping the painting (very wet!) over in the next half an hour if we can get it down three sets of stairs here.
I’m looking forward to getting to work in a bookshop.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Ghost of Christmas Present: The First Steps

I got a good start on my big Christmas picture last night.
I got the whole thing scaled up on the 7’ by 4’ canvas, and I got a few hours of painting in.
It would be great if I could paint the whole thing in situ in Hodges Figgis bookshop, but there is going to be so much to do that I just have to get a start in the studio.
Also the light in the window is going to be very unpredictable and I will only have a four foot space to step back in, so I want to have my tonal values well established.
I am remembering too that the last picture I did of this size took four months and I am supposed to finish this one on Saturday.
Fingers crossed!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Ghost of Christmas Present... in Dawson Street, Dublin 2

Here's the rough I have created for the picture I will be painting "live" in the window of Hodges Figgis bookshop in Dublin.
I thought you might be interested to see how I have constructed this from a mixture of mostly drawn elements with a few Photoshop images dropped in.
So much for my idea to have a scene with large expanses of sky that I might be able to fill in quickly.
This is a pretty busy scene and the canvas is seven foot wide........I'm going to be very busy until the weekend.
If you have a copy of my version of A Christmas Carol, you will know that this picture is based on my illustration of the Ghost of Christmas Present.
I always loved the design for that spread but perhaps I painted it a bit too dark or the paper in the book is overly absorbent, but anyway, I was never entirely happy with how it printed.
So I'm taking this chance to have another go.

Congratulations to Chris Judge, winner of the Irish Children's Book Award.

Congratulations to my pal, and studio neighbour, Chris Judge, whose wonderful first book "The Lonely Beast" was awarded the Irish Children's Book Award last Thursday evening.
I was delighted to be the guest presenter who announced his win.
The full ceremony will be shown on RTE TV next Thursday evening.
Very well done Chris!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Some Sketches from "A Christmas Carol"

I've been looking through old studies from my version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol trying to get a suitable design for the seven foot painting I will be doing in Hodges Figgis window next week.
I find the drawings I do as studies have a freshness and immediacy that I can't often keep in the finished paintings.
I must do a book illustrated solely with drawings.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Artist in Residence in the Hodges Figgis Window

This is me measuring up the window of Hodges Figgis bookstore here in Dublin.
Next week I will be installing myself in this very window as their first ever artist in residence.
I have been asked to paint a huge new painting illustrating a scene from A Christmas Carol from next Wednesday the 23rd until the 26th or 27th, and at some point we will auction the original painting for charity.
I love the idea of working under that kind of time pressure, but the public spectacle aspect of it all might be harder to deal with.

Many thanks to my pal Conor Hackett for setting up this novel event!
And David Maybury who made this great little video, will be keeping an eye on my progress.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards

This Thursday I'll be dusting off the old tuxedo as I have been asked to present the Specsavers Irish Children's Book of the Year Awards at the Irish Book Awards Gala dinner in Dublin.
A few of my pals are shortlisted in various categories but I have no idea who has won any of the prizes. I will be as surprised as anyone when the envelopes get opened.
It will all be on the TV a week afterwards, so I'll hopefully be able to post a link.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Fleeting Light Effect

When I was working on this study of Niamh, a stray shaft of light found its way into the life room and irritatingly moved right onto the model's middle.
I was inclined to ignore it and concentrate on another area of the figure whilst waiting for the sun to go behind the clouds again, but then I thought I'd take up the challenge and try to paint it in.
It was a difficult effect to catch as the light was moving so fast, (it only lingered on Niamh's middle for about fifteen minutes as I remember) but in the end I think it made for a much more interesting painting.
It got me thinking of the problems that al fresco landscape painters must often come across. Maybe I'll give that a go next spring.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ireland of the Welcomes Article

Here is a nice feature that appears in this month's "Ireland of the Welcomes" magazine.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Portrait Sketch of Giuseppe

Giuseppe modelled for me for this portrait sketch. It took about two hours.
Notice how engaging the direct look from the subject is.
That look is something that is almost impossible to get in a life room situation, and it can be quite unnerving to paint it in a one to one sitting, but I think a portrait is generally the better for it.
We were both fairly pleased with the finished painting, but Guiseppe is a sensitive and gentle person, and I think he looks a bit hard in this one.
I will be doing a series of portrait sketches like this for practice over the coming weeks.
I have a number of sitters lined up, but if you are in the Dublin area and are interested in posing for me, drop me a line at info@pjlynchgallery.com