Wow, it has been forever since I updated the blog!
Where to begin? Well there was the master bathroom renovation and workshop upgrade from hell that went on from July 1 until Jan 1 that kept me out of the workshop for most of that time, Barbara and I living out of plastic tubs scattered about the house, sleeping in the guest room and using the guest shower. There is more to the story, but I won't bore you with the gruesome details.
I was in the workshop nearly every day in November and early December getting ready for the Motorco and Durham Craft Market Holiday Markets. They are both outstanding markets and were very good to Wood Be Retired. I intended to stay out for the workshop in the new year to focus on watercolors, but was commissioned by a man I spoke with at the Durham Craft Market Holliday Market to make a chessboard in a wood combination I did not have. I was able to deliver that in early January after searching for and finding a board of jatoba of the color and character he wanted. That jatoba was spectacular after finishing, I need to find some more and make another one!
When I finally got back in the "guy cave" to paint, I took up a couple of references of fishing boats I saw in Ireland. I was surprised after returning from Ireland how many photos I took specifically for painting references that were of boats. Guess I should not have been since Ireland is an Island.....duh.
"Safe Harbor" is on Carnlough Bay, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, across the road from where our tour bus stopped for a break. It was full of small fishing boats with lots of character. It was low tide as you can see from the moss on the walls of the quey and I really liked that, and the buoy in the foreground. I had not recognized that they were flying the Republic of Ireland flag in Northern Ireland until I was writing this blog!
You may see more from Carnlough Bay in the future.
Our tour director told us that while the sectarian violence had mostly ended, that there was still strongly held differences in the north between remaining part of the United Kingdom (predominantly protestant Loyalists) and joining the Republic of Ireland (predominantly catholic Republicans). You see either the UK flag or Republic of Ireland flags flown depending upon the leanings of the residents of a particular area, especially during the "Marching Season" when we were there. Apparently Carnlough Bay is Republican leaning.
"Quey'sEnd" is another scene captured while the tour bus stopped for a rest break. It is on Killary Harbour, Connemara, County Galway, Ireland. While named Killary Harbour, it is really a long narrow fiord separating counties Galway on the south from Mayo on the north and the home to several large salmon farms. It was high tide when we stopped so you only see the top of the moss on the quey-side but I really liked the end of the quey, brightly colored boat, the towers and the life saving ring on the wall.
I've got to get back in the workshop to frame these two, think I will use cherry with maple inlays on both. Hope you enjoy them!
John Schwartz - watercolorist and woodworker.