In July 2007, I traveled to Ireland with my husband Paul and some of my American family to attend the Nesbitt Reunion outside Belfast. I had already met my Irish Cousin Robena before, but I hadn't met my other Irish relatives. So with passport in hand and a feeling of anticipation that had come after years of yearning to see the Old Country, I flew from Newark to Belfast. After renting a car, we started our journey by touring Northern Ireland. The reunion was still a week away. One of the trip's highlights included a beautiful drive past sheep grazing along the coastal highway. We were headed to see the magnificent Giant's Causeway of County Antrim. After the family reunion, my family headed west to Sligo, home of poet and writer, William B. Yeats and more awesome landscapes, castles, estate gardens, and waterways. At Rosses Point, I remember gazing out at the harbor and wondering what it would have been like to set sail as an immigrant years ago, leaving everything you know and love behind in order to start a new life. It couldn't have been easy.
While I stayed in Ireland, I took what seemed to be at least a million pictures. Later after I returned home, my first project was in sorting them all out. Paul and I then proceeded to make a couple of videos from our movie camera and my digital camera. We shared those with the family at the next reunion which was held the following summer in Pittsburgh, PA. Meanwhile, I was chomping at the bit. I couldn't wait to get started with painting some of the scenes I fondly remembered from our trip. So, I started out with the grazing sheep and then moved on to water and ships. All the paintings are done with soft pastels.
The video with this blog features some of the paintings I've created of the Irish landscapes and set to the mood music of Enya. One of my paintings that's currently for sale at the Inspire Fine Art Center this week features a painting of Ireland, "Memories of County Antrim." Please feel free to stop by the Inspire Art Center on 1539 E. Sandalwood in San Antonio for the exhibit.
May the Luck of the Irish be with you always!