I have been blessed with the enormous luck to have visited Ireland three times. Almost everywhere I traveled, I discovered vistas calling for for my paintbrush. This one was in the Donegal village of Glencolumbkille, looking past the glen to the beach and Atlantic.
Co. Antrim lies along the north coast of N. Ireland, and is the ancestral home of my Irish famine immigrant McClernan family line. When one thinks of Ireland, snow doesn’t come to mind, but Antrim gets its share between December and March. Here, I love the lavender and peaches in this image of a half-frozen stream.
This fifteenth century roofless Franciscan Abbey in Quin, Co Clare fell victim to Oliver Cromwell’s campaign to stamp out Irish Catholicism. Despite his murdering its friars, the abbey was rebuilt and remains largely intact. What was so striking about my visit to the site was seeing the lovely reflection in the stream below the church.
Chased by a storm while driving through the hills of Co. Mayo, Ireland, we had a bit of a taste of what it must have been like for peasants on this Famine Road, as they hiked through the snow to petition the local landowner to open his granary. When he refused, they straggled back to their huts, many dying along the road.
After feeding ponies grazing nearby and exploring the monastic beehive huts, I turned to look back along the Dingle Peninsula’s Atlantic coastline in Co. Kerry IR and discovered this spectacular view.
The Kilmalkedar Church site on the Dingle Peninsula includes the remains of a 12th century church, an alphabet stone, sun dial, stone cross and two holy wells. In the holed ogham stone, visitors are invited to pledge their love or seal a deal by touching hands through its hole.
Driving along Donegal Bay on our first trip to Ireland, we stopped to watch sheep grazing on the hillside above a small farm. Irish sheep are marked with various colors of paint to identify their owners.
When we reached our destination, a B&B in the coastal Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) village of Glencolumbkille (or valley of St. Columba), we found it situated just above Glen Head. This was the view of the steep hillside outside my bedroom window, portrayed first in watercolor and then in oil. The red-orange coloring on the hillside is the autumn hue of furze also known as gorse or broom.
Glen Head was located not far beyond my B&B attic bedroom window. Often I would spy locals walking its beach in slickers oblivious to the windy-rainy conditions. We were more happy taking refuge before a peat fire in the local pub.
The tall steeple of the stone Iglesia De Glencolumbkille can be seen far down the glen.
Twice on our trips to Ireland we stayed in a B&B in the village of Carraroe in Co. Galway. As the beach was just down the hill from our lodgings, I took my paints and parked myself in the shelter of a large rock to create this little coastal scene.