by Róisín Curé in Galway
Two or three weeks ago I was in the very strange position of sketching with some people whom I had only known through Urban Sketchers, and only via a screen. That in itself wasn't strange, but to have them right there with me in my beloved Killeenaran was most peculiar, in a very wonderful way. To me, this place is as magic as anywhere I envisaged as a child. Places I read about in books like Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer - in fact, the countryside around here puts many people in mind of Tolkein's Middle Earth. As children, most of us, I'm sure, had special places that were the embodiment of paradise. I can't think of a place that made me feel that way as an adult - until I came to live around here.
So to share this special place with people with whom I share a passion for sketching meant a lot to me. I can't say the weather was as nice then as it was today, when I basked in warm sunshine and let go of my cares and worries. The only worry I had - and it was a vague one at best - was whether the sea was rising up the steps that I was sitting on, or dropping. My ambition was to recreate the same scene that Adriana sketched, from the same spot.
When I was here with Adriana Gasparich and Claudia Feldman we weren't so lucky. Here's Adriana sitting on the same step that I sat on today. To give you an idea of how warm it was, I was sitting on stone for two hours and I didn't get a chill in my derrière.
As you can see, the tide was completely out the day we sketched here together. You should look up Adriana's account of sketching that day here. Her resulting sketch was magnificent. I love the fact that her sketch is identical to mine other than the level of the tide, and also Adriana included the area to the left as well.
Claudia took up position on the far side of the quay wall, where the two boats are above the water line in the top sketch. The wind beat her relentlessly. She wouldn't hear of moving to a more sheltered position. "I've been painting outdoors for ten years," she said. "This is what it's all about!" Respect in the extreme to her. She produced a lively sketch full of colour of the boats at low tide, from a viewpoint directly opposite that of Adriana.
Here's another sketch of the quay at high tide at the same time of year last year:
You can just about see the arch under the bridge in the top sketch.
And here's the two boats from a closer angle...
So there you go. A peek into one of my favourite places in the world. I hope to welcome some more of our special band of sketching brothers there too, someday.
Meanwhile...more paintings and drawings of Killeenaran Quay to come!