July 17, 2020

Summer Vacation: Irish Edition

        Today we’re heading to Ireland, by way of relief block prints.  I have two of my own to share with you, and the first is technically new; I only got around to completing and printing it a couple of weeks ago, although I had started carving some time ago.  It doesn’t depict any particular tourist destination, but is rather one of those little glimpses along the way.  I spotted this observant dog in the upper window of an old (but not ancient) building in a scenic sort of mews in Kilkenny.  I spent just about forever making the pattern on the rough, lichen-covered walls with a million tiny pin-pricks with a tack.  
        My second destination takes us across the country to a more famous spot: Dunguaire Castle, a restored sixteenth-century tower house on Galway Bay.  Ireland is liberally sprinkled with tower houses - over 2000 remain, some in ruins, others still (or again) inhabited - and the fact that you can hardly get anywhere without running into one is a significant factor in my love of Ireland.  Tower houses are quite simple as castles go, and usually feature a single large ground floor hall, and a spiral staircase leading to upper floors that in most cases are now missing.  As Dunguaire is restored, however, you can go up to the top and walk around the battlements for a spectacular view.  When I took the photos on which my block print is based, the scenic wonders of the place were increased by white swans swimming in the bay.
        Despite several more photographs in my folder of possible print inspiration, that’s all I’ve done so far.  I have, however, featured plenty of block print views of Ireland by other artists in the past.
    Others views of the western side of Ireland are here,
    and you can head east for views of Dublin here.
    Plus two views of Cork, here
        Have you been to Ireland?  What sorts of scenery are your favorites?  And how do you feel about grey skies and rain?

[Pictures: Watching the World, rubber block print by AEGN, 2020;
Castle on a Bay, rubber block print by AEGN, 2015.]

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