Ireland- Part 3

I was already tired of driving when we realized that we left our laptop in our first Airbnb, a two and a half hour trip in the opposite direction from our next destination. The detour meant nearly a full day in the car, including lunch (which, at least, had a view of the sea). Fortunately, we arrived in Cashel just in time to tag onto the last tour of the day at the Rock of Cashel. The growing darkness and slashing rain made the medieval castle with its enormous cathedral ruin feel imposing and empty, but it was the haunting call of jackdaws and rooks echoing off the walls that made the experience all the more extraordinary.  

The following day, I managed to sketch Hore Abbey before we set off once again—this time to the small town of Ballaghaderreen in County Roscommon, where my great grandmother was born. Through no trace remains of her house, nor the gravestones of her parents, it was moving to visit the gothic cathedral where her family attended Mass and to see the surrounding town and countryside that she and her siblings left behind forever in the late 1800s.

Tips and Techniques– Sometimes you won’t have time to sketch or paint all of the things you want to while traveling. Take a few photos, but I recommend that you not leave them for long, or you may never get back to painting them. Such was the case for me with the Hall of the Vicars Choral at the Rock of Cashel. I liked the carved angels overlooking the hall, but there was no way to capture them in the dark room and fast moving tour. I snapped a few photos, and began sketching and painting them on the airplane home. I had to give up when I spilled my water during some turbulence, but I was glad I had all the basics in place so I could finish easily at home.

17 Comments on “Ireland- Part 3

  1. Hats off to you for at least attempting to paint on a plane! My experiences have been similar. Even drawing can be an adventure when the turbulence unexpectedly hits!

  2. Hello Jean…I just had to comment (first time) about your beautiful little paintings of your recent trip to Ireland. Not only are they lovely sketches but they are very thoughtful in honouring your ancestors and their homeland. Your explorations must have been a very moving experience for you. I too would love to visit and explore where my ancestors lived in Ireland before they migrated to Australia in the mid 1800’s. I think it’s a very special gift to ourselves to sometimes think of and ponder on the lifetimes of our ancestors and the hardships they endured and the heartbreak they must have felt to leave behind family and home to travel to faraway lands. Often to never return. How brave they were.
    I always enjoy your blog postings and find them very inspirational. I also love the little poetic quotes you often add to your sketches. Whatever the subject…they nurture my soul.
    Best wishes,

  3. The Ballaghaderreen page and story are haunting. At least you knew the village and the church still stands – it must have been comforting to be there. I love the rooks!

  4. Have you seen Disney’s Coco? I think you might like it or at least this post made me think about it for all the right reasons. Great tips here.

  5. Even though I am commenting here, I have read all 4 parts of your Ireland posts and want more!! Having just traveled there too, I loved reliving our adventures through your awesome, familiar sketches. Thank you, my Irish sister!

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