In October 2019, I was an artist in residence at Cill Rialaig Artist Retreat in County Kerry, Ireland. Staying in a pre-famine, slate-roofed, stone cottage, I spent many afternoons watching the wild weather sweep across the bay. In the howling wind and white rain, punctuated by bright moments of sunshine, I painted the changes as best I could and listened to the rain pounding on the roof above. I saw rainbows every day, and on my last days I watched the rain turn to sleet in the patches of sunlight. I rolled acrylic paint on Yupo, using the color of the waves below, and left them outside in the rain, creating rain imprints. I called them “Clagarnagh,” the Irish word for the sound of pelting rain on a roof. While hiking around the area, I learned about the gorse and bracken in the hedgerows and hills. I listened to the choughs (sea crows) as they soared above the hills dotted with sheep. While climbing, I startled Irish hares from their hillside homes and watched them dart away. High above the sea and in the shadow of the mountains to the west, I discovered ancient stones. In this hermitage on the edge of the world, I learned more of who I am. In the silence I could hear my voice the loudest.
Below are the artistic imprints of my time there. I hope you enjoy the echoes.
When moving on from my studio of 4 years, I painted this storm mural in four days on my free-standing studio wall before it was demolished.
This last moment of artistic expression was the celebration of the joy and freedom that this beautiful studio gave to me, and with its destruction I let it go as I move into a new studio and begin the next chapter.