Monday, September 26, 2011

The Language of the Stones-Artist Residency Ireland

After spending time in the sacred sites of Loughcrew, and  Newgrange, I have been wondering about the meaning of the carvings on the stones.  Were they a language of some sort, telling about the purpose of the cairns, did they track the entrance of the sun into the chambers, were they simply a kind of decoration?  

When I came into my cottage here at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, I found some words scratched onto a heart-shaped slate that a previous tenant had left behind.  Lovely that the word is Brave.  The word 'courage' comes from coeur, French for heart.  Be Brave.  What a wonderful motto to begin my residency here.  And now I'm in the final few days of the residency and so I'm looking at my work and hoping that I have been brave.

In response to the Be Brave carving, I found a Yeats quote about courage.  I did a small installation piece down by the lake, carving the quote onto some small slates that I found by the boathouse.  It reads: "Why should we honour those that die upon the field of battle?  A man may show as reckless a courage in entering into the abyss of himself".

Here are a few of the pieces I've created in Studio 2. 
 At home I use cold wax medium and oil paint, but for ease of transportation, I brought along acrylics and heavy body gel medium.  I brought 11x 14" multimedia artboard panels to paint on, giving myself the challenge of working in a new medium on a new medium!  The panels are made of paper that is coated with resin. They need no priming or sealing.   I normally work in a fairly large format at home and found the 11 x 14 " size a bit constraining.  So I made them into multi-panel pieces. 

I'm working with the idea of the language of the stones.


  1. These paintings are brilliant, Janice. You have captured the spirit of the place. I'm mesmerized.

  2. Thanks so much Judy. I very much appreciate your comments...such new work and I've not used acrylics before. I think that I'll carry on with this work when I get home only with oil and cold wax.