Valencia Island, big Charcoal Drawings and Agnes Martin’s writings

Monday finally, as promised by the forecasters, was warm and brilliantly sunny so I headed off for Valencia Island via Cahersiven.  I didn’t need to go that way but the Petit Delice French Patisserie there has the best almond croissants I have tasted outside of Paris.  So had to be done and armed with my croissant I headed for the ruins of Ballycarberry castle and sat on the beach watching sandpipers, who didn’t stay long and a stray oyster catcher.  As I sat there enjoying the solitude a couple of vans arrived and and I heard French voices!  They really were French vans and then a tractor turned up with a long trailor on it and everyone togged up in oilskins and headed off towards the point – I can only assume they were all going fishing.  But it was the end of my peaceful reverie so I left.  I started at Knight’s Town on Valentia Island, a pretty village and the port from where the ferry runs to the mainland but I suspect only in the Summer.  There was no sign of it in November.

I headed back towards the other end of the island and did some drawings of the skelligs in the distance.  Then I wandered back through St Finans bay climbing straight up the amazingly sheer cliff to the top followed by a descent with the tightest s bends I have seen in a long time.  But St Finan’s Bay is spectacularly beautiful and there is a chocolate factory nestling at the foot of the hills where you can sample Vanilla Grenach, Champagne truffles and other delights.  Just for the record I don’t have a sweet tooth I just happen to like dark chocolate and almond croissants though my favourite is apricot croissant but they don’t do those in Cahersiveen.


Tuesday was not such a sunny day but I have started work on a very large drawing which is very process-led and slow and tortuous.  I have wanted to do a piece about memory and forgetting and silence for a long time and now seemed just right. \as an antidote to the slow meticulous working process I spent some time out on the cliff-side with a board and sheets of cartridge paper doing large free drawings in charcoal.  It makes a nice contrast to the quick sketchbook studies I have been doing and gives me time to stand back from the drawings about High Cross House which need a breathing space.  I have also been reading some of Agnes Martin’s writings which are feeding into my thoughts about solitude although I do take issue with some of her statements.


5 Responses to “Valencia Island, big Charcoal Drawings and Agnes Martin’s writings”

  1. Felicity Somerset Says:

    Lovely contemplative work!

  2. Rosie Scribblah Says:

    glorious drawings

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