Saturday, 23 August 2014

At the end of the garden

I am interested when I visit other artists' / crafts peoples'  blogs to see, not only their work and what inspires them but
also where they create. 
I enjoy seeing studios, desktops, pin boards, pictures, postcards and what views can be seen through their windows,
all of which for me is an insight into the individuals' creative process. 
For many years I painted and drew at a desk in the corner of  rooms in various flats and it was only when I came to 
live in Laois that I finally had my own studio space where I could close the door on the rest of the world. 
Because of my fascination with other peoples' places I thought it may be interesting to take you on a tour to the bottom of our garden, to the converted cattle shed where I work.

The land on which the studio stands was originally the shore of Lough Dubh, meaning dark lake, which once held 
a small island upon which grew a fairy thorn.
After the course of the River Barrow was altered in the 1900's the lough disappeared but the ground remains boggy 
and the field next to the studio is still known as the Lough Field. 
There are several tales of the Síd, the good people, associated with Lough Dubh which were told to me years ago by 
an elderly neighbour,  but that is a post for another day. 
Today the sun is shining so we shall go down to the end of the garden,  passing my morning coffee place - 
weather permitting, to the studio.

At the back of the building stands a whitethorn tree which in early summer is laden with blossom and 
it scents this part of the garden. 

In the eaves the swallows have built their nest and above the door a Sheela-na-Gig invites you to enter. 

Today it looks reasonably tidy though there are always too many books and not enough shelves. 
You can see the chair which is important so that the artist can drink tea, listen to music, ponder ideas or doze 
in comfort by the stove.

Tracing the places associated with the old goddesses and gods requires a good map, one as Gaeilge, 
the other in English and magnifying glasses are needed when painting tiny details.

The altar surrounded by the Ever-Living Ones and one of the tiny windows which were part of the old structure.
My morning ritual before I paint is to light the wood burning stove, a candle and some incense sticks. 

The desk, paint brushes, views out to the garden and more books.

Toby, relaxing after a run,  likes to sit under the easel.

To end this visit is the blank canvas reminding me that I soon have to start a new painting.

If you too are an artist or a crafts person where do you create?


  1. Carol Spiros:
    What a lovely studio, and thank you for the tour!

  2. Thank you Carol - glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Margaret Lansbrough said:

    One word describes this Blog Jane.....MAGIK.   The studio looks fablulous.  I have a little room in the house now where I create.  Not pottery anymore alas as my back does not allow.  At the moment making my own inscence and whatever else takes my notion.  xx

  4. Margaret thank you - It is a real joy to have a space to create and be comfortable in. Good to know you are still creating even if you are no longer a potter. Jx

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  6. Wonderful to see your studio again and so tidy too! Liked to hear the history of the place and know that it is really a true fairie place. Xxx

  7. Thanks Boand - it's only this tidy because I completed a painting and always have a clean up before I begin the next one. Usually it's creative chaos!


  8. Love your studio Jane. I lost my writing muse a couple of years a go. Except for the blog posts. Got disillusioned with the publishing world and the death of my parents didn't help. Great to see your creativity in action.

  9. Hi Dave - Yes, the inspiration goes when we face other things in our lives - happened to me too and lasted for a few years.
    However it came back even stronger eventually so your muse may return still.


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