Thursday, 10 May 2012

Bog Paintings Series

I'm working on a series of paintings of the bog at the moment. This is a photograph I took out on the Bog Road, between Clifden and Roundstone. I like the strong direction of the Bog furrows across the land. Also, the combination of the Twelve Bens mountain range in the distance with the water in the middle distance, make for a rich composition.

I've used all of these features in the painting below.  This one is done on a heavy weight acyrlic paper. I forgot to take a picture at the early stages so this is how it looks after quite a bit of work.

As you can see, I've deepened up the colours considerably ( these rusts and reds are truer later in the year ). I've also allowed the lake to bleed in to the bog, washing it away visually. I'll come back to this one when the paint has dried but it doesn't need too much more work.


  1. Hi debbie
    this is a very powerful picture. I love the energy in it and the way everything is rushing around. The clouds are chasing across the top of the picture, the bog is racing towards us, the grasses in the front are pushing upwards. The colours are so intense. When I look out the window here (Roscommon), it is nearly always shades of grey, green, blue. Grass, stone, sky. Very little else. With varying intensity but tending towards pale. I sometimes wonder what it does to our internal vision. Do the pictures and colours in our heads become pale blue, green and grey?? And thus our moods, or does it not make any difference.

    Was fascinated by one of your earlier blogs, which said that the blanket bog was man-made. Is this true of all bog?

  2. Hi Meg,
    I am very pleased to have provoked such a response! I am really enjoying working on these bog paintings and my main preoccupation is with the bog as an ancient place ( so I think it deserves a kind of reverence) but also as a living, vibrant thing which has a real force or energy about it. If I can communicate this even in a small way, then I feel that I must be making some progress!
    I like your question about whether we internalise what we see -
    Personally, I find that the light or lack of it has the most significant impact on my own moods. Light influences the way we see colour and so grey days make everything appear grey and that greyness in turn affects our ability to engage properly with what we are seeing. That's how it seems to me in any case.
    I'm not an expert on bogs but I know that there are several different types, the main ones in Ireland being the Blanket bog and the Raised bog. I suppose that we can say that the blanket bogs are manmade because the ancient farmers initiated the process ( by cutting down the forests). The Raised bogs were formed naturally without any help from man - they are mostly found in the midlands and are smaller and dome shaped because they formed in old lake basins, again over several millennia.
    Thanks for your comments, I've really enjoyed thinking about them!
    D x