The secret gallery’s blog

Maybe the first secret gallery in Doolin, Co. Clare, Ireland

Archive for August 2008

Part Time Muse for sale, one owner, good mileage.

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muse-for-sale

The role of a muse is an endless chase, but a better role I know not. Once you taste the nectar you can rarely go back, yet I have occasionally tried to dip my little toe back into the murky waters of “real job title” life, but, its just not for me, its an overly chlorinated pool that just stings the eyes too much.

The moments of rebellious toe dipping generally happen when my role has reached the point it has as of this moment, the point when you have seen your cherished owner fly to the highs of creativity and surpass the need of any outside stimulation, a bird basking in the perfect environment that they were created for, sun, wind, freedom.

At the point of take off, the point a muse must constantly be seeking to harmonise the surroundings and circumstance to create, the muse is temporarily unemployed, no, temporarily retired is more accurate, and it is a strange moment of satisfaction mixed with boredom.

The satisfaction is not an issue as you can imagine, but the boredom is, hence I have decided to offer up my part time retirement as muse in waiting for an artist in search of such services a muse has to offer.

To apply for my services write in no more than 400 words “why you need the service of a muse”.

Please use the comments section of this post for contact and application

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Written by James Slevin

30 August, 2008 at 10:08 pm

Just Published! The children’s book of Religion, by James Slevin

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Introducing to you the newly self published book of the Secret Gallery,

“The children’s book of Religion”

and all a child needs be told about Religion

I would like to offer up this FREE e-book for download. It is totally free, no strings attached.
Please give it to anyone you think could do with it.

Peace and Love to all.

If you would like to download this amazingly FREE book please click here

the_childrens_book_of_religion

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Written by James Slevin

30 August, 2008 at 9:07 am

Heart Art

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HEARTart  It may sound really soft, but when I paint I try to tap into my heart. When I feel most connected with what I am doing, it is as if the marks are directly coming out of inside of me from my heart and down my arm, through the brush! I don’t try to think when this is happening or intellectualise it, just feel it. I am often on the verge of tears while I am painting not because I am sad but because I have been opened. It is similar to the feeling you get when you hear a powerful, moving piece of music. I don’t know if anybody will ever feel this when they look at my work, but for me it is a signal that tells me to listen carefully I am onto something. Two writers that make me feel emotional about art are: Jeannette Winterson in her book Art Objects and Herman Hesse in his amazing book The Fairy tails of Herman Hesse, who is my favourite author. Hesse wrote a story called The Painter and also a story called If the  war continues, which I also think is incredible! I also have to mention Derek Jarman here, when I was in college a great friend of mine introduced me to his book Modern Nature since then I have been a big fan, he lead an incredibly creative and heartfelt life.

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Written by Marianne Slevin

29 August, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Shelters and spaces to dream in

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During this saturated cloud of a summer I am hugely grateful for these strong old stone walls. Though in sunnier climes I do recall enjoying a more out door life  where shelters could be under trees, in valleys and other places in nature. When we renovated our adobe house in Spain we wanted it to feel and be as natural as possible. I love when inner spaces and outer spaces merge. In the painting Refuge I wanted to get across the feeling of living in nature, well sleeping, dreaming and washing I like to idea that it can still be quite elegant! In the painting, a white bed cover with a delicate floral print and white four poster bed-like mattress sits on the earth, with a similar style jug, towel and wash basin en-suite! This scene takes place under a tree on the brown earth, but the bed cover is not all covered in mud! I love the total impracticality of this! This is one of the reasons I love painting, because it does not have to be real, in the way we often think of reality, and it does not have to hold up a roof!!

Written by Marianne Slevin

29 August, 2008 at 7:01 am

The Secret Gallery gets ready!

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There hadn’t been very many visitors to the gallery lately, it felt like allot of effort to keep the doors open for maybe no callers! I had started to let the gallery become a home, and a pretty messy one at that! This has changed as of yesterday, and we are back in organised mode! I have been reminded to get ready first and the rest will follow! Sometimes I think that it is the very part of me that allows me to paint and be creative that make me very chaotic and is not a great business head! just as well there are two of us! Yesterday was a grand combination of cleaning, clearing, feng shui, lessons in computer skills and creative play which took the guise of placing coins, shells and little precious things in the cracks and cubby holes in the old stone fire place, like offerings. This also reminds me of some of the bars in Galicia, Spain, where they put coins in the walls. I am not sure why they do this, maybe somebody knows?

We have started to extend the gallery outside as well! A line of shells and drift wood that resemble both a tide line and a ladder that runs down the garden path. The first day we enjoyed watching the birds exploring their new perches, I hope they approved! Today we open at 9am, so we hope to see more than the birds, though they are always welcome too!    

Written by Marianne Slevin

28 August, 2008 at 6:31 am

Messages in paper boats

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messages in paper boats

messages in paper boats

I have been making paper boats, this started off by writing  little messages then folding them into boats and leaving them in the secret gallery for people to open out like fortune cookies! Not sure if many people did but our children loved them! A friend of mine commissioned me to make some as wedding gifts, so the last couple of days I have been experimenting and turning these flimsy boats into something a little bit more lasting but still delicate so I dipped them in melted bees wax and paraffin wax which gave them a slightly golden glow. (Take care if you are melting wax, as once I was melting wax and it boiled over and caught fire over a gas cooker, I ran out of the house with a child under each arm while James tackled the blaze! Luckily everything was ok!) They are also waterproof and ready to sail! I love the way wax makes paper look; the boats are almost transparent  and now the words are kind of sealed into them, but you can still read them, they emerge over time. I write using a pen and ink for drawing, and like to think of the drips and irregularities as adding freshness to the pieces. I believe that technology is really useful and important for many reasons, though I would never have said this before! But, the hand made and hand crafted, the hand written letters, I hope they will always be written, for they bring something to our lives that technology cannot replace. As well  as the messages, I have been using repeated words over and over, mantras such as: Love Laughter, Truth Trust, and Love Unity and writing them on the boats. I really enjoy the lightness of these little boats; turning something two dimensional into a hand held object. They can be flattened again. I like the idea of posting them to different destinations.

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Written by Marianne Slevin

27 August, 2008 at 10:04 am

The day posting simple 3

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Its early, its quiet. Early is the ONLY time its quiet in this house come gallery/studio, such is life with children. Its raining, its pouring.

Marianne has been commissioned to create these small handcrafted paper boats dipped in wax, they are amazing, but every time my eyes glance upon one scattered around the gallery I wonder if it is an omen, Noah’s ark, not perched on mountain filled two by two, but here on the weather battered Cliffs of Moher, waiting for the floods to come.

Its early, its quiet.

Its raining, its pouring.

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Written by James Slevin

26 August, 2008 at 5:47 am