The secret gallery’s blog

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

Archive for November 2008

Peaceful Studio breakfast of James’ Biscotti and Coffee

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James’ Biscotti



Our Children have been given breakfast in bed. I have decided to at least eat breakfast  in my studio even if I have not done much art there for a while! Well that is not exactly true as I have been painting clothes with fabric paint to create my new winter wardrobe!  Last night I renovated a chair that was very stained and with broken back, I did a painting of tree on the seat and the word Peace on the back.  Downstairs James was baking a symphony of almond and vanilla biscotti with the tangiest lemon drizzle icing. This morning I wonder what will I art-around with while I have my breakfast. They were definitely the yummiest biscotti I ever had! Sometimes the possibilities are so infinite that I get lost! Will I Paint, draw, print, make, stitch,and that is just the start1




Peace Chair at The Secret Gallery

Written by Marianne Slevin

18 November, 2008 at 10:21 am

Cyberspace and my studio space met when Linux Ubuntu 8.10 was launched!

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A while ago,  light-years in computer time but just a little flash in my time. It was the same day that Linux launched Ubuntu 8.10, that I did this painting. What is strange is that I was working close to James my partner  but I could not see what he was doing in his technological side of the room. while I dabbled with the earthy pigments that my Friend had given me for my birthday. Thinking about Google Earth maps and how the horizon line had changed from our usual perspective, and how this my influence landscape painting, mine at least! This influence from technology I was aware of but I was not expecting to recreate my own version of the Ubuntu screen-saver wallpaper! When I showed James this piece he said “that is very Ubuntu” I had a look at the screen of his laptop and was amazed at the strong resemblance. It shows me how effected we are by what is around us even if we cant see it!

For me, I like to paint the impossible, the surprising and the unacknowledged! I paint what I feel but am not ready to understand yet. Maybe I just paint whatever is floating around in the air! It often sounds silly when articulated into words but why should that stop us! I see this piece like earthy planets, somehow the above and the below have mingled! This is a fascination of mine, I have been preoccupied with unity and harmony between opposites for as long as I have made art. You my see a million other things, which for me is what art is really good at; the viewer participates and nobody is right or wrong, it is a game to be played! 

Written by Marianne Slevin

17 November, 2008 at 9:45 pm

Modern Mary

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This morning, James my partner and muse discussed the direction that these motor bike leathers will take. James also known as peacerider has a great insight into my artwork and often can pull it together by combining different elements of my work and making it more complete; we work well together. This piece is very female and we intend to make it even more female so it is a kind of balancing to have some male input. Traditionally it was typical for the men to be the Artists and the women to be their muses so I like that this is balancing out too. In the days to come this piece will become something a little more….. so see what happens!

Peace to all

Written by Marianne Slevin

15 November, 2008 at 2:21 am

Everyone is an artist but not everyone can see it as art!

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Joseph Beuys said ‘Everyone is an Artist’, I agree with this statement and think that Joseph Bueys was a terrific Artist himself, and one of my greatest influences. Much of the art made since Beuys has the same sentiment; that everyone is an artist, yet it is often this very art that many people feel alienated from, or baffled by, it is such a paradox! I notice this with my own art sometimes. A reasonably skilfully drawn, recognisable and framed piece, where people feel that they could not technically draw it themselves is revered above the pieces that are more inventive, imaginative, creative, original, and playful, and there are many other qualities that can be associated with art and life which are available to everyone and you don’t need to go to art classes to get them! We work with what we have available to us at any given moment. As we change constantly so will our art. One day we can be present to making a certain type of art but the next it does not seem to fit where we are at that moment. Sometimes it may never fit!

If I do not have a steady hand to paint fine detail with precision or the temperament, this probably means that I wont be painting the fine intricate masts of the ships at sea, that I remember being in owe of as a child. However my strengths as an artist will be somewhere else, and the same applies to every single other person. Making art related to what you are passionate about and not faking it is a good start! Just because you like Rembrant, it does not mean you have to be like him and reproduce his work. Sometimes I am shocked by what I create and have to leave it for awhile to catch up with it, but this work-play helps me to grow; it is all part of the creative journey.

Written by Marianne Slevin

15 November, 2008 at 1:38 am

Breathing life into old art work

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Intervention at the Secret Gallery, Doolin. Dream Horses Blankets being aired!


I made these Horse Blankets during my Degree year in Crawford College of Art, along with some more. They had been in storage for many years, so today I thought that I would give them an airing in the wind off the Atlantic Ocean. They are made out of many different types of materials and natural pigments. Previously they hung in a room between the ceiling and the floor, here I loved the way the wind moved them, at times they looked like giant jelly fish or flat fish under the sea such as Giant Rays. This is the same clothes line that I made the wind drip drawing or should I say the wind made them, 8 years ago and the blankets were made about 12 years ago. It felt good to take them out again!

Written by Marianne Slevin

11 November, 2008 at 4:25 pm