The secret gallery’s blog

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

Archive for May 2009

Great Value and a perfect Day!- Part one

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My Family Cooking mussels on the beach at Fanore

Mine might start in a tent. We have a slight addiction to buying tents, the best value one was £12 from Argos in London.  I would wake up in a beautiful place on some common land beside the sea. I’d brew some coffee in a Mocha pot and enjoy it far more then when I wake up in the comfort of my own home, and having coffee. Ever since walking the Caminos (we walked the Camino de Santiago three times in total with James), morning coffees while camping have been a lovely ritual. Though Jasmine tea, hot chocolate or whatever you love to drink in the morning is a great start to the day. Next I would go for a swim or walk or do a little bit of yoga, Reiki or meditation, it is amazing they are all free! Remember to breathe and drink some  natural spring water.

For breakfast for best value for me it has to be porridge or if you catch your  your own mackerel that is even better, fried in a dusting of flour on the camping gas, or on an open fire make with driftwood. With some flour a pinch of salt and some water, mix into a dough for flat breads to accompany the mackerel. You could go out on the rocks when the tide is out and pick some mussels for lunch too! 

The postal service is one of the best value things these is, in my opinion. Emails are great but here is nothing like getting real physical letter. I would spend the rest of the morning writing a couple of letters. Another thing that is  great value, well in fact it is free is to video call on Skype to other people who use Skype. I would love to have a distant gathering of friends who cant get to see each other often enough. Or reading a library book book for hours would be good too, libraries are brilliant!

Do some land art on the beach and the rocks. Find out how to make a Camera Obscura out of a shoe box so you can take photographs without buying a camera. They have a very different quality to a normal photograph, I think they look amazing. Remember to bring a shoe box or two with you. I have not made one for years so I am a bit rusty.

Another possibility is to go kayaking, either in the sea or on a river, or like we did along the canal. Maybe go for a walk and look for a veggie garden and offer to buy some or do some barter, such as  I will let you borrow our kayak for a couple of hours in return for a dinners worth of fresh vegetables! Or give an art class on the beach to them or their children, tell a story, sing a song or help them in some way. You could also travel with some of your wares such as hand make jewellery, poetry, mounted photographs, or whatever you make so that you can offer something that is often worth more then money.

There will be free art classes happening soon in the Secret Gallery, all welcome!

Written by Marianne Slevin

6 May, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Grass Hearts, a little journey

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Cut grass, aluminium printing plates and tent pegs on the way into the Secret Gallery. These are my alternatives to news papers! My friend found these sheets of aluminium beside a skip, I think they are used for printing news papers. I have used some of them for dry points and a few of these even have marks scraped into them ready for printing. Our children helped gather the grass for me. I wonder will they turn into hay hearts! I enjoyed doing some land art/ interventions again and hope to do more, maybe along The Burren Way and the coast of Clare.DSCF2848

Have a Heartfelt journey where ever it my take you! And remember I am having an exhibition in the Courthouse Gallery in Ennistymon, Co. Clare with two other artists on 14th August at 8pm, I hope you can make it!

Written by Marianne Slevin

3 May, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Doonagore Castle Tower Doolin

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Pen and Ink drawing of Doonagore Castle Tower Doolin, otherwise known as O’Brian’s Tower. I don’t often do on site drawings or paintings of something ‘real’, but I did enjoy it! So often my practice involves delving into the unseen, and trying to make it visible, it was a change to simply look and try to imitate with a pen, a brush and some ink and water, what I saw. Today was the first time I have tried to draw what was in front of me for nearly a year, I would say. I used to do it a lot years ago in every sort of weather condition. Once my friend and I almost took flight of a rocky mountainside near Ballyvaughan with huge boards, the rain nearly washed both our paintings away! Today I enjoyed the comfort of sitting in the car!

Written by Marianne Slevin

1 May, 2009 at 5:54 pm