A Ráth, or ringfort is a defensive circular structure. Although it is estimated that there are about 40,000 in Ireland, thats an average of about 1 to every square mile in the country, why they were built, or when they were built is still debated. Most are at least 2000 years old and they were probably the Iron Age equivalent of the fortified house or castle. They have survived because land owners regarded them as sacred places and it was considered unlucky to interfere with them. Trees were never cut and usually become covered in Ivy and eventually fell down. There are many folk tales of Banshees, Little People and such like associated with Ráths. Unfortunately modern land owners, infused with the Euro obsession with efficiency and output have destroyed many of them. Ironically, the intensity of agricultural activity reached such a pitch (remember the meat, butter ‘mountains’) that the EU instructed farmers to leave a portion of their farms idle (set-aside) to try and counteract this intensive farming activity. No wonder the Euro Zone is a shambles with this sort of bureaucratic management.
The colours in this painting are, wait for it, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Prussian and Cerulean Blues, Raw Umber and black and white. Almost the same as used in the Absolute Beginners paintings, Part 1 and Part 2. As usual I’ve videoed the entire process for the next post and I will discuss the painting process then.