Storm – Oil Painting


At this time of year, from where I live the lights of surrounding towns and cities can be seen. Not only at night but on stormy dark afternoons.. In rural Ireland, it is part and parcel of life that people leave the area and move to the towns and cities for college or work. Those who are left behind look at the twinkling lights, remembering that last summer.

This was going to be a knife painting. Although a small painting (12″x10″), after a few minutes I was irritated by the slowness and tedium of spreading the paint, so I reached for the brushes. The scene in the painting is similar to a previous painting, ruins of old 18th century farms alongside present day farm life. In the blobs of paint I’ve tried to suggest details which are discoverable and not immediately obvious.

The colours were different from recent paintings. The red was represented by Raw Umber, a rich brown with only a hint of red. Yellow Ochre, also very dull as a yellow, and Cerulean Blue, also a weak colour. There was also of course, black and white. These colours gave a particular feel to the painting. At this time of year, brown colour predominates. I did not use any medium until the fine lines were needed. This was a bit tedious as well, but I was after a ‘rough’ look, also in keeping with the scene. The video is included in this post and also a poem on the same theme as the painting.


The storm had watched them through Summer
and now, skirting the bogland
found some loose metal sheeting
thrashing itself to death.

While prayers were said by those at home
every jagged edge was screaming
high above the house
where storms pass on
to fall lightly like a murmur
down the misty flat windows of Rathmines.