St Patrick’s Well – Oil Painting

St Patricks Well

St Patrick's Well, Glasshealy

Every parish in Ireland has its own St Patrick’s Well. It would seem he was well travelled (excuse the pun). Our well is at Glasshealy, and the local folk have done a great job in preparing the site for the St Patrick’s Day celebrations. Hidden away across the fields, with no road access, its location is only known to the people of the area. The water from this well is renowned for its curative properties, with plenty of ‘miracle’ cures to enhance its reputation. Overlooking the site is a piece of sculpture, St. Patrick, created by Dick Joynt who lived in this area and was commissioned by the local people to produce this work. Dick had a studio nearby and it was a great place to spend an evening talking ‘art’ and drinking tea, in a cloud of pipe smoke. He moved to Bree in County Wexford to establish a much larger studio to train young artists but unfortunately died shortly afterwards in 2003 without realising his ambition. He is remembered in his many fine monumental sculptures (see here) in Ireland.

St Patrick (in the upper left). Notice the communal drinking cup hanging on the tree beside the well.

The actual site of the well is beautiful and orderly (see photos), the very reason why I would not find it a good subject for my style of landscape. I followed the stream as it left the well and found an area of ‘wilderness’ nearby, which was the scene for this painting. Having completed the painting, more or less as the scene suggested, there was  something missing to make it a ‘good’ painting. I added a foreground, with a blackthorn tree from the imagination, and this put the finishing touch which I felt was missing.

The colours were the usual: Burnt Sienna & Raw Umber (red), Yellow Ochre (yellow) and Cobalt Blue (blue). Also used was black and white, and Sap Green to boost the greens (it is St Patrick’s Day!) as the Yellow Ochre and Cobalt Blue mix is a very low key green.

The video shows the progression of painting and the first ‘finishing’, with the later additions added on. I will post this video in the next few days, after I recover from the Paddy’s Day ‘celebration’.

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