Friday, December 04, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

McSherry's Daily Studies has moved...

...over to my exciting and comprehensive new web site at You should be able to sign up for the blog which means you'll be notified of all my sharply witty posts -which will include any new daily paintings that I do.

If you've arrived here directly from your copy of the Irish Times; hello! It was very pleasant of them to include my work in their catalogue of highly original gifts for Christmas. Anyway, do take a gander and drop me a line sometime.

Monday, November 02, 2009

No. 103. Looking Towards Leeson Street Bridge

During the summer, I took myself down to the canal on my pushbike with my camera to take a few reference shots for a painting [that is still only a figment of my imagination, these months later]. While I was there, I stood on the lock at Baggot Street Bridge and looked westward towards Leeson Street. I can see why Patrick Kavanagh spent so much time down here. The canopy of foliage from the plane trees and the restful stretch of water provides a sanctuary from the bustling urban activity either side. It really is a lovely place. Not so much a daily painting, as a study in tranquility.

This painting is in oils on stretched canvas: 16" x 20".

Friday, October 30, 2009

No. 102. The Difficult One Hundred and Second Painting [Jasmine]

This has been delicately scenting my studio for the past several weeks. In fact, our jasmine plant had been in flower throughout the summer, much to our surprise. We have two -one is thriving and the other sits there like the spindly runt of the litter, not giving much back.

I mean, you feed them, look after them when they fall and scrape their tendrils, you wait up for them, worried, when they're out till all hours at illegal flower shows and what do they do? Give you the silent treatment with their sullen and droopy fronds and treat the place like a bloody garden centre.

Well not any more. No more choices for lunch; 'Would you like compost or manure, dear?' I even found traces of rooting powder in the bathroom, for crying out loud. Things are going to change around here.

Oils on 8"x10" gessoed panel.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

No. 101. Strawberries Loose

Summer is ancient history and autumn is just about over too, depending on your calendar. What am I supposed to paint? Sweet Chestnuts? Turnips? Seasonal vegetables -seasonal studies.

I stood in the garden, darkness all around and gazed back into the kitchen where my eldest girl was washing up the supper things, bathed in warm light. The whole scene was a nocturne, with the contrast between the warm interior and the cool darkened exterior, with the silhouette of the house against the Prussian blue night. So will this be my next large composition?

Nothing at all to do with this little study -but perhaps it'll feed into the doing of my next big painting.

Oils on 6"x 6" gessoed board.Costs €135 including frame [postage, packing included for customers in Ireland]

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

No. 100. The Four Courts hundredth daily painting! And what else should it be but a painting vastly different from my usual style -and not even in oils. Well; this is supposed to be a 'studies' journal and I am trying on new clothes all the time.

This particular raiment, I started last night while the telly was blaring away its usual nightly dollop of tish [that's an anagram]. I had intended to paint very loosely and also to play around with perspective. I found an old photograph I had taken back in the late eighties and worked from it. However, any resemblance to the photo ended there, my intention being to imbue my work with whatever intuition decides.

I also allowed myself a very varied palette. For example, instead of white, I used a colour called 'parchment' [how appropriate! It's a grey area...] in the Liquitex range. I've used Liquitex ever since calling into Kennedy's with the excellent English artist and illustrator, Paul Slater. Their paint does have a nice body and a broad range of colours unique to themselves. In there are: Brilliant Yellow Green; Light Green; Brilliant Blue, Cadmium Red Light and Cadmium Orange -neat from the tube.

I've always like to see pointillist work and it's a very pleasurable, forgiving technique too. It gives a romantic sun-drenched sheen which probably would be lost on many of those passing though its forbidding portals. If you don't like it, well...sue me.

Acrylics on 7"x 5" panel. Costs €135 including frame [postage, packing included for customers in Ireland]

Sunday, October 25, 2009

99. Sweet Pepper Jar

What a day -trying to tie down all the students old and new for my art classes which start again next Tuesday. There has been little time to devote to my daily studies -this one is from a few weeks ago and I'm damned if I can remember what was going through my head during the painting of it. Perhaps, 'How can I stop myself from over-working it?' or, 'I could murder a cup of tea'.

On a positive note, I received a letter from someone in Worthing, Sussex about a sketchbook that I'd left behind me in an internet café about a year ago. I had been over in Blighty to see my Godmother as she was ailing. They'd tracked me down on t'internet [naturally] and I phoned them. What lovely people. They assumed that the sketchbook may be valuable to me and they were right. It's often that my sketchbooks contain pencil-work descriptions of my raw ideas and musings, before they get worked up into paintings or illustrations. They're where the fun is and I'm often proud of them -as long as they don't contain too many advertising sketches!

Thank you Lorraine and Josh of Carewise.

Painted on 7"x 5" panel. Costs €135 including frame [postage, packing included for customers in Ireland]

Thursday, October 22, 2009

98. Three Amigos

Sometimes, in the evening when the house is quiet and when my beloved is working evenings, I can get a burst of energy and complete a quick study. Must be all the fructose I'm ingesting. Well; you can't wait too long with strawberries, can you? Especially if they've already been transported halfway around the globe before arriving chez MacSearraigh. Summer fruits indeed. Summer where? Mexico maybe. Or a plastic tunnel in Wexford. These ones even tasted of strawberry, which is good going compared to some of them.

Acrylic on 6" x 6" gessoed board. Costs €135 including frame [postage, packing included for customers in Ireland]