Thursday, March 24, 2011


Sorry for the lack of updates. I got a virus on my computer, and only just got everything sorted out and working again. The computer guy at the college is fantastic!

So, a sort of quick update:

I'm over being sick (yay!) and it seems to have mostly run its course through everyone else.

The term is quickly coming to an end, and things are getting really hectic. We have our last day of studio time April 11th, so that's really soon! I'm working hard to get everything done, and hopefully it'll end up going smoothly.

My pinhole camera that I posted about earlier stopped working :(   I really don't know why - neither me nor my teacher can figure out what's wrong with it. So I turned back to my first camera, and have been taking photos with that. It seems to be working, which is good.

I don't know if I've posted about this before, but weekend after next we're going to Charleville Castle... and it's supposedly haunted. It's going to be just our group, and we get just about full run of the castle from Saturday noon-ish until Sunday afternoon!!! We have to have an art project planned for our time in the castle, and I'm working on sewing a dress from the 1820s (when the castle was built), to wear in the castle and take photos of. I'll do a post with more details on the dress when I'm closer to finishing it (hopefully soon!)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


So the weekend before last, we all went to Dingle. Unfortunately that was the weekend that I was really sick, so it wasn't as much fun as it could have been. I was definitely happy for the bus tour around the area - I had enough energy to sit and watch pretty things go by :)
Most of this post, then, is just going to be pictures of the area. It was really foggy that day, but I thought it was still beautiful.

This is the beach where we stopped for a picnic lunch - it was really neat.

There were also lots of really cool rock colors and textures at the beach.

This was a really old, really small church that we visited (we sort of raced another group of tourists to get there first!)
I think this was a birds nest - it was just sitting on top of the trimmed-back hedges... but it definitely had a hollow in the middle.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


So it's been several weeks now since we went to Germany... We were there for four days, and saw a lot of stuff. Mostly museums and galleries, so I don't have photos of that, but everything else!

We went on a walking tour of sorts our first night, right after dropping our bags off at the hostel. It was REALLY cold, and unfortunately dark already, so harder to see things, and harder to take good photos. We did see some neat stuff though, like Checkpoint Charlie!

And here is the Brandenburg Gate - very impressive!
Me in my new hat that I made for Germany - I hadn't brought any warm hats, so I had to whip one up out of some wool I bought in Connemara. It was very warm, but unfortunately itchy across the forehead, since it's wool.
A section of the Berlin Wall (sort of). It's marked in the street along where it used to be.

The Reichstag looked pretty neat at night, since the glass dome in the middle was all lit up.

This was a really cool metro station - all glass and air and light.
This is the inside of one of the museums, that used to be an old train station. Exhibits were to the left and right, and one way back down this long gallery area and off to the side.
There was a lot of really neat architecture around the city.
Look at the trees growing out of the balcony!!
We also went to this really strange artists' community. It was in and behind an old vacant building. Behind the building in a courtyard of sorts there were temporary structures, set up mostly as galleries for work.
I really liked these cuties - there was so much really interesting metal sculpture.

Here you can see the back of the big building, where all the squatter artist studios are. The street is through that big archway.

More cool architecture!

I really like these old houses! The one on the right is actually a museum/gallery that a group of us were supposed to go to, only it was unexpectedly closed for renovations. So our prof took us shopping at a fantastic second-hand place instead!! I got some lovely skirts, a really cool hat, and some sewing supplies (more about that later)
I have no idea what this building is. We passed by it after the last museum on Friday, and I thought it looked neat. We were on our way to the Turkish Market, which was an open air market down by the river. It was actually kind of depressing - lots of stalls selling cheap socks, underwear, etc. There were some kitschy things, but the same ones over and over again. The food stalls looked good, but it was mostly produce and supplies, so better if you live in the area. I was very happy about the fabric stalls. There were a lot of really cheap bolts of fabric, so I was able to get some nice green fake-silk for the dress that I'm making.

The German Flu

Sorry for the lack of posts lately - and right after I promised to be better, too!
I unfortunately came down with the flu thing that has been going around the college since Berlin. Five out of the seven people in my house have had/still have it - and that's pretty representative of all of us! I missed two days of school, managed to make it to the weekend trip to Dingle (though I perhaps should have stayed home), and the coughing has still not gone away. :(
At least I'm not the only one who's been sick, and I've had it a bit better than some people (though worse than others). It seems like everyone's on the mend now, so that's good!
But now that I've returned to the land of the living, I'm going to catch up on a few posts, and hopefully stay caught up from now on!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Updates about art stuff...

So, for an update on where I am with my art...
First off, my studio is an absolute mess. The table has, well see for yourself:

Let's just say that it's gotten a bit more cluttered :)

Here's one of the paintings that I'm working on - still very much in the beginning stages - mostly just washes to lay out the composition. I think I'll keep you all updated on its progress.

This is a lovely old box camera that I'm borrowing and using. The inner film loading mechanism seems to be rusted shut, but I can cut a piece of photo paper and use that to take a photo with. I have to click the shutter about ten times then, but it's still pretty cool. The viewfinder is on the top too, so it's a very different experience.

Here's a really bad digital image of one of the photos I took with the box camera.

And this is my lovely pinhole camera!!! I'm super excited about it - it took a lot of planning, and a lot of time to complete. And doesn't it look pretty?
Here's a view from the front, with the shutter pulled aside so you can see the pinhole. The box is from my photo teacher, and the bits of wood, etc were all things I found in the scrap heap behind the barn at the college. I was really lucky with the key - it's so lovely.
And an inside view. On the bottom you can see one of the cardboard guides I made for the photo paper, and around the inner edge of the lid are scraps of leather from the tool room to help keep the camera light tight.
And it works!!!! There are no light leaks!!!
And here is the above photo, manipulated on my computer to simulate a contact positive of the photo. I think it looks pretty cool, and I can't wait to take more photos.

The Irish Flu

Well, I guess technically it came from Germany. A couple people got sick the last day of our stay in Berlin - including our dean. It since seems to have been making its way through the college - two of my housemates, the photo teacher, and a number of others. So far I've managed to not catch it, and I hope it stays that way! Especially since this weekend we're going to take a trip to Dingle, and the weather's been so lovely I don't want to miss it.
So lots of water, oranges, and tea for me!! Everyone cross your fingers, please :D

Early Christian Sites

The Friday before our Berlin trip, we went around to a bunch of Celtic and early Christian sites. Unfortunately, the weather was horrible, so we didn't go everywhere, and didn't stay outside long at most of the sites. I did get a few pictures of some nice stone carvings, though.

The remains of an old round tower in a graveyard.

This is a devil stone - a carved stone in the doorway of a church, as a sort of ward against evil. You can see it if you look at it sideways - the head is to the left, and it's on its stomach.

A carved doorway - we think of the 12 apostles, and some extra animals.

The rest are just details of cool carvings around the doorway.

Except for this one, which is a really funny little gate that we had to go through one at a time to get onto the church grounds...