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Galway Hooker Sailing In An Irish Sunset

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In the spring of 2007 I visited Ireland. At the time my (now) husband and I were in our early 20’s and were too young to rent a car and travel the countryside. We had arrived in Dublin intending to stay with a friend, but her family visited at the last minute, and we needed to make other arrangements. This started a chain of events, that had us hopping on a bus to Galway to avoid Dublin’s steep prices, where we found a bike rental store to rent bikes for an afternoon, and were talked into a 7 day long cycling excursion through the Irish Highlands instead. To this day, it is one of the most life changing adventures I have ever been on.

After leaving Galway we embarked on a circuit which took us through Cong, Leenaun, Clifden, The Aran Islands, & Doolin. I have ridden bikes for the whole of my life, but had never considered traversing close to 300km on one at this time. Completely ill prepared and untrained, I had the luck of youth on my side to provide me with enough resilience to see this spur of the moment journey through (although I did cry once or twice because my butt hurt so much).

Now how does this story relate back to this painting? While riding the ferry out to Aran Island, I had the fortune of catching this brilliant sunset over the mountains in the distance; the brilliant reds and oranges that lit up the sky. I had also come across a ship called the Happy Hooker, which I thought might be the best name ever for a boat, and many years later, I combined these two happy memories in this painting. The Galway Hooker that I used in this piece is a traditional Irish fishing boat, unlike the large trawler that I saw labelled the Happy Hooker, but I thought this shoreline deserved a more romantic vessel, deserving of its Irish heritage.

The Galway Hooker Sailing In An Irish Sunset is a 36x48" acrylic and pen & ink painting on a 1" thick canvas, and does not come framed.

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Nautical art has been a long established motif which for many was used to convey the beauty of their surroundings or the dramatic hardships of a sailor’s life. In my current series, I'm attempting to evoke the romantic gesture of transition, a theme found commonly thread through so many nautical compositions, almost creating a dreamlike state. To help accentuate this abstract upheaval often felt during transit, I've taken inspiration from J. M.W. Turner to develop my gestural painting style, while grounding the seascapes, by adding detailed illustrations of ships from both historical and fictional seafaring tales.


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