Kerry's Artists Way - A visit to Pauline Bewicks Gallery & homeland.

Pauline Bewick, no doubt one of Ireland's most acclaimed artists, announced in 2005 that, at the age of seventy, she was planning to donate a vast collection of her paintings back to Ireland, these wonderful paintings now in a permanent exhibitiion. Split between 3 venues, a travelling gallery, waterford institute of technology and Killorglin town Centre, Kerry, the third of these galleries which I was privilaged to visit and see her work - displayed and telling her story from as far back as 3 years of age.

Pauline herself was born in England and raised in Kerry by her mother Harry, where she now lives near carragh lake, present and continuously drawing.

Pulaines is a tremendous colourist, evoking emotional values and energies, showing off her harmonies with life and the world illustrated through her own eyes and values. there is also a profound spiritual effect felt through her work, that i see as a huge expression of gratitud, a hymn of colour to her homeland, Kerry, and her surrounding warm people. A world of light is depicted, A homage to the Yin and Yang of Kerry, an energy which, as an artist I can connect with and experience her joy and sensuality, through her work.

With huge praise and thanks to her mother Harry, Pauline creates a simple message of happiness and of being alive, a clear sighted mindfulness, a blessing seen through her art. A pure Joy.

 


Once upon a time in Fairytale Alsace

One of my favourite regions Ive come across as an artist to inspire me, is the 'Alsace' region , a beautiful group of fairyland villages located in north eastern area of France, where cities are dotted with half timbered medieval buildings and flower lined canals, a land full fo colour and magical charm.

COLMAR, a city where you can find the most prettiest village, a very inspirational city  that holds secret visual scenes from Disneys  ‘Beauty and The Beast’ and it is not hard to see why.

 

Walking the streets of Colmar is like walking through a real life fairytale, with wooden turrets, resembling Rapunzals tower, tiny cottages that would ideally suit the 7 Dwarfs and candy coloured shops and bakeries, right out of a ‘Hansel and Gretal’ world. Collar, lying in the north eastern boarder of France, a short train ride from Switzerlands ‘Basel’ airport will take you directly to a true dream come true. Bordering Germany and Switzerland, while it holds the french natural ‘Belle France’ charm, while clearly influenced by it’s neighbours. It is a truly preserved french village, with an abundance of pretty features, flower pots and uneven cobblestone streets.

It is an ideal base for exploring the fairytale Alsace region.

Magical fountains and chocolate box houses

Fairytale squares seen above - chocolate box houses where on every corner you stop and wow!

Yummy Bakeries. Pretzels mmm

 

Smells of Baking line the streets too.

Ribeauville. 

A village about 5KM from Colmar set along the Alsace's wine producing region, is probably the most medieval of all.

repunzel towers.

Riquewihr

A colourful gem...

magical colourful Streets.

The most colourful playland Ive come across, where plenty of chocolate box houses dot a very very!!! busy touristic village, heaved with shops, themed restaurants and defining art galleries... a joy:)

Dreamy art Galleries with a twist.

Kaysersberg

And then to Kaysersberg.. when you think one can't get any better than the previous village, this is mind-blowing. Prettiness excels.

Hansel and Gretal springs to mind.

And lastly to Eguisheim. 

Set directly from a storybook, featured in the beloved movie "Beauty & The Beast' It has to be seen to be believed. The streets are said to resemble a 'swiss roll' the sweet story  unwinds, dotted with the most beautiful tiny house full of charm.. a dream come true.

 

Picture perfect houses.

 

Taking a short trip to the alsace will not disappoint only excite the child within:) be prepared to skip and sing !!! XX SR.

(Accommodation - plenty of bnb's to be found  - an ideal base)


Welcome To ‘Toyland Austria’.

Austria.. A truly breathtaking country that is just perfect in every way. A country that leads your imagination towards dream land, ignites your creative fire and lifts your soul with its beautiful rolling hills.. a time to rest from the ordinary and fill your heart with warmth of nature and see that  ‘The Hills Are Alive’

Austria’s style is radically different to many European countries, keeping its own simplified uniqueness, mostly incorporating the beautifuly natural formations, from mountains, rivers, streams, to its pretty floral tyrolean villages. I was completely surprised how Austria’s culture manages to encorporate such simplicity in every way, and to find myself dreaming of a fairyland and adventure into toyland.

Green Meadows Of Tyrol.

I began my travels in a small village outside ‘Zell Am See’ known as Kaprun. Each of these are well known ski destinations but hidden gems in the summer.

I wanted to explore this region, merely for its toy land villages and see for myself how the region could influence my art development.

Nature lifting the soul
A dose of the ‘Hills are alive’ came to mind..

Travelling  towards Kitzbuhel, from Kaprun, is absolutely such a gorgeous drive, where during the drive of about 1 hour, I was literally blown away by such incredible natural beauty.. again not believing it was real, so beautiful that it really is mind blowing. Along the trail, high up in the mountains you are greeted by toy like trains, colourful villages and dream like rolling farmlands.. so cute it definitely got me thinking of little boys and adorable toys.

 

A field so rich in colour.
Toy land village of Kitzbuhel, in Tyrol.
The Toy train with 2 carriages that ran through the mountains known as the ‘ PINZGAU’ line - running for over 115 years. It definitely looks like it was plucked from a fairy book.

I also took a trip to the German border of lake Koenigsee, a natural lake with its most beautiful church of ‘St Bartholomew’ literally again taken from a toy village, and a lake so clear, your reflection smiles back at you.

Lake Konigsee. Magical world.

A trip to Austria is never complete without a visit to ‘Salzburg’ once again driving through the most incredible lush mountain our scenery to reach a complete fairytale untouched town, one that literally personifies a ‘Disney Set’.

Salzburg is a must for all music buffs, heaped with stories from the infamous ‘The Sound of Music’ and Mozarts birthplace. It is a city that I found to be the master of baroque architecture with some beautiful playful additions of obscure stunning street signs, to magical fairy gardens of ‘Mirabell gardens’ where the magic of the ‘Sound of Music was created’ and remains untouched to date.

 

Street Charm!
Stunning Austrian Squares.
Brogue perfection.
The Icing on the cake, Buildings that look so good they could be eaten. Sugar coated Rooftops.

From Yodelling, to dancing, to dreaming Austria is a true dreamy destination, and a destination worth seeing for anyone loving nature, music or simply just living in Fairyland!.  XX SR

 


Belle Provence.

Its always joyful to stumble across something different. And so,  I began my scenic breakaway basing myself in the heart of Aix En Provence, a town full of vintage shops, hip trendy buzzing atmosphere.

Take a trip to the beautiful Aix En Provence..

Oh its worth it!. The approach to the town never fails to surprise, you sense that something special awaits, it is a truly magical town. There is something so completely wonderful and warm about Aix, I constantly am drawn to return year after year. It has such atmosphere with its narrow winding streets, boutiques and café's occupying the ground floor to some of the most stunning architectural buildings, there is a rich avangarde aristocratic feel to the region. Fountains tinkle in little squares and tourists stroll gracefully down traffic free streets such as cours Maribueau, the elegant main street in Aix. Every Friday hosts the most wonderfully colourful market and a visit to Place Rochelle food market is a must.

 

Les Deux Garçons, Aix
Buzzing student life quartier
Aristocratic buildings - steeped in such history and beauty.

 

Dreamy fountains and courtyards on a padestrianised street.

 

Aix en Provence is a place that works, whether for artists, gourmet lovers, or even visiting for a pampering cultural short trip, it never fails to fill your heart with such warmth!

Along the fabulous roads took me deep into the Cote Provencal region - Le Jardin De Provence, where, my world became a ball of colour, ever peaceful, ever present and ever grateful to see such beauty.

Market Day Aix !

Route  - The ultimate Luberon Valley guide - the heart of Provence. 

From Aix en Provence travel north towards Pertuis, stopping along the main view points of Villelaure, Cadanet, Lourmarin, Ménerbes,  Bonnieux and Roussillon. These  beautiful small hill top villages certainly won't disappoint and will guide you deep into provence , its lavender fields & farming scene, Bursting Poppy fields, and rows of rapeseed fields.

Rolling poppy fields - a pure delight

 

It is a place where time has seemingly stood still and you can capture this magnificent charm throughout these unspoilt historical villages. The rows of colour is a sight only to be dreamt of, and holds a deep profound calmness and warmth in my heart.

 

Beautiful farmyards

A trip like this, from Aix en provence will take you 1 day. Directions are well signposted. I suggest a good road map along with sat navigation, as you can find some exclusive tiny village spots hidden and worth exploring.

 

Views from bonnieux
Colours and tranquility

I based myself in a beautiful farmstead  - with easy access to Pertuis to begin my journey into the hills. (also within 15 minute walk into the heart of Aix en Provence. (www.lemoulindespinchinats.com)

The Luberon valley really is one of the most beautiful places you'll visit, it excites the scenes with its gorgeous sights, smells and tastes. It completely invigorates the soul - that is unquestionably for sure, and you will leave with memories from your time in the region the will last deeply!  Bonne Vacance  :) XX SR

 

 


All the colours of 'Nicolas De Staél'

A short trip from the Cote D'azur took me to the heart of Provence and the beautiful lively market town of Aix En provence to delve further into history and heart of art in southern France, exploring some galleries and artists influenced by the region.

The former capital of Provence, Aix en Provence is a stunning graceful lively city, known for its connections with art and the home of Cézanne, with its many fountains, the beautiful main street of Cours Mirabeau and its many universities and art schools. For gallery lovers I would recommend a stop at 'Hotel de Caumont, Centre D'art', located just a few steps from Cours Mirabeau, one of the most beautiful private mansions in Aix en Provence. Currently showing the work of Nicolas De Staél & Mark Chagall, both hugely influential painters and illustrators in France.

I was privileged to see the work of Nicolas De Staél, a painter known for his use of thick impasto and highly abstract landscape paintings (sketches featuring illustrations).  Between the year of 1953 and 1954, De Staél's painting period was a turning point in his career by drawing new inspiration from Provence. As I said, mostly abstract in style, there is a beautiful representation of his illustrations in his sketch books and work throughout the gallery.

  

His discovery of the midday sun, the exceptional beauty of the landscape, it was the intence experience with solitude that enabled him to produce such fantastic striking works - all experiences that nourished his imagination and so his fame grew in heart in provence.

  

De Stael began his art career in Brussels, travelling to Paris to study at the 'Academie Des Beaux Arts, where he became very close to the artist George Braque.

With the use of strong bold blocks of colour , De Staél depicts the sunspaces, seascapes and observation of light that changed during the day.  He was compared to the works of Rothko, where both painters works can be described as 'Blocks V's Blocks', also his work so strongly abstract that it was mentioned he veered towards contemporary art and including him in 'Pop Art' of the 1960's. His work is strongly influenced by local artists alike, Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne and Vermeer.

Nicolas De Stael's work can be seen in 'Hotel De Cumont' Centre D'art (Aix en Provence) until 23rd September 2018, and also some work can be found in 'The Tate London, and George Pompidou Centre, Paris.

www.caumont-centredart.com


Lisbon Delights - A new colourful adventure.

Ever Wonder where they hide the colours in Europe.. Well Lisbon has all the secret colours heaped into each street and definitely high on an artists city bucket list.

Lisbon is the second oldest City in Europe, after Athens, with its own cultural vibe, tiles streets, infamous cobblelock roads, and ‘Fado’ music, heard around the beautiful streets.

Aflama 

One of the oldest Districts, and a walk through here, fado music is inescapable. From its beautiful views of the City to its old art charm where you can stroll the walls of Castello de S George. Orange rooftops shine as you walk and watch views ‘Above it all’

Views from Afalma

Bari Alto.. 

Lisbon’s oldest and most traditional area, a walk around the arty streets, local living spotting and vintage shopping whilst catching some magnificent shots of the colorful tiled buildings that line the streets. Bari Alto district is architecturally dreamy.

Tiled to perfection
Examples of wall tiles to be found on buildings.
Sloping streets of Colourful Bari Alto.

Baxa Chiado

fashionably stylish district, with its selection of monuments, vintage shops, protégées traditional stores, and fantastic restaurants, catch the buzz of the trams as they Zip through the streets...

Street Art on the famous Elevador Da Bica.

 

Lisbon, Famous for its hilly streets, and its fun vibe, to complete a journey, visit Sintra, known for its fairytale castle and colourful walls, an artists dream world.

 

Archicetural beauty. Bari Alto District.

Lisbon is a Hilly wonder to the colourful eyes. Enjoy the vibes, (Remember the trainers! ) XX SR


With Irish summer In bloom!

It wouldn't be an Irish summer without someone making lists of the essentials to bring for an Irish day out, umbrellas, rain coats, factor 60 creams, ham sandwiches (which usually end up as ham & sand sandwiches), tayto crisps but to name a few things. But a simple ramble through the Irish Countryside and simply enjoy it's stunning natural colours and beauty, is a special treat, an Irish Green wonderland. 

and you can find .... rolling hills

beautiful Rolling Fields

beautiful scented cherry blossoms bursting with colour and vibrancy ....

Cherry Tree Hills

Rolling rapeseed fields of golden sunshine bursting with delight...

Rolling Hills of Rapeseed

 

explosions of pink marshmallow balls puffing through the air...

Cherry trees bursting with colour

 

blue skies ... beautiful blue skies....

The Skies the limit

 

and soft sounds of birds chirping

Soft touches of the magnolia tree

 

magical Ireland, We are blessed. XX SR


Archi Icons, NYC.

New York City is alive with energy, fast paced as always and a complete feast to the senses and in this wild city lies some of the most stunning architecture. Besides the most famous of all, the Empire State Building, NYC has a vast array of styles, with a few that stand out and lend themselves to a unique look in the City. Below are some of the eye catching styles that I came across whilst visiting the power house city.

Art Deco with some Art Nouveau shapes and structures surrounding Chelsea’s Arty areas.

Walking the Chelsea district, you can see where the roaring 20's time of excitement, freedom of expression, abstraction, jazz and the Joie de vivre left this stylistic Art Deco vibe around the streets. American designers paid homage to the French Art Deco style which created an architectural rhythm evoked from the speed, dance and jazz times.

 

The infamous Flatiron Buiilding - a true iconic landmark surrounding 29th street and 5th avenue.

 

Along 5th avenue, one of my favourite landmarks, the flatiron building is a sure eye dropper. originally the fuller building, it is a triangular 22 story steel framed landmark. Interestingly it was one of the very first buildings to high rise the Manhattan skyline, and the top 21st and 22nd floor were added 3 years after it was first erected. When the building opened, it only housed bathrooms for men, but later it was alternated, one floor for men, one for women. This building used to be the location where the open air tour bus originated. During its construction, New Yorkers were fearful of its steel cage construction, that they feared it would fall over, due to its size.

The art Deco structure of the Empire State Building - standing proud in NYC - an iconic landmark.

With fierce competition at the time to achieve the tallest Art Deco building, The Empire State building was designed in under 2 weeks and when construction began in 1930 it was erected in 15 months, standing as the tallest building in the world for 40 years. The Empire State building is a landmark Art Deco building and possibly New Yorks most famous, with its 102 floors, 6,000 windows, windows lined with aluminium, and an impressive use of how the windows are setback, creating the effect of building blocks. At its crown is an illustrative Art Deco observatory, where you can enjoy the grandest views of the wonder of NYC. Notable tenants of the Empire State building include Linkedin, Shutterstock, Expedia, and even JC Deceaux.

El Dorado Building - 91st and broadway.

 

To decide on your favourite Art Deco building can be difficult, so to mention a few examples are the 22 acre Rockefeller centre, the Waldorf Astoria hotel, the Chrysler building and the Eldorado building that stand along 90th & 91st Street, the 2 towers taper by way of geometric setbacks to form sharp, abstract spires. Designed by emery Roth, there are metal fine lines that add a futuristic touch to the terraced texture of the building.

Closer Detail of the El Dorado Building.

 

Enjoy to architectural views. XX SR


The Cotswolds; Chocolate Box Perfection!

Stepping into this artistic location delights the senses, with its beautiful fresh rolling hills, picturesque villages and country charm, there is so much to see that it can be hard know where to start in the Cotswolds.

Here are a few inspiring ideas I managed to come across while touring this absolutely beautiful part of the world - one area that is picturesque no matter what the season, one of my most inspiring art trips I have been lucky to visit...

the Church where many Downton Abbey scenes were created.
Home Sweet homes.

Share The View - 

Beginning with a stay in the most picture perfect village of 'Bampton', around 1 1/2 hour from Bristol Airport, you are immersed in English Chocolate box perfection. The village, where many Downton Abbey scenes were filmed, is a perfect way to settle into the gorgeous tranquil way of life, picture postcard perfection in the fantastic heart of the cotswolds.

Down the Valleys - 

A short drive away & into a medieval hill town of 'Burford', set along the river Windrush, a place to take stunning walks into the plentiful forests. It is often referred to as the 'Gateway' to the cotswolds. Heaved with country bars, art galleries and quaint little shops, its beauty marvelled by its historical atmosphere.

Down the Misty glen - Steep hilly town of Burford

Live the Fairytale - 

Arlington Row, Bibury

A visit to the cotswolds wouldn't be complete without living  the fairytale and taking a trip to 'Bibury' where 'William Morris' called Bibury the most beautiful village in England. wonderful tiny cottages are strung together along the banks of the river Coln. Arlington Row, owned by the national trust, old weavers cottages, is one of England's most iconic 'picture perfect' sites, and it truly is, breathtakingly pretty. It even appears on the cover of UK passports, personally my favorite delight to be found!.

Tea For Two - 

Explore the magical sweet shop charming village of 'Stow on the Wold' - the highest town in the cotswolds, full of history, charm and delicious coffee and tea houses. Personally my little dream art village, where magical art vibes are alive.

treat yourself to delicious home made toffees and fudge. The aromas will guide you there.

Fields Of Green - 

Dotted along the roads, some of the prettiest views and drives can be found in the tiny villages of 'Swinbrook' and 'Minster Lovell' - where you will find magical views of rolling hills and stumble across houses that are so pretty, no doubt of total chocolate box perfection.

Rolling Rapeseed Hills - Views from Swinbrook.
'Minster Lovell village, chocolate box perfection

A little Boat Spotting -

Known for being named as ' The Venice of the cotswolds'; the village of  ‘Bourton on the water’, featuring a replica minature toy village in the village itself. Bourton on the water is known for its low bridges which run through its centre, with narrow pathways and stone houses, holding a beautiful charm of its own.

'The Venice of the Cotswolds'

So no matter where you go into the heart of the Cotswolds, you will be emersed and wrapped in its elegance and total perfection, ambiance and love.

Happy touring and dreaming! XX SR


'Rainbow Real estate’ ! ‘The Brownstone’ - Recognizable Style & Elegence, NYC '

As one of the most desirable form of dwellings in New York City today, the brownstone remains the most recognisable style found throughout the City, creating the most luxurious rows of elegance dotted around the boroughs.

Gentle arches frame the beautiful brownstone streets

There are quite a few distinctive styles of brownstones around the city, mostly 3 stories, with a basement and with notably tall windows. A stroll around neighbourhoods of Carroll gardens, Park slope and prospect heights in Brooklyn you will be awed by their grandeur and beauty, the beautiful Swedish brown sandstone framing these elegant streets.

Many of the stone cuttings and carvings for brownstones memorialized their owners, once in fashion to have a celebrity depicted on a residence, but most of the details found were mythical characters or even building owners.

Historical Building. Fine ink pen sketch.

Probably the best of the brownstone in Manhattans’ boroughs can be found on the Upper West side where the oldest building can date back to 1880.

A dreamy facade I came across whilst strolling the areas.

Brownstone, a building where NYC pride and elegence are grandurely connected by artistic beauty. - A dream place to call home.

All artwork available to purchase by clicking into ‘Colour In The City’ Collection above. A beautiful way to show off the artistic elegence in the home. XX SR