Monday, 30 June 2014

Watercolour 5.5x8.5 ins. This little painting is effectively a skyscape, as the clouds are the main interest.  I was driving along a country road, coming to a bend and the clouds in the sky straight ahead. I did a little study when I got home, this is the result. I was pleased with the result and I feel I achieved an atmospheric little painting, using the house to give perspective and scale. The palette was muted, cobalt blue, burnt sienna and raw sienna.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

I like simple domestic scenes, as well as dramatic landscapes or sunsets. This one, of a man tending the front of his house, by the roadside caught my attention. The light was reflecting off his back and he and his barrow were mostly in shadow. I did not bother about much detail in the background, and leaving out any detail, I hope suggested space and depth.

Friday, 27 June 2014

This is a street view from Carlow town. I used muted colours, with an almost monotone result. The little street, is one of the oldest in Carlow town, going back to 17th century, and near the cathedral, which came later, I do believe. If I recall correctly, the colours used here were raw sienna, ultramarine blue and some burnt sienna. These three colours suited the scene, giving an impression of warmth and age at the same time, and a feeling of atmosphere. I had intended to do a bigger watercolour of this at a later stage, but I did not get round to it.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

It's turned like autumn here in the last day or so. It reminds me how much I like the sun and heat. I have been to Portugal quite a few times and it's great to have guaranteed sunshine for the duration of the holiday. The above sketch is of some people, enjoying the sun during one visit there a few years ago. People  wear the brightest colours, young and old, it's wonderful in the bright light. I was blown away when I first saw the intensity of the light in that part of the world . Wonderful.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A young couple looking out to sea at Ardmore, Co. Waterford. From my sketchbook. The sunny period has finally broken here in the Sunny South East. No rain yet, but it's coming, by tomorrow. Hopefully, the sunny weather will return soon. The farmers locally have been very busy, making hay and silage, so I am sure they will be happy to get " a drop of rain", as they say here.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

An idea for a painting from my sketch book, that I later tried to do an oil painting and watercolour from, both failed spectactularly. This watercolour from my sketchbook, on cartridge paper, is based on an old couple waiting at at bus stop in Dublin, a few years back. By being loose and not getting too worried about the end result, I just managed to get the essence of light coming in from the left, both the subjects in shadow. When  I tried this in oil, I could not get the perspective or depth, that I wanted. Maybe I will have a go another time, but for now this is what I am reasonably happy with, albeit just a sketch.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Continuing with my sketchbook, here is another watercolour sketch of  three men debating the merits of a horse at Borris Fair, a few years ago. It's on cartridge paper, just a few light washes to get the effect I wanted. The man holding the horse is the owner and the other two were just selling bits and pieces and enjoying the day.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

A  watercolour sketch on cartridge paper from one of my sketch books. Every year in a village about about  4 miles from my home, an event occurs that causes equal consternation and spectacle, at the same time. It's called the Borris fair, an ancient tradition, that has been in existence for centuries. It's basically a horse trading event, that happens on August 15 each year. It is the travelling community who primarily partake in the event, selling horses to each other and meeting to socialise, and whatnot. In recent years it has become a place to sell, second hand tools, equipment, clothes and all sorts of bric-à-brac. On a sunny day it is some sight, the past meeting the present. The above little sketch is of one such event, a bit if horse dealing, as the prospective buyers view the animals for sale.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Sticking with sketches for the moment, this is another, of a woman in Kilkenny a few years ago. I liked the contrast of the dark hair against the skin  tones and the dark dress.  It's a watercolour on daler rowney paper. Bockingford paper is one I have always liked, its not rag, but the texture is nice and it's lovely for sketches. I do not worry about messing up a painting, as the paper is relatively inexpensive, so I can be relaxed and not too inhibited. The important thing is to enjoy painting and do not make it a chore.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

This little sketch in watercolour is from a few years back. I was in Enniscorthy, a town about 16 miles from me, and the Pleineire painters were out in force, painting the town. I did a sketch of one of the artists to try and capture the moment. What I like about it is, this was completed in one wash. Simple and no fussy details.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

A watercolour 7x10 ins, a woman and her mom, sitting on the beach at Tramore, Co. Waterford. The day was warm and yet cool, with cloud. It's always cooler on the coast in summer. Anyway, I liked the juxtaposition of the two women. The younger woman using her phone, the older lady well wrapped up, in contemplation. I did a fair bit of blotting to lift out colour here and there, to try and get perspective.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

This little painting, oil on linen on board, 8x6 ins. Two girls walking on the beach. I particularly liked the hats, the way the light reflected on them. I tried to be painterly, without getting too fussy with detail. I love impressionistic paintings, be they oil or watercolour. My firm favourites are, such painters as Seago, Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, the French impressionists to name a few.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Another day of sun, cloud and some rain. It is Ireland after all. The painting posted today, is a watercolour study of  two men  hauling a canoe on to the bank of the river Slaney. 10x7ins.  I was out for a walk in a town, called Thomastown, Co.Kilkenny, and a canoe club were having some sort of competition, hence the inspiration I  kept it fairly simple, as I just wanted an indication of  moment. The paper is Fabriano artistico 300lbs.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Oil on linen on board, 8x6 ins. It is just a study of a woman sitting in the sun with a hat, in Portugal a few years back. I prefer the small sizes when painting in oil, as I feel that I can manage the format better. I make the boards myself, linen glued to board and cut to the sizes that I desire. The sun was out here today in the sunny south east, then the rain and more sun, almost like the weather in Brazil.

 I will put this small painting up for sale, on the site, for anyone who may be interested in buying it.


Thursday, 12 June 2014

I was unable to post yesterday. No internet alas. Anyway, this watercolour of cows in a field near where I live. 7.5x10.5 ins on Fabriano artistico 300bs paper.  Still struggling with this paper, or maybe it's me at the moment?  The World Cup is here at last,  so that's plus. The first game tonight. Brazil vs Croatia.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

My paintings recently have been exclusively in watercolour, to take break from the oil painting.
This little study, watercolour 7x9 ins  is a simple domestic scene. A woman hanging out the laundry in her garden. I started using a heavier weight paper, 300lbs Fabriano artistico and I am having a bit of difficulty with it, alas.  I normally use 140 lbs weight paper, and try for a free flowing result. I will persist for the minute, but so far, I prefer the lighter weight paper.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Hello, my name Joe Mahon and I thought I would start this art blog, to show my paintings and my art struggles. I live in the south east of Ireland, the "sunny south east", as it's often called, jokingly of course.  I paint in watercolour and oil paint. With oil, I tend to paint in small format, 6x8 ins or 8x6 ins. With watercolour, I prefer to paint in 10x15 ins and 7x10 ins sizes. As I progress, I will say more on the formats etc.v

Today, being my first post, I thought I would post a recent watercolour painting. The aim being to post a painting that I have just completed. It is based on a visit to Tramore, last year, a popular  resort in the south east of Ireland. It has a fine beach and I loved the view looking back toward the town. The sun was just going down. The figures I added, to give perspective and harmony. The paper is Fabriano artistico paper., approximately .7x10 ins. 

You can view more of my paintings on Just type in my name, Joseph My own website is 

Regards Joe