Ireland Sketches Part 3

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Next day we headed to County Kerry where we would stay for five days.  It was a record-breaking hot day and I sought one of the shady spots in the picturesque town of Adare which was already occupied by a colorful leprechaun of a fellow whose Irish eyes were smiling as he sang round after round of that song while his money box filled up with coins from passers by. In between rounds he gave me some of his life story, as any true Irishman would.

And then there was the picture perfect and tasty appetizer that evening which screamed out to be sketched! The salmon in Ireland is abundant and inexpensive and the best! We ate it sometimes twice a day.

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We settled into our rented house and I walked up the road for a view of an old stone cottage with the rounded mountains of the Ring of Kerry and the sea below.

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The town of Kenmare was a cozy home base for us on this leg of the trip. I thought I’d tackle sketching buildings, my weakest area of expertise. But this day once again it was raining, which added to the challenge. But I have learned that Urban Sketchers are not to be deterred by a bit (or even a lot) of rain, so I put up my umbrella, sketchbook on lap and tried to tell the rainy day story.

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That evening we staked out a table in the pub in front of the local musicians playing that night, a combination of traditional toe tapping and romantic ballad music, an informal but highly skilled evening of entertainment.

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One of the biggest attractions of a tour of Ireland is a drive around the Ring of Kerry. In peak season the tour buses load up in the morning and drive counter-clockwise around the ring. The road is narrow and the drive hair-raising in a car, but at every round the scenery is jaw dropping. This was a quick stop along the way for a stretch and sketch in the drizzle.

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There’s almost always a breakthrough of sun at some point in the day. We were out on the farthest most end of the drive.  The monks always seemed to situate their monasteries at the points of lavish natural beauty and this was no exception.

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Next day we set off for the Killarney National Park, a hike and a visit to a grand manor house. The Tarc Waterfall was a daunting subject for a quick sketch.  I’ve learned that if i put a person in the foreground of a challenging subject I can relax a bit more. (Go figure!) So I put Marla there and proceeded to draw this coloring book page. Maybe I’ll color it in when I have time?

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By the time we were done with the tour of Muckross House I was too pooped to try to sketch the intricacies of the 19th century manor house and the sun was out. So I took a nap in the soft grass of the garden and was comforted by drawing a subject near at hand.

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It was late when we got back to Foley’s for dinner in Kenmare and once again we enjoyed the music.  A solo act, and I didn’t even get his name.

Stay tuned next for: the last days in Ireland.

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