the Burren

Ireland Sketches Part 2


There were streets in Galway where music and performances of all types  were going on non-stop all day, several on each block at times. I wanted to stop to enjoy all of them, but was busy with the workshop for the most part. This bonnie Irish lass sitting with her hurdy gurty (sp?) let me sit with her and told me about her instrument as I sketched.


and this young man was playing with a young violinist and three older traditional musicians inside a pub nearby.


The music is informal each night and the musicians play as if around a table in a home, taking many breaks to sip a pint and chat with people. In fact they sit around a table in the window and everyone else stands (which is why my line is so fractured here: there was scarcely room to move!)


On the last morning in Galway I found this colorful street for a last sketch before we moved on.


While my friends got the castle tour, I stood out front of Dunsquaire Castle for a sketch, first with a watercolor pencil.


After we’d checked into our B & B in Fanore by the sea, we headed over to the one local pub where musicians were playing traditional music and (bear with me a bit more!) we all sketched musicians.


This was the irresistable kind of toe tapping fast paced Celtic music that’s a real mood lifter. The mist had settled in thickly outside but seemed to lift noticeably in the friendly atmosphere of the pub, where children danced on the stage in front of the musicians.


Our teacher from the workshop Shari Blaukopt joined us for dinner and sketching.


And of course we got to chat with the musicians.  When I asked the name of their group, I was told “the three stooges”, which of course was a joke. They just play and the people who show up are the group for the evening. I loved this kind of natural spontaneous music making I found in Ireland, showmanship without ego.


I was surprised at all the modern housing in Ireland. Not the thatched roofs and moss covered stone cottages I’d expected. But we also found the ancient ruins, older than any I’d seen in Italy, like this wedge tomb from 4000 B.C. on the breathtaking landscape of the Burren.


and the sun came out for a while!


We were packing a lot of sights in that day. So I opted for a collection of pictures I wanted to remember. Our luck with the weather held as we continued on to more hiking on the Burren and the famous Cliffs of Moher.


There’s a bit of travel craziness on this page.  It had been a very long day and driving in Ireland is an adventure at best and harrowing and confusing at worst. We had both. It was another few days til we had learned the logic of the road signs and more.

Next: onward to the Ring of Kerry