Sunday, 3 August 2014

Sceitse- Battery Recharging

This week, over in the Islander Art Blog( we have been making posts about where they find inspiration and go to recharge their batteries, so I have just copied and pasted there here to my blog as well.

For those that know me, it will be obvious where I go to recharge my batteries. Its to the sketch group 'Sceitse' that I help organise. This is the place I go for inspiration, to really open my eyes to the world,  take a break from work and to keep my art not just work but as a bit of a hobby too. Broadly Sceitse is a sketch adventure group, and it is really broken into two types of trips A:) Adventuring- where we head off to the mountains on foot or jump into cars and go sketch exploring.

Gougane Barra sketch mountain walk

Hungry Hill sketch mountain walk
B:) Activities- where we try out various activities and see if we can combine them with sketching. As we say in Sceitse "if you can sketch while doing it, we will". This has lead us to combine sketching with all sorts of things, like sketch cycling, sketch caving, sketch sailing etc.

Sketch sailing in Lough Allua

Sketch caving in the Ailwee caves 

For  me, as an archaeological illustrator, the highlight is of course the archaeology. Its often an adventure and a half trying to find them (sometimes not finding them), trodding unexplored paths, clambering over fences, struggling through forests, discovering the hidden gems in the countryside. Its the anti-tourist ireland, going where most people will not go bar archaeologists. Some sites you visit end up being disappointing, as there isnt much left or its damaged but the walk there and the view from the site, often make it worthwhile as you get really SEE the place, which you wouldn't have stopped at otherwise. Other times the sites are full of mood and mystery, like megaliths caked in mist or wondering a forest and finding a castle hidden within with vines growing up the side, inspiring stuff!

Castle lyons,North Cork
Monkeys Bridge stone pair,  North Cork
But one of the most important parts of the group, is the social aspect. We spend alot of time chatting, talking art, philosophising, making jokes and laughing. That last, laughing, is the sound you would most often hear coming from the group. Its such great fun and I have made some good friends because of it.

When I think of all the great mountains with spectacular vistas I have walked, the ways I have explored what is around me and all the amazing sites I have seen, I feel very lucky. Its been an unbelievable time and the group is only getting bigger and better, so Im just happy to be part of it.

With that, ill leave ye with another really important aspect of the group and that is sketching, here are two of my favourite sketches out of the many, many we have done while out on the various adventures:

Inchinlinane Gallán or Standing Stone
Rostellan the Tidal Portal Tomb
More can be found about Sceitse over in the blog: and the facebook page:

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