Travel Memories: Ireland

I started looking through the photos that I took on my trip to Ireland in January of 2017. Exploring memories from that trip seems like a nice way to think about my life. What I have enjoyed and why, and what I tend to do when I have traveled. This could give me some clues about what I should do next.

The first two photos were taken from the airplane, probably flying from Indianapolis to Chicago. Then I find myself in Dublin. It was a gray, cloudy day, and I was standing on the North Wall Quay by the River Liffey, that runs through the city. I had just taken the bus from Swords, a suburb of Dublin near the airport, where I was staying, and was headed to the National Gallery of Ireland.

That is what I like to do when I travel: explore a city, on the way to and from the art museum. I like to spend a lot of time in the museum. I find a painting or sculpture that interests me, and draw from it, sitting or standing there for hours. In a new place, sketching from great, original works of art gives me something to focus on. It seems relevant to me, as someone who makes paintings, and who finds great pleasure in exploring the concentrated packaging of information in a work of art.

In January 2017, when I was in Dublin, the National Gallery of Ireland was under construction. The early Velázquez that I wanted to see, Kitchen Maid with the Supper at Emmaus, was not on view. But at least they had a small section of the museum open, and admission was free. 

My first day at the museum, and my first full day in Ireland, was Sunday, January 15, which was the last day of an exhibit titled “Creating History: Stories of Ireland in Art”. I enjoyed the show, despite feeling particularly disoriented from travel. I was glad to have been introduced to artists with whom I was not previously familiar, particularly Lady Elizabeth Butler and Seán Keating. Both artists made accomplished, realistic paintings. Butler's "Listed for the Connaught Rangers: Recruiting in Ireland" was a particularly involving multi-figure composition in a landscape setting. My sketch from Keating’s “An Allegory of Irish Civil War” is reproduced below.


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