Title: An Inishmurray View
Medium: Oil & Mixed media on Canvas Sheet ( 100% Cotton)
Size: 24 x 16 inches ( roughly 1.5Inch border all round painting)
1 in stock
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An Inishmurray View is an Oil and mixed media painting on unstretched canvas. It was done from a reference sketch from the rocks of Cloonagh, north Sligo. I painted it quite loosely first in acrylics and then finished it in oils. The birds spotted above the horizon were Cormorants, fantastic divers who live their entire lives around the coastal region.
Cloonagh has been a favourite haunt of mine since I was in my twenties. Every time I visit this place of rock and ocean, it always amazes me. On this particular day the skies were nearly clear and I swear. It was as if I were standing on the edge of the Mediterranean sea. Beautiful shades of turquoise, blues and foamy white surf rolling in from the wild Atlantic. I mean how much better could you get?! These are very rare days in summer there, especially when its’s a warm breeze hitting you. It’s usually chilly and I always have my warm and waterproof clothing with me. Even my wellies are in the car! What a lucky view to have, Inishmurray stands proud against the Slieve League mountains. No mist or haze visible, as the sea forecast would say; ‘visible northwest for 4 miles.’
Here is a bit of background about our famous Inishmurray. Inishmurray dates back to the bronze age and has a strong association with Saint Columba of Iona who founded a monastery inside a fort there. He placed his abbot Saint Molaise there in the 4th century. The buildings there consist of beehives, cells, alters with cursing stones and a men and women’s church.
The island has a plethora of history especially when referring to the first case of copyright. The story goes that Columba borrowed a book from the library from Molaise and copied it. Malaise was furious and demanded that the book be brought back along with the copy. Columba refused and so he went to the high king Diarmuid about the matter. Diarmuid who agreed with Malaise, said “to every cow its calf, to every book its copy”. This was allegedly the first case of copyright in western Europe.
Columba still refused to give back the book and what ensued next was catastrophic. Diarmuid who was extremely annoyed and who felt challenged marched 3000 men against Columba and his followers. They fought furiously on the plains of Drumcliff outside Sligo. There was a huge loss of life and so Saint Columba lost the battle and most of his followers. Feeling devastated and guilt-ridden he then went back to Malaise in repentance. Malaise banished him from the Island and told him unless he converted 3000 pagans to Christianity, he would never be welcomed again. So he set sail to Scotland and established a prominent monastery on the Isle of Iona, where he spent the rest of his days.
There have been people living on Inishmurray for centuries and the last community to have lived there left in 1948 to the mainland. They left behind their houses, the schoolhouse and a wealth of history.
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