Mock Mansions

The ability to design requires abstraction. It requires that you remove yourself from associations. For example, below is a series of watercolours painted in Georgia O’Keefee Country in New Mexico featured in my book Placing Architecture. They describe a progression, from left to right, of my letting go of what I understood the canyon edge to be until reaching the point when I began to paint purely what I saw.

New Mexico Watercolours

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Concrete kills traditional build

My intention in driving up into the Silvermines region in North Tipperary was to gather material on cottage decorations. I was intrigued by previous trips because up until then I had seen cottages as bare essentials – walls, windows, door and roof. But cut off in the heart of the Silvermines the people have decorated their cottages in all sorts of different and appealing ways. Here are just some examples.

Windows

As I drove deeper and deeper into the region I came across one abandoned house after another; single dwellings, whole farms, schools, even a factory. On one stretch of road I counted over 10 ruins. It was overwhelmingly sad.

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Charity Swim

Charity Swim

Congratulations to the organizers, supporters and many swimmers today who jumped into the Shannon at Youghal Quay in aid of TLC4CF (Tipperary Limerick Clare for Cystic Fibrosis). Frozen toes after the swim was the only suffering we had to bear.

Charity Swim

St Carthages Church

St Carthages Church

I want to tell you about a beautifully restored church I visited in Brosna, Co. Kerry. The visit was uplifting. The unusual thing was that all the materials were spot on!

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Merry Christmas

As the winter solstice occurs, I welcome you to the first lines of my blog. I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and the very best for the coming year.

Xmas 2010