A long awaited exhibition of new work ‘In Full Bloom’- Olive’s Garden opens at Olive Stack Gallery, Listowel on Friday 19th August 6pm-8pm all are welcome!
The collection of work was inspired by my garden, a never-ending work in progress and repository of seeds, cuttings and plants shared by family, friends and neighbours. Within these pieces of art is infused the remembrance of these relationships each year as the seeds and cuttings bloom and grow, transforming bare earth into a celebration of life.
This show includes works in encaustic, oil, watercolour mosaic & collage. Each painting is a reminder of seasonal renewal, the connection of family and friends and the tender emotion brought by bare earth transformed.
‘In Full Bloom’ would not be possible without the presence of each of the artists in residence at the gallery over the past year.
The residency began almost a year ago to the day with the dramatic and unforgettable entry of Emily Andress and Kerry Griffin! Followed by Deb Aldo, Sheary Clough Suiter, Nard Claar, Heather Vollans, Laura McRae Hitchcock, Jean Cauthen, Pamela Goode, Lillie Morris and the current artists in residence Diane Pike and Jen Jovan Walls who arrived in Lovely Listowel on Sunday! Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, your support and friendships are priceless! I’m so glad I planted that seed!
‘The Time Of Our Lives’
Graphite, Watercolour & Encaustic on Cradled Panel – Diptych
by Olive Stack
Earlier this week it was time to say farewell to Sheary Clough Suiter and Nard Claar their month long residency had come to an end, so off they went on a whirlwind tour of Ireland before they return to Colarado in a couple of weeks. Sheary and Nard worked prolifically in their Listowel studio and quite a few painting have found forever homes in Co Kerry! No doubt the ‘Ireland Experience’ will continue to influence their work after they return home! Sheary is currently working on a new series’Water and Stone: Reflections of Ireland’.
So as one residency comes to an end another adventure begins with the arrival of Mosaic Artist Heather Vollans from Canada. Heather will teach two workshops during her month in Listowel. ‘Mosaic Matters – A mixed media mosaic class Sat 16th April & Sun 24th April 10am – 4pm. Please contact the gallery to reserve a space in either class ASAP. Welcome Heather…looking forward to another wonderful month and lots and lots of studio time! Let the magic begin again!
Mosaic Artist Carol Shelkin is yet another of this years wonderful Artists in Residence. Carol shared an incredible experience that proves just how small the world is! This is one of several similar stories! ‘So, there I am at the car wash with a muddy car that couldn’t wait until the next rain to be unblemished. On the back of the car in front of mine is a sticker that read: County Kerry. Being the person I am and sitting next to the owner of the car I said, Oh, I’ll be going to Listowel for a month in November Her speedy response startled me. She asked, “Are you going to Olive Stack’s Gallery?!” She then told me she’s an O’Sullivan and is related to everyone that is an O’Sullivan in Listowel and news travels quickly, even all the way to our little town, just outside of Philadelphia!’
Follow the Artists in Residence blog Excira and Delira to share the artists experience in Lovely Listowel!
One of the challenges with working from life is that nothing stays the same! I sat in front of the daffodils this morning eager to finish what I started yesterday and of course it all looked very different! Yesterdays bud on the left was this morning in full flower and pushing its way in front to get to the light and this one had decided to raise its head! So I had to improvise! I think I’ll keep this little painting as a happy memory of another special milestone!
Spring is a little confused in Kerry this year! This daffodil opened in our garden yesterday, to mark a special day! I picked it this morning along with a few others and have worked on it all day, it’s unfinished, but I’ll get back to it tomorrow! Love the scent of daffodils in the studio! This is one of the same group of daffodils found in my mosaic backsplash. I associate them with my mother when they flower each year as she gave me the bulbs when I started my garden several years ago! Gardening has given me a better appreciation for every season and Spring is one of my favourites!
The 21st of January is a special day, so I’m breaking the rules! Today is my little baby’s 18th birthday! I painted this portrait when he was probably just a few weeks old, on a rare occasion when he was asleep for long enough!
Tom was born in January ’98 and in December that same year, motivated by this little bundle I followed my dream and opened the gallery…that’s two babies in one year! I am blessed to be able to make a living and provide for us both by doing what I love to do. It has been a very busy 18 years filled with lots of highs and also many challenges. The first 10 years were the boom years and life was good, but since then it has been a struggle for small business owners to keep the doors open. We have reinvented ourselves and worked twice as hard for little return. Last week I was chatting to a lovely new customer who purchased one of my prints, she quoted the late great Mary Keane saying if we don’t support small businesses in our town we will no longer have a town…it’s nice to know that Mary’s wisdom is still being heard and followed! I am grateful for the support of family and friends along the way and for my customers and collectors many of whom I now call friends…couldn’t have done it without you!
I woke this morning to find the first few daffodils flowering in our garden, for the first time ever on Toms birthday (not that he would notice!) I took it as a sign of new beginnings, hope for the future and reward for all the hard work. The message on the birthday card I chose for him says it all ‘So thankful for the special person you grew up to be’…and very proud today and everyday!
Today was very full and productive. I had an early start, managing to grab a couple of hours mosaic time before my weekly trip to the farmers market (where I found my subjects for today’s little painting) and then around the corner to work! Again this painting is unfinished. I knew when I started the challenge that a painting a day was going to be a very tall order, I have tried my best, but it’s just not happening! For me the most important aspect of the challenge is committing to spend as much time as possible in the studio every single day and in that I have succeeded with flying colours! It was a busy day in the gallery as well as the studio, with bookings for the upcoming painting and mosaic workshops and lots of interest in the print sale. Plus I had a chance to catch up on some framing jobs when the light started to fade, forcing me to give up on the figs…until tomorrow!
I’m not sure what variety of garlic this is…I like them all! I’ve grown it for the last few years and try to plant enough to last till the next seasons harvest is ready. It’s impossible to top the flavours and freshness of fruit and veg straight from the garden, full of goodness and chemical free! Then there’s the added satisfaction that comes with being able to paint them as well! The good life!
So pleased to be back at work on my mosaic back splash. Today I worked on the unfinished daisy and the area around it. I’m close to finishing this panel, but I’m going to have another look at the Iris’s. There’s a few areas that are not quite right so I may as well redo them now or I won’t be happy! The stems of the poppies are wide grout lines which will be tinted green after it’s grouted. This is my largest mosaic project to date and it has taught me a lot. I have used flowers from my garden in the sequence of Spring and Summer and eventually Autumn/Winter will follow as I slowly make my way around the kitchen! I start by making drawings and paintings of each group of flowers so I’m looking forward to when the garden wakes up so that I can start thinking about what comes next!
I know that this is stretching the boundaries of 30 paintings in 30 days, but the whole concept is about getting into the studio and creating everyday so I hope this counts!
Watercolour & Mosaic on Aquabord
8″ x 8″
I am pleased to call this piece finished having added some more stained glass earlier today. I would usually grout a stained glass mosaic but I’ve decided to leave this piece as it is. I like the dept and the layered effect that this allows, particularly on the petals. If you would like to read more about this mixed media piece please see my previous Daisies post. I will continue to experiment combining paint and mosaic, so watch this space!
A jug of Honesty seed pods have been sitting on my window sill for quite some time. I placed them there with the intention of using them as the subject for a study or painting. I’m sure, were it not for the 30 in 30 challenge they would still be waiting patiently this time next year!
I look forward to spring and to sewing many more seeds in the months ahead and to the paintings that follow!