Since the recent Covid 19 lockdown, most of us have a new appreciation of the old saying ‘Home is where the hearth is’. Home is now where it’s at – free from social distancing, we can safely do home-schooling, home baking, keep fit and work from home if our job allows.
My adult and children’s art classes have momentarily stopped. However, in the current climate, drawing and painting can be creative and therapeutic activities. In that spirit, this year’s Midleton Arts Festival (MAF) will be an online event to be enjoyed at home. The work of artists, musicians and various performers can be viewed on the MAF Facebook page, YouTube and website on May 15th and 16th.
In past years, I usually do a drawing demonstration and exhibit artwork from some of my classes for the festival. However, this year I too have embraced technology and have submitted slideshows of artwork from my St. Colman’s night class students (see photos), children’s art classes and the mural I did last year in Glounthaune railway station.
There will also be an online event called ‘Art in my Home’ where MAF have asked the public to send in photos of artwork from their home – favourite pictures hanging on the wall, fridge or their own creations. This online Arts Festival will be a new experience and I can’t wait to view it from the comfort of home!
For more information on my upcoming art classes, see FB: www.facebook.com/frazzledmammycork
In April 2019 I was commissioned by Glounthaune Tidy Towns and Community Association to do a mural in Glounthaune Railway Station. It would be a birdlife theme on the railway shelter, complementing the nearby Harpers Island bird sanctuary.
When I visited the station to take measurements and get ideas, the first thing that struck me was “How do I get birds around the bin and the seats?” There’s a tall grey rubbish bin in the centre of the shelter with welcome metal seating on either side for awaiting train passengers. Seagulls are typically unafraid of swooping on unsuspecting commuters to snatch a sandwich, so depicting two cheeky gulls rob the rubbish bin seemed a good idea.
How would I incorporate the other birds? The shelducks and mallards could swim with their colourful offspring eyeing the thieving interlopers. The turnstone, dunlin and lapwing might perch on each bench. The teal, oystercatcher and golden plovers could take flight. Redshanks and godwits might busily wade in the water, while the sentry-like heron could stand tall taking it all in.
Once the design was approved the mural work got underway. I had a very interesting time painting and occasionally chatting to people either waiting for or alighting from the train.
However, it was soon back to my usual routine of teaching art as I was due to start my After School Art Classes in SNCN Glounthaune NS; My Place Hall, Midleton on Tuesday 17th Sept and The Pike Hall, Glanmire on Thursday 19th Sept 2019. My adult education Drawing & Acrylic Painting classes started in St. Colman’s, Midleton on Tuesday night Oct 1st. As some birds fly south and others arrive from the north, art-wise it promised to be a busy autumn!
Isn’t it interesting how one idea can lead to another? Take our Glounthaune Fox. Last year I was asked by Glounthaune Tidy Towns to submit a design for the Ballyhennick townland, to be used on a stone placename. As the anglicised word Ballyhennick derives from the gaelic Baile Sheinick, town of the fox, I was inspired by this graceful animal for my design. During the summer, seven place names were erected in Glounthaune, one of which was my Baile Sheinic fox! It can be seen on the roadside as you leave Glounthaune for Cork.
I was telling a friend about how my drawing was used on the roadside carving and how I subsequently incorporated more fox-related content in my art classes. She designs and makes bags. Before I knew it, she had created a gorgeous bag based on our Baile Sehinic fox (see photo). Her handcrafted fox bags are for sale in Passage West Creates gift shop, and more details on this East Cork brand NeedleSketches can be found @MollysNeedleSketches facebook page.
Meanwhile, I am busy with my After School Art Classes in SNCN Glounthaune NS, My Place, Midleton and The Pike Hall, Glanmire, and look forward to another set of Drawing & Acrylic Painting classes for adults in St. Colman’s, Midleton, starting September 2020.
Although Glounthaune, my hometown (village) near Cork city hosts one of the shortest St. Patrick’s Day parades, what it may lack in length, it makes up for in style. Take hats – in the not too distant past, most of us would brave the chilly March 17th in sensible woolly hats and scarves, with a clump of shamrock safety-pinned to our coats. However, sartorial tastes have changed, especially if the kids get involved! Continue reading →
The Leaving Cert is looming! With the state exams due to start on June 8th, there are households across the country trying to cope with this stressful time. It’s hard on the students, revising or trying to cram in last-minute coursework. But tough on parents, too, who have brought them this far. As a mother of both a Leaving Cert and a Junior Cert student, I’m well aware of the tensions and traumas that accompany this ordeal. Like other frazzled mammies, I’m try to keep it together. The following survival hints might help ….
ChristmasCountdown by Illustrator, Cork, Ireland, Maeve O’Keeffe
Christmas Countdown – Illustrator
It’s the countdown to Christmas. Since the Toy Show, children have been double-checking their wish lists, posting or burning letters in the fireplace. They can now relax, excitedly waiting for Santa’s imminent arrival. But what about us adults? What of all the jobs we have to do? If only we could write a letter and have Santa’s elves clean the house, do the shopping and magic a cooked turkey onto the table? Christmas is a wondrous time but is it worth all the stress we put ourselves through? Continue reading →
Lent – 6 weeks of penance, giving up sweets, cigarettes or beverages that are bad for us. It’s a time to clean up our act. Like New Year’s, an opportunity to make a new start and redeem our sorry selves.
But first, there’s that last gluttonous fling of Shrove or Pancake Tuesday. Continue reading →
Is it OK to smack your child for bad behaviour? Pope Francis apparently thinks so, sparking controversial debate across newsprint, social media and radio. Last Monday, it was one of the topics on PJ Coogan’s ‘Opinion Line’ @pjcoogan on @Corks96FM . As a mother of three, I’ve had many scenarios where discipline is needed and was happy to join the discussion. Continue reading →
Buying the tree and getting organised for Christmas can be stressful!
Some people have one special treat that marks the start of Christmas. It could be advent calendars for the kids, setting up the crib, scoffing a first mince pie or decorating the tree.
“That’s my favourite thing,” sighed my friend, “Going to the garden centre and selecting the tree. I LOVE the fresh pine smell, the feel and colour of a real fir, bringing it home and decorating it with the kids. Last year, though, was a disaster.” Continue reading →
Aaah! Home with three teens while teachers strike and there’s another day due in January? While I despair at having the kids at home when they could be doing something useful in school, I’m with the teachers on this one. Continue reading →