Next Stop, Ireland

I’m starting a new painting and this time it’s the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. Much to my delight, my client’s photos came in the mail yesterday so it’s time to start sketching!

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Looking at these photos, I immediately think of Fezzik from the “Princess Bride” climbing up the “Cliffs of Insanity” so this is right up my alley! (UPDATE! If Wikipedia is to be believed, they actually ARE filmed as the “Cliffs of Insanity” from the Princess Bride! They are also filmed in Harry Potter and Half Blood Prince movie as well. I may have to rewatch those movies purely for reference. Aww, too bad.)

Initial Sketching

There is alot of rock detail that is going to drive me "insane". Kidding.

Princess Bride Awesomeness

Seriously, this movie is great. I’m going to go rewatch it right now.

O’Brien’s Tower

What’s really great about this is there is a little castle overlooking the cliffs that makes me think of a siege tower from a great war. It’s actually called O’Briens Tower and it was built in 1835 for… TOURISM if you can believe that. The architect was ahead of his time, thinking that tourism would bring the population out of poverty. And it’s true because it is one of Ireland’s top tourist attractions. I now have this urge to go visit and see them for myself! Also, NOTE TO SELF: Pick up alot of blue, green and yellow paints.

About the Cliffs

(Apparently there is a racey Cocktail-Making Fireman ad for Tequila before viewing the video below. Let’s hope you hit the jackpot like my mother and sister-in-law. You’ve been warned.)

“The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s top Visitor attractions and are a designated UNESCO Geo Park. The Cliffs are 214m high at the highest point and range for 8 kilometres over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County Clare. O’Brien’s Tower stands proudly on a headland of the majestic Cliffs. From the Cliffs one can see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, as well as The Twelve Pins, the Maum Turk Mountains in Connemara and Loop Head to the South. The Cliffs of Moher take their name from a ruined promontory fort “Mothar” which was demolished during the Napoleonic wars to make room for a signal tower.”

Learn more about the Cliffs of Moher.

32 Hours Painting Complete

Well the Oahu painting is complete. Three days and 32 hours with color blocking done months ago. And I’m pretty happy with it. It will be my very FIRST oil painting that I’ll actually make limited edition prints. It’s pretty romantic and calming so we will see if other people feel the same. I’m in the process of getting paper samples and printer information so keep checking back for updates on the progress.

This painting was a quick turnaround where I’m trying to give enough time for “drying” before display. It’s also a good test that I can hit a deadline just like I could in college. You never know when a creative storm will hit and I’m glad I saw it through to the end.

If you are interested in a print of “Oahu Diamond Head” email me at apriljohnst @ or message me on Facebook and I’ll get you on the list. The prints will probably be a quarter of the scale depending on the printer that I select. I’ll get exact dimensions and pricing when it’s dry and scanned. I’m also considering setting up shop on Etsy to make purchasing easier.  As always all the photos below can be enlarged so you can see the details. Enjoy!

Collin in a little sailboat. :)

Collin in a little sailboat. (tee hee)

Palm Tree detail

Palm Tree detail

The beach and wave detail

The beach and wave detail

Painting Complete

Painting Complete! "Oahu Diamond Head" 36x24 Oil on Canvas

Aloha Painting, Where have you been?

So I know I’ve had a slight hiatus from posting lately. And it’s not because I’m slacking off. A couple websites are up and running, did some student tutoring, house plans are always on my mind, as well as trying to be a super mom and but hey, I can still manage to get some painting in right? RIGHT? So yeah, the blog posts get pushed to the wayside while I run around with my head cut off. BUT NOT TONIGHT LOYAL FANS!

I was going to wait until it was ALLLL done to post this. Mostly because the person it’s going to will probably read this at some point and it won’t be a surprise. But such is life. So here is a sneak peek at “O’ahu Diamond Head”. I myself have never been to Hawaii but I have a ton of reference photos that I secretly hate with jealousy. Enjoy the progress.

Click to enlarge. Working on the palm trees at this point and some sandy beaches.

Google Art Project

As an artist, it’s a real treat to watch other people create, whether it be a sketch, painting or sculpture. I am in love with the “process” or seeing how they do it. The abundance of internet sites and mobile apps have made it easy for me to watch hundreds of talented people show their skills. (Thank goodness for Vimeo and YouTube as well as Instagram.) But what about the masters of the past? All we have left of their legacy is artwork hidden away in museums or private collections.  Usually I can find a low res scan of “The Starry Night” on some poster website otherwise I need to hop on a plane and head to the MOMA in New York. And even then, I highly doubt security is going to let me get TOO close to the original.

So I present Google Art Project.

A zoomed in view of The Starry Night on Google.

I can’t tell you how awesome this site is for me. Google has over 32000+ pieces of artwork available to zoom in at high resolution INCLUDING my favorites like Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” and Monet’s Footbridge. Having studied many of these works in grueling Art History classes, let me tell you, an old slide projector doesn’t hold a candle to this type of viewing. Being able to see the paint strokes, parts of the canvases, the direction and impasto, it is amazing.

What a wonderful way to preserve the past.