Here is little story to help ease the grief of the passing of a dear friend and mentor. Brian Curran was my master's advisor first, a dear friend later, and was, in a sense, a second father. I had seen him all over the world: in Pennsylvania, Florida, California, New York City, and all over Italy, where we frequently walked together when our research trips overlapped. He was my tireless champion, a brilliant mind with a biting wit, and an iconoclast. His wife, Mary, told me that once his ALS had robbed him of the ability to walk, he sometimes dreamed that he still could, so I wrote this little poem for him at that time. I was moved to put it into pictures this week as my mind lingered on his memory.
"For Brian", Jessica Boehman. Mixed media (ink, acrylic ink, gouache, watercolor, and collage), with some art for Brian.
Plein Air: Ireland and Scotland
My sister and I took a trip abroad to Ireland, the Scottish Highlands, and the Isle of Skye. We spent some time drawing to remember the trip better. Goal: start painting again so I can better capture the haunting colors of the landscapes I see. Here are the most successful of the drawings. All drawings below are in pencil.
This was our first drawing the day we landed in Ireland. A simple sketch to mark the old monastery and cemetery of Glendalough.
That night, we were heavily jetlagged. Even though we had only had three hours of sleep, it felt like afternoon EST. So we drew. I drew my sister as she drew the window of the Old Coach House in Avoca, where Mick, the Innkeeper, won the award for Most Awesome Host.
The next day we spent traveling to Scotland and learning to navigate the roads, and traveled to Clava Cairns and Culloden Battlefield. So no drawing. But the following day, we spent a few hours at Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness, befriending two men who were the keepers of the castle. It was freezing with a high wind coming off the loch, so we took a break with a bracing cup of tea and then toured the now-empty castle, free of throngs of tourists.
The next day we traveled to Dunrobin Castle, the seat of the Dukes of Sutherland. The castle was imposing and lovely, and we took in an exciting falconry show, walked along the Moray Firth and then drew in the lovely gardens. The large leaves in the background are giant rhubarb.
On the 11th, we drove to Skye, which was lovely but harrowing. We received some devastating news that night, so the next morning, in the quiet and the sun, I drew to calm my mind and my spirit. This is the view from our AirBnB. The other direction pointed out to Loch Snizort.
Eilean Donan castle, on our way back to Inverness from Skye. Our last day in Scotland. Wish we had more time and energy to draw more, but alas.
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