Monday, 4 September 2017

Hebrides 2017 - beaches for swimming - Barra*

*caveat - I am neither an athletic nor a brave swimmer so these spots represent only my personal preference and are undoubtedly too tame for the seasoned wild swimmer.

Vatersay's twin bays offer just about everything I yearn for in a beach. The calm turquoise waters of the east-facing Bagh Bhatersaigh with shoals of tiny fish and its wilder partner, Bagh Sair facing out into the open Atlantic. A sublime swathe of machair separates the bays. In early August the dunes were studded with tiny white eyebright, pale blue harebells, red clover, magenta self heal, bright yellow trefoils, vetches and ragworth and the hairy brown buds of knapweed.

Bagh Bhatersaigh, Vatersay, Outer Hebrides
Bagh Halaman
We remembered the beach at Bagh Halaman from our previous visit to Barra and headed straight there the evening we arrived. I nearly cried for not bringing my swim gear. We headed back there early the next morning, left our bikes at the telephone box, traipsed over the machair and swam in the just-deep-enough pool by the skerries. It was cold but bearable.
Bagh Halaman, Barra

Bagh Halaman, Barra

Traigh Tuath
Where the brackish water of the Abhuinn Mhor bleeds into the azure Atlantic. The water is deliciously cold and then icy in turn and under the water the sea wriggles and squirms where the two meet and mix.
Traigh Tuath, Barra
small watercolour - Traigh Tuath, Barra

Coming soon - swimming on (or should that be off?) North and South Uist.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Handprinted decorations

This little printing project was really popular at the school Christmas Fayre,
so I thought I'd share the "how to" here.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Holiday bugs

I've been going through our holiday photos and there are rather too many that look like this ...
One of oh-so-many swallow tails that were just to quick for me
I am quite gutted how many beautiful butterflies I didn't manage to capture (and son is gutted by all the grasshoppers that got away). But here is the edit of those critters that I did manage to snap.
I think this one might have been dead! Hue, Vietnam

Bees drinking from a lily in a pot pond. Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Well camouflaged and a bit slower than your typical grasshopper, as if crossed with a stick insect. Angkor, Cambodia

Palm crickets from the bamboo train ride, Battambang, Cambodia
Dinner crickets, and beetles and small birds. Pursat, Cambodia

Dragonfly, Angkor, Cambodia
Silk worms, Silk Island, Phnom Penh

We do love a good shield bug, and this is a beauty! Angkor, Cambodia

Ok, so catching them at it was cheating. Angkor, Cambodia
Moths are so much more obliging than butterflies. Note the transparent 'eyes'. These were as big as my hand, and satiated my lepidopteric desires. Angkor, Cambodia

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Kerry Hedgerow
‘Kerry Hedgerow’ had its beginnings in bike rides along the lanes of around Cahersiveen and Valentia Island (County Kerry, Ireland) last summer. These lanes are lined with a dark canopy of blue-green leaves held by long pink stems that drip with pink and purple bells and an understorey of bright green blades and stunning orange florets. The fuchsias, natives of South America were introduced as a hedging plant over a 100 years ago and the crocosmias are of South African in origin.

The snaps I took of these hedges …

Became a quick sketch at the time ….

And then much later a half-finished watercolour ….

As a means of planning for a lino print.
The lino print was created from two blocks, one for the greens and one for the oranges and pinks …


And after four different layers of green, two pinks, two oranges and a purple, much complex, mind-boggling carving and 189 spins through the press I have an edition of 21 prints. Available in my Folksy shop and my Etsy shop (Special introductory price until 24th April).

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Prints of 2015

I started this year with a couple of prints based on drawings, paintings and photos made and taken the previous summer in Dumfries and Galloway: the tiny harbour village of Portpatrick and ringed plovers scuttling along the tideline in New England Bay.

A trip to Denmark and the Vikingeskibsmuseet (Viking Ship Museum) inspired my next print, a much more stripped back design and more akin to my earlier Hardraw Force and Oystercatchers pieces.

Viking Ships III (c) Alison Deegan 2015

Then a small group of floral prints, prepared for an exhibition and working from studies made on trips to the south-west of Ireland and Flamborough Head.

Flamborough Hedgerow (c) Alison Deegan 2015

Rossbeigh Dune Viola (c) Alison Deegan 2015

Rossbeigh Sea Holly (c) Alison Deegan 2015

My last printing project of the year is an ongoing collage developing from a series of small lino prints I created over the month of October.

October Patchwork II (c) Alison Deegan 2015

Happy New Year :-)


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