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Case of the Missing Mansion : Bantry House, Ireland

May 25, 2017

We’re away from the studio right now for a family reunion sort of thing. So here’s something from the archives.

Sometimes I have this instinct to save my favorite paintings.

To put them on hold. Not show you guys – and maybe I’ll have the chance to use them for something amazing. I don’t know for what. Perhaps they become grist for a making-of article. Or get submitted to a competition. You never know.

But ultimately, that’s a little silly for an art-blogger. By the time any of that happens, you have new favorites. These old gems just get put to the bottom of the stack, never to see the light of day.

So that being said, here’s my absolute favorite sketch from last year’s trip to Ireland.

This is Bantry House and Garden. A beautiful spot a little south of Glengariff, at the base of one of the fingers of rock that make up the Wild Atlantic Way.

So. What do you think about this one?

I couldn’t really defend it as a portrait of the house could I? It’s very much a dashed off impression.

There was, of course, rain approaching. This is Ireland after all.

If you’re in a rush – the clipped maze in the hedge garden is enough to make you despair. It’s something that should not be tackled casually.

Yet – it’s this very urgency that I love. The simple fact that it’s unreasonable to even try to get this one – is why it’s so fun to do. This painting symbolizes the reason I paint, even when clearly it’s a fool’s errand.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan Garcia permalink
    May 25, 2017 8:09 AM

    It may be a rapidly dashed impression, but it completely captures the essence of the building and grounds. I love it!

  2. Rosita Sprohge permalink
    May 25, 2017 9:06 AM

    I love the aliveness and movement in the sketch. It has so much feeling and drama. It’s not a dead and dull faithful copy. Great !

  3. Estelle DeRidder permalink
    May 25, 2017 9:21 AM

    I agree 100% with the foregoing comments . . . and would like to add that it is very, very fresh: a Marc Taro Holmes trademark. If it were hung in a huge exhibit – all with the same theme, I would pick Marc’s out immediately. After looking at it again and again, I sense that it is the spots of rustic reds taking my eye from the bottom – slightly R – in a R-hand curve up to the house, and then cheerfully skipping to the the L-top corner – which makes it the ideal path, ha ha ha, just to slip down to the R-hand corner and start meandering again. I feel like I’m on vacation in Ireland right now !

  4. daveyone1 permalink
    May 25, 2017 10:01 AM

    Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..

  5. May 25, 2017 12:50 PM

    Marc, you just made my heart ache with this one, which I believe Bettina and I caught you in the act of painting last summer. We tried not to disturb you in the middle of the insane magic you were attempting. I believe you did another one that afternoon, with more of the water in it? I had to sit down in another spot, very humbled yet also inspired by you, with a more limited view and attempt to capture what I could of the Bantry House scene myself. And now I have you to thank again for this sweet longing for the lush emerald isle!

    • May 25, 2017 1:17 PM

      Yes absolutely that same day we met you two there! I felt a bit guilty not spending more time with you, but this one was “all in” as they say :)

  6. May 28, 2017 12:13 PM

    I am completely impressed with your impressionistic take on the scene (especially after seeing the photo – I would have taken one look at all that green and run screaming for my life! ha ha). You are amazing at capturing the essence of the thing.

  7. ink2art permalink
    June 1, 2017 11:01 AM

    Recaptured great memories of this lovely place in a way that my many photographs can’t quite do…Am understanding more and more why sketches are so much more valuable than even the best of our photos. Thanks always for sharing – teaching us – reminding us…

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