Tulips Study

Tulips Study. Oils on canvas 10" x 14". Kevin McSherry
Tulips Study. Oils on canvas 10″ x 14″. Kevin McSherry

Irene, one of my students, left me these tulips after this morning’s class. It’s the end of April and tulip season is just about finished and these flower heads are just about to drop. They’re going out in a blaze of glory, though.

Oils on deep-edge canvas. 10″ x 14″.

Never Mind the Testiculation

I was over in London last weekend, on an invitation by a friend to go and see The Stranglers. I was an ardent fan around the late seventies so I was dubious about going to see them now, especially as Hugh Cornwell left the band some years ago. Cornwell, with his sinister vocal sound, seems to me to be irreplaceable. Sure enough, their new lead singer [Let’s call him Nugh Cornwell] crashed through songs that should only be sung by Cornwell himself, and moved the group into the territory usually occupied by tribute bands. No more heroes indeed.

On another note, I learned a new word, ‘testiculation’. A friend of mine explained, during a mouth-melting curry engagement, that it means ‘talking bollocks while waving your arms around’.

The Artist’s Studio

The Artist's Studio, Aideen Avenue. En plein air landscape oil painting.
The Artist’s Studio, Aideen Avenue. Oils on canvas. 16″ x 12″

I took advantage of the fine weather this afternoon and set up my easel in my own garden. I enjoyed myself so much I lost track of time; by the time I applied the last stroke I was tired -and cold from standing in one spot for a couple of hours. I’m delighted with the way it turned out -just wonky enough to satisfy my desire not to become overly descriptive.

On another note -or rather more of the same note, I signed up to Art in the Open, the en plein air painting festival in Wexford. It’s on from July 27 – August 5 and I’m very excited to be a part of it.

GDP: An Explanation

I’ve spent some considerable amount of time delving into the world of economics, also known as, ‘The Dismal Science’. Here’s my explanation of the term, ‘Gross Domestic Product’. It’s gross; there’s a lot of it about; it’s all true. Just walk down the street and you’ll see the little bags of GDP left around by Generous Dog Proprietors. It is dismal.

You’re welcome.

Gross domestic product an explanation

‘Crois Chéasta Chill Rialaig 1’ Carved early Irish Christian stone.

'Crois Chéasta Chill Rialaig 1' Carved early Irish Christian stone. Print by Kevin McSherry
‘Crois Chéasta Chill Rialaig 1’ Carved early Irish Christian stone. Print by Kevin McSherry
There are two standing stones with crucifixes carved into them at the ancient Cill Rialaig monastic site on Bolus Head, County Kerry. These are very early monuments in Irish Christianity -perhaps from around 500 AD. They both face west but the crosses are described differently. I’ll make an artwork inspired by the other one as I go on. I was lucky to have my eldest daughter, Mathilde with me. She’s studying ancient and medieval art and culture in Trinity, so I got an informed opinion on the subject into the bargain.
We scouted around the chaos of tumbled and weathered stones for a while, indulging ourselves with fantasies of how the settlement must have looked in its heyday; but the rain fell down on us and we started to lose the light. I discovered my hiking boots weren’t as watertight as they should be, but I endured for the sake of Culture!
Print: Hand inked and coloured in Affinity Designer. It will be a limited edition of 125 on Hahnemuhle German Etching paper by The Copperhouse . Signed, numbered and titled, ‘Crois Chéasta Chill Rialaig 1’ (that’s a working title until I can verify the Irish.) 8″ x 10″

8″ x 10″

The City

I was invited to submit works based around the theme ‘The City’ to le Louvre open submissions show in Paris. Acrylics on canvas. 12″ x 26″.

Limited edition (50), numbered and hand-signed museum-quality archival giclée prints with an edition certificate (Hahnemuhle German Etching fine art paper) available directly from me: KevinMcSherryArtist@gmail.com

The City. Acrylics on canvas painting for le Louvre open submissions show.
The City. Acrylics on canvas painting for le Louvre open submissions show.

The City. Acrylics on canvas painting in frame for le Louvre open submissions show.

Brunaille: Next week’s demonstration of a Monochrome Underpainting

A Brunaille: technique of making a warm, monochrome underpainting
A Brunaille: technique of making a warm, monochrome underpainting

If you want to try out this technique of making a warm, monochrome underpainting at next week’s class, you will need the following tubes of ACRYLIC paint:

Ultramarine
Burnt Siena
Flesh Tint (Winsor & Newton) or Warm Bright Yellow (Sennelier)
Titanium White

This technique provides you with a great big safety net for you when you get to the point of adding colour by glazing -and the results can be beautifully rich and lustrous. I often use this method in my hand painted illustrations as I can get the whole work planned out in monochrome before committing to colour. In the image above, I didn’t even glaze colour and left the brunaille as it was -I thought colour would detract from this one. If you’d like me to hold a demonstration in your area, why not drop me a line at kevin@mcsherry.ie?

Brunaille: Underpainting in warm monochrome.
Grisaille: Underpainting in cool monochrome.

Future Past

Lately I’ve been looking though past blog posts to see how things were once. I haven’t ever done much for the children’s book market but I did try to promote myself in that area. This is a self-promotional piece in acrylics from 2006. I enjoyed the painting and also making up the little rhyme to go with it. I don’t think I’d do it this way now and would be far more likely to work digitally:
Once for the Childer. From 2006

My good rep in Toronto Three In A Box., produces a themed promotional book every year aimed at certain segments of the market. These books are branded as ‘Box Lunches’ and the current one is the fourth. Anyhuff, the theme this time is ‘Childhood’ and the attached pic is my contribution. I never saw myself as a children’s book illustrator so when I told Denis Goodbody of Adept Advertising he expressed surprise. He’s right, of course. Certainly what I do engages with the child inside of the reader -even at the level of the business/financial work that I do. Furthermore, my own lovely wife consistently points out my childish behaviour. Consider that we all grew up in our pre-school years with picture-books being our chief means of getting the sense out of print. We all have these absurd self-images and it’s about time we burst them. Perhaps we can meet up and burst each other’s absurd self-images. Say, next Wednesday? Good. see you then.


I enjoyed this project immensely. Obviously, you can’t have too many robots.


Kevin the Magnificent,
King of all the ‘bots,
He has multitude of them
(that means lots and lots)


They spring out of his picture-books,
And from amongst the toys,
To do their monarch’s bidding,
(That means lots of noise).


Who knows; it may go on to form part of a book itself…hmmm…

(It never did…)