The crowded streets of the village made me want to find a quiet safe haven for a few moments. Lucky I was to stumble upon this old brightly painted store front right off the main road with interesting old things in the window case. Hurrying into the crowded antique shop in Ennis, County Clare, I heard the sound of hundreds of antique clocks ticking away. They were reminding me that I really did not have much time on this visit to linger as long as I would have liked to. I could have spent hours looking closely at all the musty, dusty, old things that were once possessions of people long ago, imagining stories hidden, on this place called Ireland. The history of Ireland and its first place award for collecting things for posterity was very well represented by this shop, with a multitude of old, rusty, worn, curiosities. Every nook and cranny was so filled, your eyes could not help but wander from the very top of the ceiling to the bottom of the floor, where precious objects were hidden and piled on top of one another haphazardly, and it all seemed to never have an end. Classical paintings done on wooden boards, beautiful violins missing their strings, swords, ornately carved furniture full to the brim with tiny glass objects, time instruments of all sorts now stroking another hour, reminding me to not dilly dally, and lots of porcelain glass dogs. So many porcelain glass dogs that I asked the proprietor what were they for? “Everyone collected those years ago.” he told me,”and now they are quite valuable.” The proprietor looked as if he had just came out of a Harry Potter novel. Well dressed, kind eyes, ready to help. I asked how long he had been in business and he said, “Much, much, too long.” then I asked if I could photograph him and he looked down at his book and said, “You may.”
From that short visit this spring I did this painting of him.
Traveling the back roads one day as we drove through the lush countryside, on narrow lanes, trying to remember to hug the left side of the road with our car, we came upon some men out walking dogs. I hollered for my husband to please stop! I need to talk to them! He argued that I should not bother them, but I insisted.
The large dogs were race hounds. Very intelligent looking animals. When I walked up I asked the kind looking gentleman if I could take a photograph of them with their dogs. I was so happy they agreed. You could see the pride in their eyes for the animals they owned. The older man with his cute little dog, reminded me of how sometimes people start to look a little like their pets. His small fluffy dog was very similar to the porcelain ones I had just seen hundreds of in the antique shop! Kind, lovable, and very Irish.
I did this painting from the photos I took that afternoon.