Today, St. Patrick's day, is the day where we all pretend to be Irish. I think it's mainly marketing, but green is a nice color to wear on the eve of the Spring Equinox. I have been to Ireland twice so perhaps a few atoms of the Old Sod still adhere to me. In 1980 I won a contest with an illustration from an Anne McCaffrey book, "Dragondrums." The prize was a week's trip to Ireland and a visit with McCaffrey herself, who lived in the suburbs of Dublin. A friend and I made the trip and drove for our week through the misty and beautiful Irish landscape. The first thing I learned about Ireland is that all the pretty picture books about the country lie. There is little blue sky in Ireland and you cannot see the horizon. What you see is layers of mist that take away all the color from the background but enhance the brilliant greens of the sodden landscape. There really are "forty shades of green" there including hues of emerald that I have never seen elsewhere. The shifting clouds sometimes allow a shaft or two of sunlight to pass through, illuminating a single field with blazing green, and then just as quickly, the cloud-door closes and the green turns cool again.
I painted this picture from memory, not a photograph. I wanted it to represent the real Ireland, not the tourist illusion. It was a gift for my friend who accompanied me to Ireland. Many years ago we drifted apart, never to see each other again, but I hope that she still enjoys her Irish vista.
"Irish Mystical Horizon" is acrylic on Masonite, 18" x 14", December 1980.