Put some pencils or paints in the trolley on your essential shop this week and start prepping for Drawing Day 2020, taking place on Saturday, May 16. Galvanising the nation is the National Gallery of Ireland with the rallying cry “Go big and stay home”. The gallery has a line-up of online activities including a series of videos for children inspired by Gerard Dillon’s painting The Little Green Fields, all with the aim of creating a mini masterpiece. Curator Anne Hodge will be sharing some insights into new drawings in the Gallery’s collection by the artist George Wallace. Garter Lane Arts Centre in Waterford has online workshops with popular artist Don Conroy. In addition, The National Library of Ireland is encouraging people to create illustrations of their favourite Seamus Heaney poem and there’s also an online discussion about famous portraits of the poet. At The National Museum of Ireland studio Paper Panther will be leading a step-by-step tutorial on creating animations inspired by museum objects. Whether or not you get involved in these online activities or others, do take some time to put pencil to paper and enjoy doodling! Post your work using the hashtag #NationalDrawingDay and #InThisTogether; www.nationalgallery.ie
If you missed out on getting a miniature artwork at the recent Incognito Part One sale, good news is at hand. Part Two is available for preview ahead of the online sale which begins on May 28 at 10am. The first sale raised over €90,000 for the Jack & Jill Foundation, and it is hoped that more funds will provide a much-needed boost to this charity. The Foundation provides specialist home nursing care and support to?children with complex medical, life-threatening conditions, many of whom may never walk or talk or paint a picture themselves. The Incognito art lotto features 978 postcard-sized work by top artists such as Martin Mooney, Mick O’Dea, Sylvia Parkinson Brown, Una Sealey, Guggi, Martin Gale, Bridget Flinn and many more. Sold online on a first-click-first-served basis for €50 each, the identity of the artist is not revealed until the successful purchaser receives their art in the post, (the artist’s signature is on the back of the postcard). There’s plenty of time to browse the collection and hone your choices. www.incognito.ie
If, like me, you’ve rearranged quite a bit of furniture at home over the last few weeks and now have some empty walls which are crying out for some art, then you might be interested in a new app created by The Doorway Gallery which allows customers to view paintings from the gallery collection, hanging on their own wall at home. Owner Denise Donnelly explains, “People are finding it great fun. The app measures the exact size of the painting so the buyer can really get a good idea if it will suit their home. Also we are offering free delivery for customers in a ‘try before they buy’ option. We will drop off the paintings (if based in Dublin) for a couple of days – it’s always easier to make a decision when you have the artwork in situ.” Also worth noting is a series of artist talks called “Getting To Know You” which The Doorway Gallery is running until August. If you’ve ever wondered how artists work, each week a different artist will be profiled with a live question and answer session every Thursday at 6pm on Facebook. This week it’s Dan Henson known for his colour and texture. www.thedoorwaygallery.com
If you need someone to explain a few artistic basics or indeed want to entertain children for a while, then Northern Irish artist Aly Harte has been running daily demonstrations on her Youtube channel. She covers everything from colour theory to how to draw superheroes and ballerinas. Also for younger artists, reuzi – the minimal waste store in Foxrock, Dublin – has recycled cardboard castles and playhouses to build and decorate. The Big Colour-in Cardboard Castle and Big Cardboard Colour-in Playhouse, both €44.99, are easy to assemble – no glue or scissors are needed – and they can be painted, coloured or collaged. Order online for next day delivery www.reuzi.ie.
Finally, if you fancy giving some walls a new lease of life, why not investigate Colourtrend, the Irish-owned and operated paint company, established 65 years ago in Celbridge, Co Kildare. They have an inspiring Colour Visualiser service which allows you to upload a photo of a room to test a new colour from the Fan Deck Collection. Or upcycle some furniture – this sideboard is painted in Sin City, the walls are in Blooming Perfect from the collection. Colourtrend prices range from €75 – €82.50 per 5 litres; www.colourtrend.ie.
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