Ireland: Sunday, July 21, 2013


I arrived in Ireland on Wednesday, July 17th and was driven from Shannon airport to Meadowfield B&B in Ballyvaughan by Thomas Connely. It’s wonderful to be back in the Burren. I have been spending most of my days here taking advantage of the very fine weather by going on little walking tours and talking with the B&B guests here at Meadowfield. The weather has been in the 80’s, sunny and with a nice breeze.

Yesterday I had a lunch with PJ Curtis to review a book project I’m currently working on. I got to know PJ because of a lecture he did for my students at the Burren College of Art (BCA) several years ago, maybe it was in 2008. After the lecture PJ and I had lunch at the BCA Cafe and found that we had many interests in common. He was a friend of the late John O’Donohue and much of our conversation that day was about O’Donohue’s writings and beliefs.

Yesterday I found that PJ is also a friend of another author that I much admire, Phil Cousineau, whose book “The Art of Pilgrimage” helped to inspire my direction and subject matter for the course content of Midwest Institute’s Ireland Study Trips and direct me to the focus of my 2009 sabbatical studies. After our lunch we looked through the drawings and layout of the book I’m working on, the preliminary title is “An Artist’s Notebook of the Burren”. The purpose of the book is twofold: 1) To serve as a portfolio of my drawings of the Burren; and 2) To help communicate to the visitor (tourist) that this landscape has an ancient history and a spirit of its own -while conveying that this landscape and its relics are not only beautiful but fragile and deserving of their honor and respect. I’m am happy to report that PJ was very enthusiastic and encouraging. We made plans to meet later this week where he will take me to to  places in the eastern part of the Burren that should be included in my book.

As I mentioned earlier the weather has been very fine but I see that it is suppose to rain tomorrow. It is now 2:30 in the afternoon so I should take this opportunity to take another of my walking tours. I will walk the road the skirts the foot of  Moneen Mountain and the foot of Aillwee Mountain, perhaps I’ll visit the ringfort of Cathair na hYamham.