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  • Writer's pictureBrian Keeler

Irish Journal- The Painting Trip 2018

Updated: Feb 10

Irish Journal- October 2018

Brian Keeler

The Wild Atlantic Way- The road that follows along the west coast of Ireland has been revealing many absolutely stunning land and seascapes in county Donegal as we wend our way south.

This oil painting on the easel, shown here (below) after finishing the session at the beautiful spot on Mallaghmore Head in County Sligo- the home of my ancestors who departed Ireland in the late 19th century.

Above- "Evening Light, County Sligo" this 18" x 20 oil on linen was done en plein air on the west coast of Ireland.

This view painted this afternoon with sublime and soft light and warm weather and no wind too!

The amazing coastlines near Carrick have been incredibly dramatic and any one spot could inspire dozens of paintings- so this two week tour going by fast.

Interesting to learn that the American Painter Rockwell Kent also appreciated the raw visual essence of this area of Ireland and made his home here for a while.

The pub scene for dinners and listening to Trad music, as in Carrick has been a wonderful reward at days end. The warmth inside- from music, conviviality, peat burning fireplaces and a Guinness all wonderful. I chatted with the Fiddle player at Evelyn’s Pub in Carrick and he said one waltz they were playing went back maybe a thousand years! It came back to County Donegal via Iceland.

Politics is also in the offing here as the Irish just voted in Michael Higgins for another seven years as president. The comparisons to American politics are carved in high relief. Watching the presidential debates on TV was a model of civility and respect.

Higgins is a well-spoken fellow and an award-winning poet to boot. He could easily be categorized as an anti- DT. The one fellow who ran with fomenting a fear-based anti-immigrant agenda only got about eight percent of the vote. If we Americans could be as fortunate.

So appreciating the primordial beauty of timeless rocky coasts and austere treeless midlands makes for an effective balm to the strident divisiveness of current events in America.

Atlantic Arias- New Work by Brian Keeler from Ireland and Maine at the Laura Craig Gallery, 307 Linden St in Scranton, PA - On show from December 2108 through January 2019. The paintings from this Irish sojourn will be part of this exhibit. There will be gallery open house of Friday, Dec 28 from 5 to 8. The Gallery is open by appointment 570-963-7995 or

Preview the works from this show and other works from Scotland and Ireland on Go to the gallery icon.

There will be second showing of these works at the North Star Art Gallery in Ithaca during the Spring of 2019.

And- another iteration of the show with new works from New England will be held at the North Star FIne Art- on the Commons in Ithaca, NY starting on March 1, 2024.

To view a short video of some of these paintings in progress- go to this link;

And to listen to a wonderful audio presentation by Erika Funke of WVIA- FM on Keeler's art of Maine and Ireland.

Brian Keeler painting a plein air in County Sligo on the west coast of Ireland with Linda Graves.

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