Saturday, 27 December 2014


A just completed watercolour of three girls walking. I love painting figures and in this case, in an impressionistic way. The simplicity of the grouping, the light and the colours are what appealed to me. I left out the background, as I did not want any distraction from the figures. 7x10 ins approx. watercolour on fabriano artistico 300 lbs paper.


Wednesday, 24 December 2014


A very happy Christmas to all the people who visited my blog and all the lovely people on Google+ who liked my work. My thanks and appreciation. Best wishes and regards Joe.

The little painting, oil on board of Ron 7x5 ins.

Monday, 22 December 2014

October evening.

I was on my way home one October evening about three years ago, the sunset was a blood red and the glow of the headlights of the oncoming cars, was the inspiration for this watercolour. I was quite heavy with the washes, as opposed to transparent washes, as I wanted the effect and intensity of the dark trees against the vivid sky. 7x11 ins. Watercolour on fabriano artistico 140 lbs paper. I posted it on my dailypaintworks site.

Friday, 19 December 2014

New roof.

One from my watercolour sketch book, from a few years back. Not typical subject matter, I know, but the sunlight on the figures was amazing. Also, it is not everyday, that one comes across such a scene, so I gave it a go. Men on a roof, a small terrace house in a town in Ireland.  Watercolour 6x9.5 ins

Monday, 15 December 2014

Two men working. Kilkenny.

Another simple composition. Two men working on a street in Kilkenny in 2012. I left out the background, as I was interested only in the men and the light on them. Watercolour on paper 7x7 ins.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Simple country lane scene SE Ireland. Watercolour

I always try to achieve simplicity in my watercolours, not too much detail or overworking. The scene helps at times, in that it is simplicity itself, trees a lane and that is that. It's probably the simplicity of the scene that attracted me in the first place, I guess. A watercolour from 2008 7x11 ins. A scene a few miles from where I live.

Monday, 8 December 2014

A moonlit landscape with the North star.

A view from the back of my home. I am constantly observing and when it comes to painting some of those observations become part of the process in the painting. The painting today is a recent work, inspired by the landscape, but also my imagination. Such an approach, challenges one to create, without reference, so is a great learning process. Oil on linen panel 6x8 ins.
www.mahonart.blogspot. ie

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Three farmers taking a tea break in the west of Ireland.

I posted this painting on my page at the Daily Paint Works site. The farmers were sitting outside a cattle mart, and despite it being late August, the weather was cold and wet. So I am sure the hot drink was more than welcome. I had a bit of difficulty getting the tones right,  as the colour of the clothing of the three men was similar. I hope to do another version of this painting, as I quite like the composition. Oil on linen panel 6x8 ins.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014


I visited Austria many years ago and this painting is based on my visit to a beautiful lake there. Four young women were sitting on a bench, all bunched up together, enjoying the view, one September evening. For the life of me I cannot remember the name of  the lake. This painting hangs in my wife's office at home, as she likes it, so that is that, lol. It's oil on board, from a good few years ago, 16x20 ins.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Impressionistic sky after sunset SE Ireland.

I painted this little scene very quickly, simply because it was possible to do so on a small panel. It's fresh off the easel, 4x6 ins oil on linen panel. Great fun to do,  I just went for it with the palette knife. I posted it on the daily Paintworks site on one of the painting challenges there.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

View of Hook head lighthouse, watercolour study.

Hook head lighthouse is a major attraction for visitors to the South East of Ireland, myself included on occasion. It is one of the oldest lighthouses in the world and is situated on Hook peninsula in Wexford. My little study is of the lighthouse and the landscape around it, approx 7x10 ins. I added a touch of gouache to the building to get the highlight..... The lighthouse is  a bit rigid, but it serves as a study, and I was happy enough with the sky and setting, so I left it at that.

Friday, 28 November 2014

A helping hand.

 A watercolour study of two old ladies helping each other home. It's based on a scene near where I live. I wanted to see if the composition was good enough to try as an oil painting? It's like many others, that I did, an idea at the time, but never used as a basis for an oil painting. Still, such studies are invaluable on their own as a learning excercise and as a reference, if I ever do get around to doing an oil painting of of the scene.

Watercolour on paper 6.5x5 ins.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Mountain Road

I often paint figures into a landscape, to give perspective and life to the painting. There are so many wonderful views here where I live, that I am spoilt for choice at times. Anyway, this road along one of the lower slopes of the Blackstairs mountains was the inspiration for the painting, but I needed to add a figure, to bring the viewer into the work?  So, I added the man on the bicycle, a local character, who was always out on his bike, no matter the weather. I liked the contrast of of his orange /burnt sienna jacket against the blue sky, and the unpredictable clouds. Oil on board 14x11 ins

Monday, 24 November 2014

Moonlight walk, Fethard beach Wexford.

Fethard beach is a rugged beach that the tide covers once it is in, so  one has to be careful when knowing when to leave, or visit. It is near the famous Hook head peninsula and timeless. It is the site of an ancient settlement and nearby Tintern abbey. This painting is a moonlight scene, a woman and her dog out for a walk on the beach  8x12 ins oil on linen panel.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Done deal. SE ireland.

This painting started out in acrylic, as a study of men, striking a deal, over a pony.  I changed over to oil paint, as it progressed, to try and get the effects I wanted. The  scene is an annual event, here in the sunny south east, Borris fair. My composition changed over the course of the painting, ending up as the painting below.  Oil over acrylic 8x12 ins on board.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The view outside my house. SE Ireland. Acrylic on board

I only occasionally paint with acrylics, as I have posted in the past. I find them difficult and unpredictable, so I stick to oil paint and watercolours mostly. Having said that, when I do feel like a challenge, I get the acrylic paints out. The painting today, is the view up the road, outside my front gate. It's the Blackstairs mountains, with Wexford beyond. Acrylic on board 8x12 ins

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Sunlit cottage SE Ireland.

I'm posting another oil, on canvas board, completed about the same time as the painting in the last post. Sunlit cottage in an area where I live. The sunlight was late afternoon, and it was just hitting the side of the little country cottage. I know the scene is probably a bit old fashioned, but I just love scenes like this.  Oil on canvas board 10x12 ins.  All posted paintings are available either on this site, just contact me on facebook or email. Alternatively on my dailypaintworks page, see the link on the right of this page. Thank you.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Sunlit rural lane, SE Ireland.

I have been getting out early works recently and posting them on this blog, and on Google+, on my page there. The link is on the right of this page. I painted many of them on canvas boards at the time, for convenience and cost, and also because the boards were handy. The painting today is a rural one near where I live, nothing dramatic, but the dappled sunlight transformed the lane and the shadow areas. 10x12 ins, not my usual format, but as I say, they were handy, lol. One can clearly see, my love of using the palette knife. I used brush work in the background, and then the knife for the foreground.
These days, I tend to use the palette knife mostly, and only brushes to draw or define a shape.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Duncannon beach, Co. Wexford.

Duncannon beach, Dún Canann in Irish. It's a popular resort with a beach about a mile long. When I was a child my father used to take my siblings and myself there, to have a day in the beach, and buy some fish, on the way home, from the fishermen returning in the evening. I visited Duncannon several times,  a few years ago, trying to evoke memories of those days out. The little painting, 7x5 ins. is of a scene of two people enjoying the beach.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Windy day at Trámore strand.

Despite the wind and cloud, people still try and enjoy the beach. On this occasion, it was May, so it was a bit early for the high season, but there was a fair bit of activity. I captured these people,  just contemplating the waves and the sky, and making the most of the day. Oil on linen panel 8x12 ins.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Man on bike

Oil on canvas board 10x14 ins. An early work, when I was getting back into oil painting, after been exclusively watercolour for many years. It's a mixture of brush work and impasto. Canvas boards are handy for studies, but I am not keen on them for a major work. I find them a bit dry and stiff. Nowadays, I make my own linen panels or hardboard panels, which are far superior, and wonderful to paint on. Still, I quite like this one as it reminds me of getting back into oil painting.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Seven Sisters, Kent.

A few years back I experimented with surfaces for oil painting. One of the surfaces I used was wood. So I prepped this panel of wood, that my brother had left over from his house build, I think it was American oak. Anyway I sanded it and coated it with three coats of gesso, and then painted this scene. It's of the coastline in Kent, UK, called the seven sisters, in the days when I trekked all over the place in search of landscapes, lol.,_Sussex

I think it's about 10x7 ins or so. I now paint on hardboard or linen panel, still it was nice to experiment at the time.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Bather in the Atlantic Ocean

I am happy to report that I now have a new internet provider. So far it's better, and I said goodbye to the old provider of 8 years... Who was not keeping up. My son and daughter were not going to put with a poor service any that was that, lol. In recent months, it's been oil paintings that I have posted, so today for a change, it's a little watercolour. It's based on a bather in the Atlantic ocean. Watercolour 7.25x3.25 ins. I kept it muted and tight, lifting out some colour at the end. 

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Walking the dogs. Tramore beach. Waterford Ireland.

Tramore strand, in Irish known as Tra Mhor, or big strand/beach, has 3 miles of beach and people walk on it everyday of the year, for recreation or exercise. The painting posted is of a woman walking at speed, and her dogs trying to keep up with her. I loved the colours and the reflections of the figures in the wet sand. It's oil on linen panel 6x8 ins, available at my page at

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Cattle on Hook head, after sunset.

Trouble with the Internet again. I am getting a new internet provider tomorrow, one that people say is reliable. I painted this little painting, 6x8 ins, oil on linen panel. I used quite a bit of impasto to achieve what I wanted. The painting is  based on a scene on Hook head, Co. Wexford. Cattle were wandering across a field by the shoreline, on the peninsula and the backdrop is the mainland, Dunmore East. The famous Hook head light house is located here as well. The term by "Hook or by crook", a sailing term, is derived from sailors passing the head.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Woman sitting on a beach

The clocks go back one hour tonight...such a pity. The study today is of a young lady, having a rest the beach, sitting on a low chair, that is convenient and easy to carry. Women  think of everything, when it comes to getting organised.  Oil on board 6x8 ins. I just diluted the paint with mineral spirits or sansador and laid down the impression, keeping it fluid and fresh. It was useful to perhaps give me an idea to develop it further or just see the limits of the composition.. Simple is probably best in this case.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Cornflowers, pen and ink sketch

Well I joined Etsy, to increase my chances of selling... I will give it a go at least.

 So between all the sites, I will surely get mixed up. I read a lot about other artists and ways they sell online, and Etsy is one the sites people use. I have been up to Galway for the past few days, for my daughters graduation, a BSc in marine science. I am so proud of her.

Today's photo is a pen and ink sketch from a good few years back. I love the simplicity of it. I have not used pen and ink for many years, but then I was into it for a year or two.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Algarve traders

Two traders in Portugal selling hats, towels and stuff. Oil on linen 8x6 ins. I used optical mixing here and heavy impasto to create the effects I wanted. I put this up for sale on Daily paint works

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Study of an elderly couple

Study an elderly couple discussing a shopping list. It's oil on board without much detail. I just wanted to get the impression, 8x6 ins

Monday, 20 October 2014

Beach party.

I have been having awful trouble getting online. Being rural we are not as well connected. As the towns and cities, alas. Hopefully, it will be sorted soon. The painting below is 6x8 ins oil on linen on board. I uploaded this to

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Semi abstract, figures in London

I was not sure where I was going with this piece. So I just left it as it is, a semi abstract, oil on board, 6x8 ins. It is based people walking in a London street. I wanted to keep it loose and create an atmosphere.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

I post on dailypaintworks, and I often browse through the artwork of other artists there. I came across an artist, Julie Ford Oliver, who uses a palette knife and brushes, like myself, when painting with oil paint. Her oil paintings are wonderful, in texture and colour and she is hugely popular on the site. The link to her blog is. Or follow the link in my blog list, on the top right of this page. She has inspired me to continue with the way I have been painting in oil, as I was beginning to have doubts about my style and the direction I was heading. Regards Joe

The last of studies oil on paper, from a few years ago, a rural lane with trees, 14x10 ins

Monday, 13 October 2014

Sunday walkers study, oil on paper.

Two walkers on one of the many walks that criss cross the local area. The paper study from a few years back, was on oil painting paper, just the regular pad stuff.

I was interested in the light, the shadow, and the walkers, backlit against the light. Also, the tree trunk textures, were wonderful to render with a palette knife. I find that you learn an awful lot from such studies....14x10 ins

Friday, 10 October 2014

After sunset in the Algarve

When I was in the Algarve about two years ago, I used to go out just before sun down, to try and catch a spectacular sunset. I noted that, the best ones, were when there were some clouds in the sky.   There were some great sunsets, I must say. The painting today is a watercolour of dusk and the colours, after the sun has gone down. I suppose it's almost a semi abstract painting? The two headlights from a car on the road, give it a sort of focus point. It gets dark so quickly, as opposed to here in northern climes, where it stays light until about 11 pm in the summer, and then it's a gradual fading of the light. This painting watercolour on Fabriano artistico 140 lbs paper, 10x14 ins, was a pure experiment, not exactly what I was aiming for, but that is the great thing about watercolour, it's unpredictability.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Farm buildings study, oil on paper.

Farm buildings, 10x14 ins, oil on paper, off in the wilds, from a few years ago. The back drop is the Blackstairs mountain range, and this farm was tucked in the hills below them. Texture was the idea here, as I wanted to use the palette knife, without use of brushes to see how far I got.... The answer, brushes were needed to blend here and there, to get some soft edges. This piece, was pure experimentation and a try out for a painting on canvas or board. These days I seem to have settled for a 6x8ins or 8x6 ins size panel. I don't even do try outs, I just go for it. If it does not work, it's only a small panel, and I can easily start over. 

Monday, 6 October 2014

Cattle in a fog after Edward Seago.

I have long admired the artist Edward Seago, his paintings, both watercolour and oil, and his style. A style that has been much copied by artists the world over. I see his influences in many contemporary painters works. I am always keen to learn, and one way is to problem solve, when painting,  or see how another artist painted a particular scene etc. Seago was a great one for creating mists and atmosphere in his work. I particularly liked the painting posted today, that I saw in an art book of mine. So much so, a few years ago, as an exercise, I had a go at making a copy, to learn and for the enjoyment of painting. It is vital that one develops a style of his of her own, no matter if it is not like the great artists.... It's ones own individual style that sets artists apart.

Oil on cotton canvas 12x16 ins, after Seago.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Oil on paper landscape study.

 I am a bit late posting today, I was tied up with a few other things. I joined Saatchi art as well. I am not sure if it's me really, as my stuff is more of a traditional style. No harm in giving it a go, I will see how it goes. It's a full time job, this promotion stuff, in an effort to try and get established. The competition is truly fierce and vast.

The painting today is a study of a local landscape, oil on paper 10x14 ins. It's from about 2006, and I was truly experimenting with colours and impasto. Being only paper, one can be relaxed, as it's not an expensive canvas to mess up.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Acrylic study on gessoboard.

I was toying with the idea of doing a few acrylic paintings again. So I tried out on the study posted 6x8 ins. A cottage at the bottom of a hill, near where I live. The evening light coming from the background. It takes a while to get used to acrylics over oils, but when they work for you, they are great. I was tentative doing this painting, but I was pleased with the tones I managed to achieve. I think perhaps, it needs further work? Maybe darken the foreground, or lighten the background.

I have not decided yet whether to invest in some more acrylic paints or stick up on more oil paints. Decisions, decisions.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Autumn lane. Ireland

I was not sure what to post today, as I am not in the middle of any theme,  at the minute, with regard to my paintings. So here is a little painting that I did a few years back, of a scene near where I live. An autumn theme. It's a quite little country road, with Mt. Leinster in the background. I loved the long shadows that formed a pattern in the road, with the little white cottage drawing the viewer in. Oil on linen board, 6x8 ins.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

My. Leinster view 2

My painting today, is of a second view of a road on Mt. Leinster. The first painting is what I worked up as a composition, then the finished painting, unframed. The third image, is that of the painting and what it looks like in a frame. Of course a buyer, would choose a frame, or the framer. Mine is only for demonstration purposes. Oil on board 6x8 ins.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Mt. Leinster view.

I recently completed this view of an area around Mt. Leinster. The first version is before, I laid into it with the palette knife, to create a ruggedness and liven it up, with texture and form. I then popped the painting into a frame that I use a lot, to check whether a finished painting works or how it looks framed. Oil on board 6x8 ins.

                                             The initial version, before the palette knife.

                                         What the completed versions looks like in a frame.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Harvest Sky

The little painting below is only small, 4x6 ins, but I think it still works. Travelling back from a trip to Dublin one time, I noticed this beautiful sky over wheat fields, here in the South east. The sky and the clouds were the interest for me here, keeping the foreground detail to a minimum. I used a palette knife mostly over brushwork, to get the texture and blending I wanted.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Blackstairs range study 3

The last in a series of studies of the Blackstairs range of mountains here in the south east of Ireland. Again it's acrylic on paper, 10x14 ins. I have trouble with acrylic, in that I never get used to the colour shifts between wet and dry.... I know there are open acrylics available now as well, where it's claimed, there is little or no colour shifts. I struggle with the medium, I have to admit. I would love to master it, as it would suit many of my ideas,  impasto, texture and pure colour. I get so frustrated with it, so easily.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Blackstairs mountain towards the White mountain, Ireland.

A second acrylic study on paper. This view was a preparation for a painting in oil. It's an area on top of one of the Blackstairs peaks, near an ancient stone called the Rathgeran stone. A couple of  years ago, I trekked up,the mountains to search for views and landscapes. It was tough, but it was one of those challenges that I had set myself to do. It was exhausting, but wonderful. This is a view, 10x14 ins, looking south, with New Ross and Tramore and Waterford visible 30 and 40 miles away. The sun just catching some peaks and adding some light to the landscape.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Landscape towards Graignamanagh. County Kilkenny.

 This a brooding landscape of the hills that surround an ancient town, Graignmanagh, in Kilkenny county. The hills are landmarks, that can be seen for miles and miles, from at least three counties. The sun just lit up the autumn fields for a few minutes, and the contrast with the dark clouds, was truly dramatic. The painting is acrylic on paper, 10x14 ins, painted a few years ago as a study.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Girl with a towel on her head

Watercolour 4.5 x 4 ins. The painting today is a very small watercolour, of a young lady, protecting her head from the intense sun, but still getting her tan.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Study of two young women with beach towels

        I posted this painting on Facebook yesterday. It's a study of two young women preparing to enjoy the beach. The spot has been selected, now it's just getting that towel in place. In a future painting of this subject, I will adjust the composition,  I think, more foreground? It serves as a study for the moment, oil on board 6x8 ins