|Renvyle House Hotel, Connemara, County Galway, watercolor on Canson 140lb cold press, 7" h x 9" w, 2015. Michael Anderson|
In September my wife and I traveled to Ireland. She planned our trip based on her own skilled research along with hotel recommendations from a longtime friend who was born in Belfast. Our itinerary began in Dublin but our goal was to drive across the country to westernmost points and follow the scenic route known as the Wild Atlantic Way to the north. One of our stops was at the Renvyle House, an historic hotel on a 150 acre estate in County Galway. The ivy-covered house was built in 1915 in the Arts & Crafts style and was once owned by Oliver St. John Gogarty, a poet and surgeon. The character, Buck Mulligan, in James Joyce's "Ulysees" is based on Gogarty.
|View of the Renvyle House grounds from the orchard, watercolor on Canson 140lb cold press, 7" h x 9" w, 2015. Michael Anderson|
The property includes a stretch of rocky beach along the Atlantic, a fresh water lake and a small orchard with lovely views of the mountains beyond. I found a bench in the orchard and sketched the view. Seamus, a white horse that belongs to the estate for guests to ride, came up to the board fence that separates his field from the orchard and peered over to see what I was doing or rather to see if I had anything to eat.
|Seamus wanted to taste my sketchbook.|
He almost made a snack of my watercolors. The moment was one of the highlights of the trip. -Michael Anderson