Sunday, February 28, 2016

Grania Uaile, the Pirate Queen

One of my Irish paintings was accepted in the OCAF 2015 Small Works exhibit.  Because the painting was so small I mounted it floating above a black back background in a deep square black frame.  This was the first time I had done a float frame and was very happy with the results.  The other painting that was accepted was the Sunflower and bee, which I framed the regular way.

The painting featured Grace, a half Old Irish goat kid that was staying at the Essence of Mulrany (pre-cropped painting at right).  Old Irish goats were once numerous in Ireland and now are endangered due to cross breeding and habitat loss.  The herd in Mulrany is one of the best remaining groups in Ireland and Grace was a delightful ambassador.

I named the painting "Grace the Pirate Queen" after Grace O'Malley (Grania Uaile) a local celebrity.  Grace lived in the 16th century, and like her father, was a notorious pirate.  She was known as the Pirate Queen.  During her rein she built, captured and maintained several small tower castles around the area.  We visited Rockfleet castle (Carrigahowleythat ) on the shore, about three miles west of Newport.  We also saw Kildavnet castle on Achill Island, near the passage between Clew and Blacksod Bays.

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