Céad Míle Fáilte!... (One hundred thousand welcomes!)

"Enchanting Ireland"... Take an artistic journey to the Emerald Isle as seen through the eyes and palette of American Artist, Bernie Rosage Jr. A collection of paintings and adventures inspired by two trips Bernie and his wife, Tami, took to the Emerald Isle. The first trip was in 2008 and the second was in 2014.

Bernie has been blogging their adventures and the background of this collection on this blog... browse around and enjoy yourself.

Paintings are available for purchase... Click HERE to see the collection, availability, and prices.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Who let the DOGS out?!... Irish dogs have moxie!

Out tour guide, Allie, mentioned that men from County Kerry referred to as "Kerry Men" had a certain presence and charm... here in the south we call it swagger or moxie. We found it to be true with our Jaunting Car driver Billy and also with a sheep herder/dog trainer named Brenden Ferris (pictured below). In fact... he had the charisma and looks of Tom Selick. In addition to being a dog trainer, Brenden owns the Kells Sheep Centre. He has won awards from shepherding competitions all over Ireland. We had the pleasure of seeing Brenden and his dogs in action...

He impressed us with his knowledge and skill in working his Border Collie sheepdogs. These dogs were amazing... with a whistle here and there Brenden was able to get them to do anything.

A certain whistle would have them separate the sheep into groups, another would bring them down the slopes, etc... These dogs were well trained and very smart...

probably the smartest dogs I ever saw until...

I saw this one on the streets of Galway City reading a storefront sign...

Seems even the dogs in Ireland have swagger and moxie...
swag·ger –verb (used without object)
1. to walk or strut with a defiant or insolent air.
mox·ie –noun Slang.
1. vigor; verve; pep.
2. courage and aggressiveness; nerve.
3. skill; know-how.
[Origin: 1925–30, Americanism; after Moxie, a trademark (name of a soft drink)]

Here is a video of a sheep herding demonstration by Brenden and his dogs at his Kells Sheep Centre, County Kerry.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A little American/Irish history... "In Memory of the Irish Volunteer... Wearing of the Green"

My painting below is dedicated to the members of the famed Irish Brigade who fought so gallantly for the Union during the American Civil War. In December 1862, after many hard months of hard fighting the regiments of the Irish Brigade turned in their ragged regimental flags... they were to be replaced at a ceremony set for December 13, 1862 but the brigade was called into action for the Battle of Fredericksburg and the tragic assault on Marye's Heights that day. The New York regiments went into battle that day without their green flags. In their stead, General Meagher and his staff gave a sprig of boxwood to every man to wear in his hat to identify them as members of the Irish Brigade. The 28th Massachusetts, the only regiment carrying a green flag that day, was placed in the center of the brigade as it made the assault. The results of the attack were devastating; the Irish Brigade that had gone into battle 1200 men strong, came out with only 263 standing between its five regiments. Sprigs of boxwood (the wearing of the green) were a common adornment on their hats from that time on.

"In Memory of the Irish Volunteer... Wearing of the Green"... 8x10" Oil on Panel, alla prima from life, 2008.

Click on image to see a larger view...

Close up...

I set up this still life in my studio paying special attention to the historical accuracy of the subject. The federal kepi is adorned with a sprig of boxwood and red trefoil corp badge which was distributed to the Union army just before the battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863. The Red Trefoil or Club denoted the Second Division, Second Army Corps which the Irish Brigade was assigned to for most of its service to the preservation of this country.

Check HERE for the status of this painting.

Pat's finished painting...

Here's Pat's finished painting from our painting challenge/swap... Bernie and Pat's Painting Challenge / Swap...

Pat's watercolor painting... Currently displayed in an art show titled "What I Did Last Summer"...
Click on image to enlarge...

Bravo Pat!

Pat's sister is also an artist... her name is Marge Drew... visit her art webpage HERE.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Nothing like viewing great art in person... Our visit to the National Gallery of Ireland...

As Tami and I walked the lovely streets of Dublin we came upon many interesting sites. One of the best treats for me was our visit to the National Gallery of Ireland... here we are pictured outside.

My advice... never pass up a gallery or art museum. Paintings should be viewed in person to get a true sense of their splendor where they can literally communicate with the viewer. So many times we only get the chance to see works by the masters in print or online... neither are able to rival the awesomeness of viewing a painting in real life... it's a rush for me!

Some people would be ecstatic if they could see their favorite singer or movie star in person... that's how I felt when I rounded the corner in the National Gallery and came face to face with one of my top five favorite paintings... Caravaggio's The Taking of Christ.
Caravaggio (Michelangelo da Merisi) 1571–1610
The Taking of Christ 1602 (Click on image to enlarge...)
Society of Jesus of Ireland, on loan to the National Gallery of Ireland

The man carrying the lantern at the extreme right, who looks inquisitively over the soldiers’ heads, has been interpreted as a self-portrait of Caravaggio.

I wasn't even aware this painting was part of their collection so this was a special surprise. The gallery was almost empty and it was if we were able to have a private viewing of this spectacular work. I handed Tami the camera and asked her to snap a photo of me with the painting... at that point the private viewing was over... a security guard (who appeared out of thin air) quickly informed us about the "no photos" rule and I was forced to commit the painting to memory... a good one I might add.

The painting has an interesting story behind it and how it came to be part of the collection at the National Gallery...

By the late 18th century, the painting was thought to have disappeared, and its whereabouts remained unknown for about 200 years. In 1990, Caravaggio’s lost masterpiece was recognized in the residence of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in Dublin, Ireland. The exciting rediscovery was published in 1993.

Read the complete story about the rediscovery HERE....

YouTube Video... The Taking of Christ - Caravaggio

The guard was very pleasant once we conceded and actually gave us a tour discussing several other works which included pieces by the likes of Canova, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Poussin, Monet, Velasquez, Picasso, Goya and John B. Yeats as well as Jack B. Yeats to name a few.

Another one of my favorite Old Masters was represented in the gallery.... Johannes Vermeer (1632–75). His painting Woman writing a Letter, with her Maid (c.1670) was another real treat for me to see and study intently in person.

Johannes Vermeer
Woman writing a Letter, with her Maid (c.1670)
National Gallery of Ireland

Viewing great art with a great lady in a great city... what more could I ask for?


Monday, August 18, 2008

Cool Video Ad for Dublin

Check out this cool video ad for Dublin City...

Click HERE to view it...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Small Study: Painting for Pat

Recently I mentioned about the painting challenge/swap between me and Pat...

I spoke with her via email the other day and she said she was working on her painting so I figured I better get started. I was experimenting with a limited palette... three colors plus white... the one used by the master Anders Zorn. Here's the result...

Pat's reference photo...

my interpretation...

6x8" Oil on panel, alla prima, using the Zorn palette (Yellow Ochre, Cad Red Lt, Ivory Black w/ Ultramarine Blue, and Titanium White), 8-14-2008.

Click on image to enlarge...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Works in Progress (WIPs) for series...

Here are three larger paintings in early stages that I am working on for the "Enchanting Ireland" series exhibit... I will share my progress on these and others from time to time...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The "Love Birds" exchange Claddagh Rings...

"The Love Birds and the Legend of the Claddagh"... 12x24" Oil on wood, Finished work by Bernie Rosage Jr. for the Enchanting Ireland Collection, 6-2009.

Click on image to enlarge...

The Claddagh ring is a traditional Irish ring, given in friendship or worn as a wedding ring. The design and customs associated with it originated in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh, located just outside the old walls of the city of Galway.
Our special trip to Ireland was in celebration of our 20th Wedding Anniversary. We were united in marriage May 22, 1988 at Muddy Creek Falls, Maryland. This trip was the honeymoon we never had twenty years ago.
In recognition of this special event we renewed our wedding vows and exchanged Claddagh rings in the small village of Claddagh on the Galway Bay.
Níl aon leigheas ar an ngrá ach pósadh.
(The only cure for love is marriage.)

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~ T. S. Eliot quote that was part of our original vows then and now...

Our view from the special spot we renewed our vows. Just as we (the love birds) finished... these two beautiful love birds showed up...

The Claddagh's distinctive design features two hands clasping a heart, and usually surmounted by a crown. The elements of this symbol are often said to correspond to the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown). The expression which was associated with these symbols in the giving of the ring was: "With my hands I give you my heart, and crown it with my love."
Thomas Dillon's in Galway City is the home to the original Claddagh ring and is still in business. These photos were taken of the signs on the building.

Some of thier famous clients...
John Wayne
Bing Crosby
Walt Disney
Princess Grace Kelly
Prince Rainear of Monaco
Gabriel Byrne
Mia Farrow
Barry Fitzgerald
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Director John Huston
Athlete Sonia O'Sullivan
Queen Victoria
George Kellogg
King George V
King Edward
Lady Dudley
Queen Alexandria
Actress Maureen O'Hara
Winston Churchill

The way that a Claddagh ring is worn on the hand is usually intended to convey the wearer's romantic availability, or lack thereof. Traditionally, if the ring is on the right hand with the design facing outward and away from the body, this indicates that the person wearing the ring is not in any serious relationship, and may in fact be single and looking for a relationship. When worn on the right hand but with the design facing inward toward the body, this indicates the person wearing the ring is in a relationship, or that "someone has captured their heart". A Claddagh worn on the left hand ring finger, facing outward away from the body, generally indicates that the wearer is engaged. When the ring is on the left hand ring finger and facing inward toward the body, it generally means that the person wearing the ring is married.

Check out this video of an Irish singer with a beautiful voice singing about the legend of the Claddagh Ring...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Small Study: Thatched Roof Cottage

Thatched Roof Cottage... 6x8" Oil on panel, alla prima, 8-2008. Small study for Enchanting Ireland series.

Thatched roofed cottages are a common site in Ireland... a beautiful site I must add. We visited Bunratty Folk Park where we got to see and go in several. The village was set up recreating the general feel of the 19th century with a period style village main street. The cottages came alive as we stepped back in time... we even got to enjoy the smell of peat fires burning in the cottage fireplaces.

Small Study: Galway Hooker #1

"Galway Hooker #1"... 6x8" Oil on Belgian Linen on panel, alla prima, 8-2008. Small study for my "Enchanting Ireland".

Galway City was one of our favorite places on our recent visit to Ireland. The bay has a beauty all its own... especially when the Hookers are out and about. I know what you're thinking... I thought the same thing when a friend said that I had to photograph and paint a Galway Hooker... I thought to myself "what kind of tour did Tami book?". The friend told me to go home and google "Galway Hooker"... the laugh was on me... they are a beautiful sailing vessel unique to the west coast of Ireland and the Galway Bay. This small painting was for a study of the sailing vessel for a large painting I am working on of Galway Bay... expect a few more of these small studies of Hookers in the future.

This small painting is for sale... check on its availability HERE...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Billy and The Irish Jaunting Car...

Tami and I got a real treat while staying in Killarney... a ride on a real Irish Jaunting Car. The real treat however was our driver, Billy... what a character!

Tami and I sat right up front in the driver's seat with him...

MISTAKE!!!!... he took a quick liking to my wife!

Of course I soon found out he took a liking to ALL women in general and my jealousy was soon replaced by his charming/witty entertainment! I wish I could remember his "1001 one liners"... everyone in the car took a fondness to him as he took a shine to ALL of the ladies. I came across this youtube video of an Irish Jaunting Car ride... can you guess who was driving?... that's right... our charming Billy!... a true Kerry Man according to our tour guide, Allie!

At one point Billy had Tami take over the reins and drive the car leading Rosebud (the horse) while he fixed the wheel. She did a great job... wish I had a photo of her doing so. The ride cost 13 euros per person and lasted about an hour. The ride and Billy's antics were worth the price but add the beautiful scenery of the Killarney National Park and the excursion was priceless!... especially when coming upon a scene like this...

If you are ever in Killarney... give Billy a call and set up a tour... you'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Welcome to Ireland Video...

Check out this awesome three minute video... a great summary of how beautiful Ireland is set to the music of Riverdance... "Lord of the Dance".

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bernie and Pat's Painting Challenge / Swap...

Tami and I met many great people on our tour... Pat and Kimberly were two of them. Pat and I hit it off from the very beginning... a day or two into the tour we found out that we were both artists... Pat works in watercolors and I work in oils. We decided to have a little challenge... submit three photos each to paint from. I am to select one of Pat's photos and she is to select one from mine... we paint then we swap... OK... more of a swap than a challenge. Whatever you call it the result will be a COOL keepsake from a new friend and a lasting memory of our trip to Ireland.

Pictured left to right: Tami, Bernie (me), Pat, and Kimberly (Pat's daughter).

Here are the three photos I took for Pat to choose to paint from....

Mutton Island Lighthouse, Galway Bay
Galway Bay Boats
Bicycle in Galway City alley... loose the blue plastic bag and this will make a good painting...

These are the three photos that Pat took for me to paint from...
Thatched cottage at Bunratty Folk Park...
Decorative window from Bunratty Folk Park...
A rock at Glendalaugh on a visit to the monistary ruins...
I'll be sure to post the paintings when finished...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Luck of the Irish

"Luck of the Irish" ... 7x5" Oil on Panel, alla prima from life, St Patrick's Day 2008.
Click on image to enlarge. Click here for details about this painting.

I painted this small still life from life on St. Patrick's Day 2008 in anticipation of our trip to Ireland. It was my way of experiencing the trip before we left just as my "Enchanting Ireland" series is my way of re-experiencing it since our return.

Small Study: Galway Bay #1... A View from Claddagh

"Galway Bay #1... A View from Claddagh"... 6x8" Oil on panel, alla prima, 7-2008. Small study for my "Enchanting Ireland" series that will exhibit August 2009.

Click on image to enlarge...

This scene of the bay is viewed from the small village of Claddagh... a small fishing village known worldwide for the Claddagh ring. This spot was special for Tami and I because we exchanged Claddagh rings and renewed our wedding vows here in celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary... the reason for our special trip to Ireland.

This small painting is for sale... check on its availability HERE...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The origin of this blog, "Enchanting Ireland" explained...

I just received some great news... my recent trip to Ireland will be the inspiration behind my first solo art exhibit set for the Baysden Gallery in August 2009. The exhibit is titled "Enchanting Ireland" and I have exactly one year to paint approx. 24 paintings for the show. I look forward to sharing this journey with you and could use your encouragement every step of the way. I have been sorting through the 1900+ reference images I took trying to chronicle a story about this special trip. I hope to capture the beauty of the country and her people in this special series... thus the reason for this new blog... ENCHANTING IRELAND.

Read my bio and visit my links in the side bar for additional info. I look forward to sharing this adventure with you...

Stay tuned...Bernie

Dublin Rocks!

While in Dublin... Tami and I came across some interesting spots of special interest to me.... proving Dublin ROCKS!

Here I am pictured at Rory Gallagher Corner in the Temple Bar area of the city. The late Rory Gallagher is one of my favorite strat playing bluesmen... I've included a video for you to check out.

There's a cool story about the bronze stratocaster above and it's dedication on Rory Gallagher Corner...
U2 Guitarist The Edge (or Dave Evans to his family) honoured the late great Blues strummer Rory Gallagher in May 2005 with a Bronze sculpture in Temple Bar... read more and see photos here... The Edge Honours Gallagher...

Here I am at a Dublin rocker's tribute statue... the late Phillip Lynott of the rock band, Thin Lizzy. Enjoy this video which includes another one of my favorite guitarist... Gary Moore who is from Belfast.
On August 20th, 2005, on what would have been his 56th birthday, a statue of Phil Lynott was unveiled in Dublin's Grafton Street by his mother. There to witness the event were members of Thin Lizzy from throughout the band's career. Later that evening they joined forces under the leadership of Gary Moore for a concert that paid tribute to Lynott's memory. Source: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Below is a photo of "The Clarence Hotel" located along the Liffey River in Dublin. The cool thing about The Clarence is that is owned by Bono & The Edge of Irish rock group U2... another one of my favorite bands. I have also included a video by U2.... enjoy....

Forgot to mention... we got addicted to CRAIC in Dublin!

Let me explain... CRAIC is the Irish word for FUN! It all started in Dublin... from day one we were addicted and "had good craic"... translated "had a blast"... the whole time we were in Ireland. We'll share some of our Craic'n good times with you over the course of the next few weeks... enjoy this video I found on youtube sharing GOOD CRAIC in Dublin...

Until our next post...Bernie and Tami

Bernie and Tami... News from Enchanting Ireland...

JAKERS! The "Wild Geese" return home!

Tami and Bernie pictured at the National Art Gallery in Dublin...

Bernie and Tami had a BLAST in Ireland!

Here we are pictured with our "Go Ahead Tours" group the night before our return home... a GREAT bunch of people. Click on image to enlarge.