Friday, July 23, 2010

Sunday Afternoon on Corlea Bog,


On a scorching spring Sunday a small group of us from Mullingar Art Guild spent some very enjoyable hours painting and gathering inspiration together at Corlea, Keenagh, Co. Longford.

My friend Mary Weir and I arrived early. It was already very hot and as we stopped along the way for a coffee we joked about really only needing the one tube of Burnt Umber(brown) to paint with on the bog.

Oh how wrong we were! I think when many people think of the bog they just think brown brown brown. Acre after acre of dark brown. But when you open your eyes and actually look around it is full of colour. Oh my God, what and incredibly beautiful world you made for us. The cloudless sky was a warm and vibrant blue, the gorse was in full bloom and underfoot on the track that led us deep into the bog, tiny tiny wild flowers sprung back up even after our heavy clumsy feet stepped on them. I dont know the names of the flowers. Pink and yellow, growing so close to the ground that unless you looked closely you would have missed them.

Patches of bog cotton grew on tufts of coarse grass amid the heather which although not now in bloom, were a gorgeous shade of rusty heathery green. Deep dark pools of water at the base of the cutaway reflected the sky and turf adding colour and richness to the brown peat. Even the peat/turf undulating in the heat seemed to hold purples and siennas.

In the distance a cloud of what I at first thought was smoke, rose high in the air. Worried that it might be a fire, what with the day being so hot, I stared at this moving cloud. After a minute or so we burst out laughing as we realised it was dust rising in the wake of a moving tractor in the distance.

As we settled down to paint each of us with our own unique vision, I was struck by the beauty of the straight lines of worked bog receding into the distance with furrows of vegetation and wild life adding depth, life and colour to this magical place.

A hare hopped along nearby, going about its business, then stopped right in front of us, staring at this strange collection of people painting, sketching, or photographing his home. Not a bit afraid, he watched for a few moments, then with a shake of the head off he went. Bliss.

In between painting and trying to prevent the dust from said tractor sticking to the painting, I took a walk over the springy ground with my camera. It is amazing what you see when you really look at things with attention. Most of the time we are on automatic pilot/cruise control, paying scant attention to right here right now.

As I have said before, "Beauty is where you look for it". What a shame we miss so much richness and Joy so much of the time.
Tremendous joyous peaceful happiness is there for us whenever we slow down and just take the time to notice the good where we are right now.