December 1

Another beautiful morning as we headed to Downpatrick Head!

Jutting out into the ocean and rising 131 feet above water, it is 3 miles from Ballycastle, - a visual landmark for the area. According to folklore, a pagan chieftain, named Crom Dubh lived on the sea stack. When he refused to follow the Christian way, St. Patrick hit his staff on the ground and the stack separated from the mainland. Crom Dubh was left to die. There are ruins of a church, holy well and stone cross – the site of a church founded by St Patrick.

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In WWII, the Downpatrick was used as a navigational device for planes. Rocks were placed in the sod to declare Ireland’s neutrality.

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Next, we took to the backroads looking for sketching sites. Although the country side is stunning with its hedgerows and green fields, I realized that I need  some “current” - water, in particular.  After a few attempts staring at the hillside, I retreated back to Bunatrahir Bay- my favorite place.

 I have found that leaning a board against the rocks suits me better than an easel.  I sketched and painted the image below - hands freezing - but so exhilarating! The skies were moving and changing color!

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As I was finishing,  the light and clouds shifted dramatically as the sun dropped in the sky. The picture does not capture the beauty of the moment.

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