My life in Ireland

In 1972 kwam ik voor het eerst in Polranny, Ierland. Het werd mijn ‘thuis’ buiten Nederland.

Mike pruning the Griselinia

Polranny, Co.Mayo, Ireland is my home away from home since 1972.

The kitchen gets painted/De keuken wordt geschilderd

Ik ben deel van een groep vrienden die zichzelf de Polranny Pirates noemen. De plek bestaande uit een huis en een Folly omgeven door een hectare tuin is vanaf 2008 ondergebracht in Stichting Polranny Pirates.

There I’m part of the Polranny Pirates a loose group of creative friends who have made the house, Folly and surrounding garden in Polranny their hideaway. In 2008 The informal situation was formalized into a foundation: Stichting Polranny Pirates

A picnic along the Atlantic drive/ Een picknick aan de Atlantische kust

In Polranny houd ik me vooral bezig met het onderhoud en de verfraaiing van mijn leefomgeving. Ik heb er ook de geneugten van de Engelse taal ontdekt en het tekenen in de openlucht. 

Ierland Last year's wood is for the stove - Peti Buchel

De kachel in de Folly/The stove in the Folly

Mrs Masterson at the grave of her husband/Mrs Masterson aan het graf van haar man

When in Polranny I keep myself busy maintaining and beautifying my environmentIreland has taught me to love the English language and sketching in the open air.

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My life in Ireland

395 Riny

Monday July 13th, 2020 10:55 AM (Peti Buchel)

On the Friday after I came home from my weekly visit to Annie Cathrine and my daily walk, Lidie called from Amsterdam. It was around 8PM. Lidie would never call at that time, she would be either glued to the box or gone for her weekly visit with her mates to Saarein. She told me right away that Riny died from suicide. I registered it immediately but still couldn't comprehend. Lidie droned on that she had learned it from the Whatapp group she and her mates from the weekly club have. The news came from Lizet. Apparently Riny had been thinking about ending her life for the last couple of years. Since January she had shunned contact with her friends. Phone calls, messages and emails went unanswered and because of lockdown she saw anyone. I had called Riny several times and mailed her a couple of times, without getting a reply. This was unusual. Also she had held off anything concerning Polranny Pirates. I wanted Darren to paint a couple of rooms in the house during lockdown but she had answered that (I presumed because of the debacle with the interim treasurer) she wanted thing to calm down before any new jobs were taken on. She had also never reacted to my message that we had a new car. Something she had nagged me about for the passed two years. I hadn't understand, but now slowly the reason dawned: she had not wanted to be thrown off her goal to die. On May 15 2019 Riny and I met for an informal in broodje Mokum on the Rozengracht a favorite old-fashioned sandwich bar of both of us. Bertje was in Morocco at the time. It wasn't a Polranny Pirates' board meeting, but she wanted to hear about how things stood in Polranny. She was always very supportive and loved Polranny. It wasn't the last time I met her, but it was the last time I made a sketch of her.

394 Farewell to Riny

Monday July 13th, 2020 04:31 AM (Peti Buchel)

With infinite sadness I learned on Friday night that Riny our mate at Polranny Pirates committed suicide on that day (10-07-2020). Riny was assisted during her suicide by two dear friends (who now might face murder charges as assistance by suicide is considered a capital crime). One of them wrote to me afterwards: 'Hi Peti, Condolences with this great loss. It must have come as a great shock to you. But please know that Riny found it very difficult to confide in you about her feelings and craving for 'the nothingness' as she has termed it for so long. Especially because she cared so much about you and it would have been a 'conversation killer'. She took her (according to me) courageous decision with conviction. It wasn't an act of desperation. It felt for her as a relief. That doesn't diminish  the loss and sadness for those she leaves behind. But maybe it makes it a little better to bear. She composed the farewell card with your Flying Riny drawing herself. Many thanks for sending me the drawing. I wish you strength in this difficult time. Love, Eveline.'
(Ha Peti, Gecondoleerd met dit grote verlies, het moet een ongelooflijke schok voor jullie zijn.Maar weet dat Riny het moeilijk vond om jullie deelgenoot te maken van haar gevoelens en verlangen naar ‘het niets’ zoals ze het betitelde al zo lang.Juist omdat ze zo op jullie gesteld was en het een ‘conversation killer’ zou zijn.Haar naar mijn idee moedige beslissing nam ze in volle overtuiging, het is / was verre van een wanhoopsdaad en voelde voor haar als een opluchting.Neemt het gemis en verdriet voor hen die achterblijven niet weg, maar verzacht het hopelijk enigszins.Haar afscheidskaart - met “Vliegende Riny”, fantastische tekening van je ! - heeft ze grotendeels zelf qua tekst al samengesteld.Geweldig dat je het nu zo snel in het gewenst formaat met kleurcodes hebt aangeleverd.Veel dank!Sterkte gewenst en veel groeten en liefs Eveline)

393 Erika

Saturday June 27th, 2020 12:18 PM (Peti Buchel)

I got to know Erika through Cultuur&Co a network of independent contractors and freelancers working in the field of the arts and culture. Erika was looking for a treasurer for her not for profit organization by the name of &Tree. The aim of &Tree was to facilitate so called Social Context Art. That type of art could involve quite a range of focus from performances, theater, radio, public interventions to books and exhibitions. Erika was a photographer fascinated by the concept of 'At Home' and 'Belonging'. She lived in Rotterdam and most of her work involved things that were typical for that city. The biggest thing &Tree did was organizing the celebration of 100 years of Chinese people in Rotterdam as an art project. Erika did the project with two Chinese Dutch artists. They involved the entire Chinese community in Rotterdam in their project that was centered around Katendrecht the area where the original Chinese who came to Rotterdam settled, lived and had their businesses. The whole art project stretched over a periode of 3 years. I only came in at the end when the finances had become extremely complex. I loved it. Erika herself was born in South Korea and adopted by a Dutch couple from 'De Achterhoek'. She had a happy Dutch childhood, but never found her birth parents. She married another adopted Korean, Won. Won did find his birth mother. They had twin girls Hanna and Bo and were very happy till Won was diagnosed with cancer and died three months later. When I became 70 I gave up my task as treasurer. This is a sketch I made during the last meeting: from left to right Linda Hu, secretary, Liesbeth Roodbol, chair and Erika, artistic director. The meetings were usually held in an Italian Restaurant across from the Central Station in Rotterdam.

392 Won's bicycle

Saturday June 27th, 2020 08:49 AM (Peti Buchel)

Working on my renditions of Won's bicycle I was really glad I did not agree to the offer of money from Erika. There are plenty of artists who specialize in sporting activities and equipment. I'm not one of them. I have never before taken any sport as a subject for a sketch. My personalized picture for Facebook might be me on skies racing down a mountain, but that has little to do with reality. It was a cartoon for Beeldleveranciers made during a session with a client. I later came to use it as a cartoon of myself with the subtitle 'downhill all the way' indicating that in my life nothing could be expected from me anymore. Anyway, the photographs Erika took of the bike, its details and accessories were not very informative. She had not been very concentrated when she took them. She was totally forgiven. When studying the photos most of the time I didn't know what I was looking at. And then the wheels... quel horreur! The wash and Indian ink was a good idea. I also discovered why my lines were thin and scratchy: before use I had to grease the pen with my tongue. Something I had completely forgotten, but when Alfie had asked me why the pen didn't hold ink I automatically answered : 'you have to lick it before using'. My passive knowledge had come to to the surface of my conscious again. I did it and I hope never again. Never again from photos anyway. In total I made five drawings: the handle-bars, the shoes, the helmet, the inner tube repair kit and the saddle with a small sketch of Won on the way to a mountaintop. It's finished now after nearly three months. Fortunately Erika has been patient.

391 A gift

Monday June 22nd, 2020 10:50 AM (Peti Buchel)

Apart from going again to horse riding lessons Jake and Geraldine's young daughter, Sam, is doing an extra curriculum cooking course in a wellness center on the island. I had already sampled her scones. Now her father brought me the traditional soda bread she had just made. Well done, Sam! It was delicious!

390 Memories

Monday June 22nd, 2020 10:48 AM (Peti Buchel)

In the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown D&W and I had started twice a week a Whatsapp video evening together. I would read from my blog 'D'un Temps Perdu' and Willem would read from the memoirs he had been writing for years. It was of his life and times and was ment for Hesseltje. Willem has a cast iron memory for details and is able to built a scene from the past with accuracy, imagination and detachment. I had been already reorganizing my blog now that I had found more old work and had done more work on my time on the ABK that I attended in Arnhem from 1965 till 1970.  Fired by the twice weekly readings and Willem's attention for details in his own memoirs, I also got more and more detailed. Whenever I had a little portrait at the ready I would write a vignet of a classmate or a friend. Later I started to pull old graphic stories apart to use individual frames as drawings illustrating an episode from my life. In all I added nearly 80 posts to my time at the ABK. I wrote about nearly everything and everybody and of course my progress in the arts and travels. After finishing the ABK I extensively wrote about my first visit to the States and after that about my first two years in Arnhem with Hank. Sometimes I had to write in the morning what I would be reading in the evening. It was the same with Willem. He discovered omissions and badly edited parts of his descriptions of his family's history, his early childhood and his hometown Zwolle. And he added more remembered events. Once you start remembering, there is no stopping. The readings kept us off the street and into lockdown so to speak. When my writing landed me with Hank in Connemara I suddenly ran out of drawings. For the first time I had to resort to 'fakes' (sketches made to fit). I used a 1974 photograph Con made for a drawing of the Octagon in Westport and I used my fantasy for a remembered portrait of our friend and solicitor Paddy Shanley.

389 Alfie

Monday June 22nd, 2020 10:34 AM (Peti Buchel)

A couple of days after my first visit to Dooagh I went there again to finish the second wash and Indian Ink drawing. This time young Alfie, the son of Jake and Geraldine was home.  As the weather was kinda grey and damp Jake had made room for me in front of the window where  otherwise the B&B guests have their breakfast. It is now a kind of communal study. Geraldine was working from the upstairs  landing. She works with Tusla and since Covid-19 she is doing her consultations by telephone. With me in the temporary study was Alfie. The other time his father had told me how talented in sketching his son was if he only could get himself to do it. It sounded to me as the typical father-son goings on. Alfie was fooling away on the laptop. I asked him if he was willing to give the view a try. If he was as good as his father boasted, I wanted to see it. Alfie took up my challenge I think because he was bored. We worked steadily till his mother came in with scones his young sister had made in Covid-19 extra-curriculum class. I took a peek at Alfie's drawing. It was bloody good. Not overly detailed, but nice and easy. Since I was eating I offered him my pen and ink for a try. He had a good clear line. No frantic shading going on. Hmm... he was good. I wanted my pen and ink back. Turns out his grandfather had provided him with all kinds of artist's materials a.o. Indian Ink a penholder and nibs. 

388 View of Dooagh

Monday June 15th, 2020 12:10 PM (Peti Buchel)
Another exercise with a wash and Indian Ink. The importance is not to panic when a great big splash seems to ruin everything. When I started the greater part of the top of Croghan Mountain was covered with a very white cloud. I put in the outline of the mountain and the wind took hold of my brush and caused a bad splash where the white cloud was supposed to be. Later the cloud lifted somewhat and the top came into view. The dark spot could easily be masked. More difficult was the black dot of ink that fell from the pen. i thought of retouching it on the computer, but I decided to leave it like that. All in all I start having more fun using this technique. I have put the old card table of my mother and a folding chair in the boot of the car. And I reinstated the wooden box I made in the eighties for on the back of the Bert's motorcycle. With the ink pots one needs a lot more preparation before one sets out to make a sketch. This sketch was made in de garden of Jake Scott and his wife Geraldine O'Malley's house. They live on the Tower Road, the Dooagh end of the track that starts at the Slievemore cemetery. Drawing the houses of Dooagh was rather daunting, but worth the time spent on it. I'm rather pleased with the effort. I'm looking forward taking this forward.

387 Exercises

Friday June 12th, 2020 10:46 AM (Peti Buchel)

It wasn't easy to work with a brass pen stuck in a penholder again. The nib of the pen kept hooking into the uneven surface of the watercolor paper. It caused the ink to spay any which way making blobs of ink in unwanted places. I had not used pen and Indian Ink in 25 years. The last time I used it was when I did the 'Alie Snoek' graphic story. When working on cartoons as 'Beeldleveranciers' I initially used a soft pencil and a little later switched to the marker pen. I never like the marker pen for sketching. The line was too glib. The resistance of the special quality smooth paper was nil. The 'writing' did not have a personality of its own. My handwriting disappeared. The only 'personality' that was left was in the style. When picking up sketching again I took to the fountain pen solely because it was less hassle as traveling with loose nibs and ink. Now there was no reason why I could not try it again. Traveling was out of the question and I promised to do Won's bicycle. And as I could not actually sit next to the object and see it to sketch, I had to try something else. But using the pen again proved a challenge. I had studied the lines of the old drawings and they were full, varied and beautifully strong. When I now put the pen on paper the lines seem hesitant, thin and scratchy. A continuing line was out of the question. It were only short strokes that I managed. And the worst was that it showed. Also I had never worked with a wash as basis for a sketch. I needed to do some exercises before I could go back to where it all started: Won's bicycle. This sketch is the view of Kildavnet and Cloughmore on Achill Island from Corraun with Grace O'Malley's Castle in the middle.

386 Indian Ink

Friday June 12th, 2020 10:42 AM (Peti Buchel)

The idea behind the wash was that I would overlay it with a drawing with pen and ink. I could not use the fountain pen and its black cartridge. The ink is not really black. It is a very dark grey. When I scan a drawing into the computer I have to import it as a 'text'. If I import it in 'Grayscale' the lines show as gray. If I first put down a wash as I intended to do with the drawings of Won's bicycle I had to use a sketch bloc that had the pages glued down so it wouldn't get crinkled when wet. Paper for watercolors come glued. Fortunately Marie Oosterbaan had left several blocks of watercolor papers behind in the house. I better try those first before I went into the expense of buying stuff I would use only once. The Indian Ink I found in the house had turned into rubber. It turned out that it was actually quicker and a lot cheaper to get it in Holland and have it send to Polranny by DHL then order it from Evans' artists supplies in Dublin. Akkie and Con kindly took care of buying and sending a half liter bottle of Talens Indian Ink. It took a few days longer than anticipated to arrive, but as soon as I got it I went to the house of Cynthia and Marina in Corraun where I had done two washes of two different views from their sitting room. Here the view of Corraun Mountain and the scattered houses of Corraun village.

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