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Top of the morning to ye! Or to my Irish speaking brothers and sisters may I say mora na maiden dhuit!

The treasure at the end of our rainbow is neither a pot of gold or a cereal-eating leprechaun. Nil, me cara, the lucky prize bestowed upon us is a lovely lassie that goes by the fine name of Mary. Tip your hat to this fetching lady and take a seat so we can continue on with the day's festivities.


Here's another great example of my six years of art education (hey, I'm a slow learner) coming in handy. My illustration teacher taught me the importance of gathering an abundant and accurate collection of photo reference if the subject matter I'm taking on is foreign to me. Before the internet, it was typical for commercial artists to drag themselves to their local library to scour through their photo files for pertinent material. Of course only the main libraries of big cities had a decent photo reference library, so if you were stuck in a small town, you basically had to either travel to the closest metropolitan library to pillage through their filing cabinets, or hope your local library had a decent collection of books on African pygmies, King Henry XIII's favorite desserts, German Elektroboote submarines or whatever subject you were called upon to illustrate. Just as I don't have to stand up and walk to my TV to change the channel, I no longer have to drive five miles to get good photo reference on, well, cozy and charming Irish villages like the one above. I simply have to run a google "image" search. The hunt for such photo material isn't as compelling, but at least I have more time to spend perfecting the art I'm working on.


Now that I've wowed you into a frenzy with that wickedly stirring reflection, may we now return to the real reason we've gathered here: to acquaint ourselves with Miss Mary.


The theme of the above art came out of email and phone exchanges between Mary and I regarding, among many things, her heritage and her interests. she is an Irish maiden who considers herself a free spirit who lives to travel. It was that gypsy spirit within her that helped us arrive at this concept. The typical assumption is that Mary is on that dock waiting for the sea to return her man. If you knew Mary, you'd know the scenario would be in reverse with her off on some faraway activity. As Mary put it, " I like to think that I am looking out over the ocean planning my next adventure." And if you dare to join her in one of her many adventures, you will discover a giving person, a loyal friend, and a quirky partner in crime. I had the pleasure of experiencing some of those qualities when I met Mary in person last year.


From my point of view Mary made one heck of a lovely subject matter, and it's to her--and not the Blarney Stone-- that I have to thank for that artistic privilege.


Hugs and thanks Mar'. It's nice to have a new friend featured here in the gallery during my month of birth.

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