This was an interesting outing with Dublin Sketchers! How do I put it? Well, Store Street is not exactly a tourist location - it's got a big Garda station (that means police station in Ireland), railway bridges, buses, trams, and a lot of people walking by, or hanging around. The day we were sketching, there was flowers on the railing of the garda station, for the 13th anniversary of the death of a young man in garda custody in the police station. A lot of the locals walking by were clearly very resentful of the police (if you click on the link above, you will find the different points of view and details of the coroner's report). I even heard a father tell his son that the police inside the station had killed the young man.
So, maybe I wasn't as focused on my painting as I would normally be. Or the circumstances gave me a different energy.
Or maybe it's just that the first sketch was done in direct watercolour - no pen, no pencil.
And when I found I still had some time, I decided to go to pen only - somehow this month of direct watercolour is helping me to appreciate pen-only sketches! It was done in less than 10 minutes, starting with a visiting sketcher from Switzerland and a man who was quietly drinking behind him, and then the tree in the centre of the stone bench, finishing with the big concrete boulders strewn on the pavement (art or some form of protection against cars driving onto the plaza?).
An exciting afternoon, with a lot of visual interest. Do look at the Dublin Sketchers website to see how other sketchers looked at the scene.
And, yes, I did manage to fit both sketches into my Bloomsday project, with appropriate quotes - by the way, don't forget to go and see our sketchbooks in the James Joyce Centre if you're in Dublin. They will be exhibited there for a month or so. The James Joyce Centre is also running a beautiful exhibition by artist Frank Kiely, which I highly recommend. And while you're in the neighbourhood, drop over to the Olivier Cornet Gallery, who is running a Ulysses-themed exhibition, called Drawing On Joyce.
They passed the main entrance of the Great Northern railway station, the starting point for Belfast, where of course all traffic was suspended at that late hour and passing the backdoor of the morgue (a not very enticing locality, not to say gruesome to a degree, more especially at night) ultimately gained the Dock Tavern and in due course turned into Store street, famous for its C division police station.
He thought, but not for long, of soldiers and sailors, whose legs had been shot off by cannonballs, ending their days in some pauper ward