Temple Bar can be a busy spot on a sunny Sunday afternoon, but the Icon Factory is tucked away between Fleet Street and the Liffey and provided the perfect location for sketching. It's well worth a visit - they are an artist cooperative who are literally reclaiming the streets; they have beautiful art on display, and the Icon Walk will take you through a who-is-who of Irish Icons.
A special thanks to Aga and Iwona for making us feel welcome. And to Amolika, who kindly agreed to be sketched!
You will find photos of Dublin Sketchers in action on the Icon Factory Facebook page! "
Well, since I wrote the little blurb on the Dublin Sketchers's blog, I thought it was ethical for me to use the same text here! Well, we live in an age where people assume that what's online is free to use for whatever they want. I know some art teachers who have found their art used without acknowledgement to advertise somebody else's workshop! Crazy stuff, isn't it! But I wrote the piece, so it's mine to use and re-use if I want!! I'm just being lazy, actually. I could write a different little piece telling you all about the brilliant afternoon I and Dublin Sketchers had at the Icon Factory instead.
How would it go? Do I write differently here? Let me try:
Temple Bar is a horrible part of Dublin - full of drunk tourists and locals, and a few lost Americans looking for the traditional music! The price of a pint goes up as the evening wears on. It was supposed to be the art centre of Dublin. It's just full of mega-pubs and restaurants, even the Hard Rock Café. Nothing cultural. Nothing Irish. It could have been so wonderful. And the non-commercial alleys are full of litter, and probably used syringes if you look closely. But an artist cooperative called The Icon Factory decided to reclaim the streets. They have painted wonderful portraits of Irish Icons over the drab walls of the back-streets. You can take the Icon Walk and you will see James Joyce, Sinead O'Connor, lots of writers, singers and sports personalities. And the Icon Factory is a beautiful little space where you can buy reproductions of some of the art, in cards or mugs or art prints. They even have a workshop next door where you can see the artists in action. Last week, Dublin Sketchers descended on the area like locusts (well, maybe not locusts - we came in peace and we left the area as we had found it after all). We settled all around the footpaths and started sketching. It was a beautiful afternoon and my opinion of Temple Bar has changed. The power of Art!
And here is what I did. All sketched on location. Colours added later (middle version shows the colours I added in the pub we met in after our sketching time; I finished the watercolour work at home)