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This was one of the paintings I completed during a residency at Cill Rialaig on the west coast of Ireland. It was a completely overcast sky (Ireland normal?) which is actually a perfect setting for painting. Because the sun is obscured, the light tends to be diffused and a mid-range in brightness. This condition makes the colors appear to our eyes as more saturated because they are not ‘washed out’ by the brightness of direct sunlight.

This particular flower, Foxglove, known locally as Fairy Fingers, was growing everywhere at Cill Rialaig. It is such a soft and beautiful flower that it caught my attention, yet it has another side: it’s poisonous! Perhaps this is the reality of life: things have more than one side and are not necessarily how they appear.

Practicing paying attention to ‘the other side’ of the things we see, is another example of Artful Awareness.

Fairy Fingers, original oil on canvas, 5″ x 4″

Original paintings and prints by Seamus Berkeley.

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