An Arty Day Out!

Explorer Beastie at the RHA Gallery - CrawCrafts Beasties
In Ireland, it’s very tempting to hide yourself indoors at this time of the year… and remain there until dire necessity (buying food, going to work, zombie home invasion) forces you outside. I for one could happily spend February living on instant noodles and baked beans while binge-watching “Murder, She Wrote”, but fortunately Explorer Beastie is a more active fellow, who constantly demands entertainment, fresh air and brain food (surprising for one whose head is literally full of fluff). So yesterday, I put down my knitting needles and took the two of us off to another of our favourite destinations – the RHA (Royal Hibernian Academy) Gallery, a mere stone’s throw from St Stephen’s Green and Grafton Street in Dublin’s south city centre.

This great little gallery deserves more visitors than it seems to get – I suppose a lot of people overlook it, and head to the National Gallery a little further down the road instead. But while the majority of the National Gallery’s exhibitions remain static, the RHA always has something new on its walls. In fact, I’ve never seen the same thing there twice! It’s also small enough that you could see everything in a short visit, and it’s also FREE IN! What’s not to like?

When we were there yesterday, three artists had their work on display. We started out with Maeve McCarthy’s “The Return”, a collection of nightime landscapes in charcoal inspired by a visit to the farmhouse where she and her family spent summers as children.
Explorer Beastie at The Return, RHA CrawCrafts BeastiesExplorer Beastie Examines a Painting - CrawCrafts Beasties


The artist also collaborated with her brother, a filmmaker, to make a short film showing the decaying rooms of the abandoned house.
Watching the Film - CrawCrafts Beasties
2016 is an important year for Ireland – it’s the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, which was one of the most significant events in setting Ireland on its way towards independence from Great Britain. The other two exhibitions we saw drew their inspiration from this – Mick O’Dea’s “The Foggy Dew” included portraits of some of the key figures in the Rising…
"The Foggy Dew" at the RHA Gallery - CrawCrafts Beasties
…And in a separate gallery upstairs…
Upstairs at the RHA Gallery - CrawCrafts Beasties
… A combined installation of large-scale canvasses and sculptures.
The Foggy Dew at the RHA Gallery - CrawCrafts Beasties
Explorer Beastie at The Foggy Dew, RHA - CrawCrafts Beasties
Then our final port of call was “Before, During, After… Almost” – an exhibition of David Farrell’s photographs, which shows how much both Dublin and rural Ireland have changed since the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising, in 1966.
Explorer Beastie at "Before, During, After...Almost", RHA - CrawCrafts Beasties
Explorer Beastie, RHA Dublin - CrawCrafts BeastiesExplorer Beastie at the RHA Gallery, Dublin - CrawCrafts Beasties

And suitably inspired by our artistic wanderings, it seemed like a good time to tackle the first prompt in Tammie Painter’s Sketchbook Saturday. Yeah, I know I’m late. It’s my… um… artistic temperament.

Anyway, the theme was “Round and Around”, which made me think of all the circles and spheres that cropped up in my drawings and craftings when I was a kid.
Circles (Sketchbook Saturday) - CrawCrafts Beasties
…And in case you want to read the scribblings…
Circles Sketches Page 1 - CrawCrafts Beasties
Circles Sketches Page 2 - CrawCrafts Beasties
And of course, Crablet and Explorer Beastie were on hand to help out with the colouring in. Thanks, lads.
Explorer Beastie Holding My Colouring Pencils - CrawCrafts BeastiesCrablet is Helping! CrawCrafts Beasties

AND FINALLY… Eagle-eyed Noémie at FocalHeart spotted one of my knitting notebooks in the background of a photo I posted recently. Here it is up close!
One of my Knitting Notebooks - CrawCrafts Beasties
I use these books to record patterns, jot down ideas, count off rows and (as you can probably guess) keep track of the yarns I’ve used. And I had a great time going through past books today, snapping some of my favourite pages to share! So, since this post is already MASSIVE, here’s a taster for today…
Knitbook Extracts 1 - CrawCrafts Beasties
… And I’ll have more next week!

Hope you all enjoy the weekend – why not check out Sketchbook Saturday for yourself tomorrow?

40 thoughts on “An Arty Day Out!

  1. I have just sent you a mail 🙂 The Calender has arrived! ❤ ❤ ❤ In the meantime WP notified me that there is a new post on your blog! Delightful!!

      1. Hello and happy Saturday. Thanks so much for your support. I took down the post because I felt a bit complicated about it. However, a replacement one is up at 09.45 GMT. I hope that at some point you’ll be able to see it. Have a great weekend. Lots of love. xo

        1. Curse those new work jitters! I’m sure we all get them (anyone who says they don’t is either a liar or an idiot) but I wish there was a miracle cure-all to chase them away before they wreak too much havoc. I’ll keep an eye out for your update, have a good one 😀

  2. After I told my husband that I had never heard of Easter Rising and that I must look it up at once, he just said to Boy: you know, the beasties, they don’t have Easter. They have Beaster.
    You know… B-Easter…. Mmm. Not sure if there is any marketing potential here…
    I love your sketchbooks! They look very pretty ! I think you have a very distinctive style with your drawings (and everything else 🙂 – you do have a lot talent! Everything you produce has this special touch about it… Very pretty, down to every single detail 🙂
    I recognised the stitch’n bitch chart 🙂 I have it too 😀 that little beastie pencil case is just gorgeous! I bet you have plenty of hidden little gems like that around your house that we don’t get to see 🙂 I love your collection of circle people, they look fantastic!
    Thank you for giving us a glimpse of the Beastie world 🙂

    1. Hahaha! BEASTER! I love it! It’s possible I might have used it before – I do remember putting up a photo of Explorer Beastie stealing a bit of my Easter egg on Facebook once – But I’m definitely using it now 😀 And thanks for your kind words about my doodles… I had fun with Tammie’s prompt, even if it did take me all week to find a spare minute to give it a go! Oh, and Crablet wants me to tell you that he’s not actually a pencil case… His unusual name is a mashup of “Craw’s tablet”, and he helps keep my little android tablet safe, inside his soft woolly belly! When I made him, I had high hopes of knitting lots more, but sewing the Velcro teeth into his mouth was such a nightmare that he’s remained one of a kind 😆 Hope you and the family have a super weekend, thanks for visiting the Beastie world!

      1. I love Crablet! I want one!!!!!! if you ever feel like making another one let me know! 🙂 I think it would be a big success if you were to sell accessorised Beasties on etsy… like phone cases and more Crablets 🙂 who doesn’t want/need one??????? 🙂

        1. Heehee, true… The only thing that stops me is the truly baffling array of sizes and shapes that phones and tablets can be! But if you have a naked electronic device at home that you think would look better in woolly monster clothes, let me know and I’ll set about designing one for you! Every home should have a Crablet… They really do make excellent pets 😀

        2. Yes please! I have an iPad, the old ones so probably big by today’s standards 🙂
          Mind you pencils cases, (sun)glasses cases, bags, needles cases, purses, project bags…. They are all standard sizes and very useful indeed 🙂 I never buy them because I find the ones in shops very ugly. I could make one myself but mine will never be as gorgeous as one of yours 🙂 and I like the idea of thinking about you and the beasties everytime I reach for my tablet 🙂

        3. Well all righty then! I’ll be doing custom orders again starting next month, so if you do want me to go ahead just say the word! Oh, and email me the exact measurements of your trusty iPad too 😃 Good idea about the other items too… If nothing else, they’ll be great practice pieces for me as I try to make friends with my sewing machine!

        4. Well alrighty then! They’re both going in the order book 😀 I’ll try and get some idea sketches to you before the end of the month so you can decide which accessories you would like for Diver Beastie! 😀

  3. I whole heartily agree with all the previous comments !!!!
    I do so enjoy your little jolly’s with Explorer Beastie, he’s a mind of information, it’s like having my own tour guide, thank you for letting me tag along and giving us a little peek behind the curtains of Beastie Towers

    1. Thank you! 😀 I’m actually ever so grateful to Explorer Beastie for dragging me out of the house the other day… Visiting galleries always leaves me feeling recharged and reinspired (is that a word?!) to launch myself at my latest craft projects! And it’s nice to share some of my favourite Dublin places with you all too 😀 Enjoy your weekend!

      1. Reinspired is most defiantly a buzz word for us creative types, as is stupefaction ..something I feel when a project goes right from the get go LOL

  4. Thanks for the tour Explorer Beastie, I do like a good art gallery – those sculptures look immense!

    I enjoyed getting a sneaky peak into your sketchbooks, can’t wait to see more!

    1. Yaaaay, thank you! That exhibition was great… Some of the figures you can see were suspended by single cables from the gallery ceiling, so they’d turn a little bit if the heating or fans came on in the room. It was quite eerie! I’m glad you enjoyed the notebook pages too… As a fellow knitter, do you use notebooks to keep track of your projects as well?

      1. That sounds like a fun exhibition! I keep notebooks and but I’m not very good at the drawing side of things, it’s something I need to work on…I used to study art back in the day but I’ve neglected it since, I would love to get back into it again, but it’s finding the time!

        1. Ooops, wrong button! I had more to add to that… Anyway, my grasp of perspective is minimal, and any attempts I make to introduce consistency into my drawings fail miserably. But I still draw, because even with the mistakes, sometimes it’s the easiest way to convey an idea, or just record it for your own reference. So if you want to draw, don’t put pressure on yourself to do it “properly”. I’ve been surprised how many people have been interested in my scribblings these past few days, and they haven’t really progressed from when I was 10! 😆

        2. That’s very true, I think part of it is down to worrying that my drawings won’t be any good, but I guess it doesn’t really matter does it? It’s just a way to record an idea. That’s such a good way to look at it, thanks! Your monster sketches look so much fun, and I can’t wait to see more!

  5. Just realized I never commented on this! Love the Tamzin sketch (of course I would since I’m in training to be a crazy cat lady). I’m also wondering if that warrior sculpture might be in my budget…I’m sure it would fit in overhead on my return flight from Dublin. Thanks for another fun tour (I really don’t know how I’m going to squeeze everything in in September)!

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