I took a trip out to Killiney beach this afternoon to replenish my stock of pebbles. It was a beautiful day with a clear sky and a slight haze softening the edges of things.

I spent some time, eyes down, looking for flattish stones of different sizes and chatting to myself. The variety of pebbles on the beach is astonishing, and the effect of weathering in exposing, in miniature, significant geological features is fascinating. It wasn’t all eyes down. The sound of the waves lured me towards the sea and I spent some time enjoying the sea air, the sounds of the shore and the beautiful view.

Later I drove along the narrow coastal roads dividing Killiney and Dalkey, enjoying more sea views, the varied architecture, the Kish lighthouse closer than I ever remember seeing it before, and glimpses of the city, glass fronted buildings reflecting the bright winter sunlight. A rare delight.

It’s been a busy few weeks and this evening I was tired, but inspired by the afternoon’s light. I’m not confident enough to try to paint landscapes so I returned to a botanical theme and painted some daisies onto one to the pebbles I found. It’s painted with gouache and it’s a little rough but I’m pleased enough with it.

I was working in Dundalk on Saturday. As it was to be an early start, I stayed in a hotel on Friday evening. I had several hours to myself, reading, thinking, day-dreaming. Earlier, on Pinterest, I had come across an interesting Buddha. I used it as a model to do a pencil sketch while in the hotel bar, waiting for my food to arrive. The model was very masculine but I wanted to create one with a gentler, more feminine face.

As I’m writing this, with the sound of the sea and this afternoon’s views in mind, and also remembering being absorbed in the process of sketching this Buddha, I feel a rare sense of calm.

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