Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Hi Everyone,

I've been busy recently preparing for forthcoming exhibitions, the Mayo Artists biennial show and the Greenway Artists' Christmas Show, the former to be in the Linenhall in Castlebar, and the latter to be in The Mulranny Park Hotel, Mulranny, both in Co. Mayo.
This has also given me the opportunity to prepare a series of signed Limited Edition black and white framed prints in small runs. In fact, for 2 of the 4 images (of the New Michael Davitt Bridge, Achill Sound) only 5 prints of each are being made. The others run to just 25 prints each.
Here is a framed print of one of the Michael Davitt Bridge images.
I've enjoyed all the prep. for these runs. Something that is essential as a photographer, as it is for all artists, is getting your work out there and seen. The prints are only small in size, the frames only being 15" x 10" so can be hung almost anywhere. They will be on sale from tomorrow in exhibitions I participate in.
Christmas is coming!

Have a good week & keep shooting & creating,

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hazel trees

This is a recent image of hazel trees in a coppice in Co. Mayo that I happened to notice. I thought a photo would allow me to work on it and express something slightly abstracted and moe interesting. I hope you like the result.

Have a good week,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011



And so I am here
mountain and sea
mussel shells
and oyster shells
and one time
even that lobster thermodor
but last week here it was
all sudden death
and blood
all animal lust
and wanting
over flung pheasant carcasses
a sudden suicide it seemed
but no one heard
that scream
in the dead of night
in the sea storm
as the hen was torn from
her safe bed
from our grasp
and something wicked went
over the hill
dragging a pet
without a look
under the growling moon.

Mark F Chaddock

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lucky Horseshoe (Donkey shoe?)

This is a rusty horseshoe I came across that is fastened to a post on the Greenway close to the Mulranny/Achill road. It must have been found and put there by a council worker during the construction, I feel.
My Grandmother's farm was close by, so the romantic poet in me would like to believe it was the shoe of a donkey I knew when holidaying on the farm when I was only knee-high to a grasshopper.

Have a good week,

Friday, November 11, 2011

New Poem draft

Her is a first draft from a recently composed poem I wrote towards my 2014 poetry collection. I hope to publish a book of Selected Poems in 2012.

The Empty Black Chair

The empty black wooden chair
To me
Is not just an
Empty black wooden chair

There’s a sheepdog lay at the foot of it
& a turf fire to one side with turf sods drying
& a pair of black tongs leaning against the hearth

Its spindles are accordion players that have listened to the tides and winds and are fluent in their music

Its legs are old storytellers that have heard the banshee wailing at the gable & seen the man in the greatcoat walking back & forth over the bridge in the dead of night

Its seat is a young sean nos singer lulling the world with her voice
That resonates with the fields & mountains & streams

Its arms are the poet who has stayed up to watch the stars & moon
& listened to the language of eagles and ants and ancestors

Its shine is a dancer dancing the hare & the clouds on Slievemore
Mountain & travelling with the whales as they navigate the oceans

Its presence is a painter capturing light & texture, clouds & tides, brushing in Seasons & wild flowers in oils & charcoal & pastels, Naples yellow, Raw sienna, Ultramarine, Cadmium red.

Its ’suchness’ is old cottages and community dances & soda bread and salmon and collecting eggs and milking cows and yoking the donkey
& gathering turf and poitin & craic and all that was ever worth it.

The empty black wooden chair
To me
Is not just an
Empty black wooden chair.

Copyright Mark F Chaddock 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Artist's Statement

A few months ago I thought I'd better compose an Artist's Statement for my painting. So, I thought I'd show it to you:

- Painter, Photographer, Poet

My paintings tend to be a one-act performance

My paintings are performed in a meditative state of consciousness.

My paintings are representational of the intricate and interconnected web of the cosmos as believed in Hinduism and Buddhism and recently proven by Physics: The Cosmic Net, if you like, or the Mathematical Chaos of form that is in perpetual flux, the eternal pattern of growth and collapse, of flowing and contracting.

They are about aesthetics and line, rather than analysis and form. That is to say, they are not representational of objects, not about figure, but a 2-dimensional pattern more related to drawing and calligraphy than the traditional expectation of painting with its representation of the outside world.

My paintings are about the inner world - the unconscious. And they are organic rather than cerebral, spontaneous rather than planned, natural rather than pre-determined.

Like past artists who painted in a similar style (eg. Jackson Pollock) my easel is the floor, and my paint is poured. Sticks and knives of various sizes are my brushes, and my paints are largely enamel paints because they give me the fluidity of line that I am seeking, affording better continuity during the ‘performance‘.

This painting style has its roots in Native American sand-painting, but also in the kolam and mandalas of Hinduism and Buddhism, respectively, which are performed in a state of No-Mind, or Trance. However, mine are not symbolic in nature, but representational of Wholeness. They are spontaneous and free.

Each is unique, and success or failure hinges on being in Sacred Space. Success is measured by harmony, pattern, balance. If a painting fails it is because Ego, or thought, has intruded. These paintings are based on intuition rather than relying on knowledge.

Each piece is approached with a dedication to Universal Spirit for the greater good of All.; and a period of initial meditation in order to access Sacred Space.


I have always had an interest in the unconscious mind and psychology. I spent over 20 years working in Psychiatry so my subject is a natural progression from that. Also, I have a strong interest in Eastern Spirituality and practice and man’s eternal search for Wholeness. In this respect I regularly meditate. This helps me access Sacred Space.
When I studied Fine Art I was drawn to Abstract Expressionism exemplified by the work of Jackson Pollock and the whole New York School during that period.

Mark F Chaddock, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Work In Progress

I'm pleased to say I've managed to complete a couple of 30 x 40 inch canvases this week in enamels and acrylics and I'm pleased with them. Both are in the 'Abstract Expressionism' style and based on something that comes from intuition rather than knowledge, and in that differing from the traditional style of painting in many ways: In fact, it would be fair to say it is the polar opposite, having no subject (other than the paint and canvas), no preliminary sketches, no drafts, no brushes etc. Here is one of them - let me know what you think. Please feel free to leave a comment.

Have a Creative week,

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Action Painting Update!

I've managed to get my 'brushes' out again and get action painting. I'm drawn to this type of painting because I've always had an interest in the subconscious and intuitive painting as a 'performance' - with no preliminary sketches, or subject or form. Just paint meets canvas. I love the calligraphy of the lines in particular, especially in black and white, something that I got into doing Life Drawings a decade ago on a Dip. Fine Art course. I thought you might like to see some of my recent works that are still drying in the 'studio'.

Have a good week and Keep Creating,


Tuesday, October 11, 2011


It's already two years almost since the last Mayo Artists Show held by the Linenhall, Castlebar. It's come around so quickly - always a good sign! Hmmm, what to enter? - photographs? paintings? both? I'm undecided as yet but the time for pondering is upon me, and anyone else that intends entering for that matter. This Biennial Artist's Show is always a great showcase of what Visual Art is being made in the county and is open to anyone that lives, lived or works in County Mayo. I think that's mostly correct. Anyway, the deadline for entries is usually around late November so I'll be watching out - in the Mayo News and the Linenhall Programme. Here is a photo I entered in the last show - i was going through a mannekin phase and Street mono photography and noticed this image in the Spanish Quarter of Galway city.
Apart from that, I wrote a 4 page Foreword to a new anthology book project on Type 2 diabetes today, which will take as long as it takes to recruit contributors and do the editing and publishing. I'll probably publish under my own press and convert it to an e/book too. It's amazing how accessible all this personal publishing is today. You can quite easily get your voice out there without much expense (except time!)
Right, so, as promised, here is "Reflections" from the 2009 Mayo Artist's Show.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Something to Anticipate.

I'm currently performing a balancing act (or is it juggling?) between my painting, photography, and writing. However, today I want to mention how I'm progressing with my forthcoming 2nd book collection of poetry that I hope to launch next spring titled - A Hermit in Paradise'.

It has been two years in the writing and is, foremost, a collection of austere Nature poetry in the Ancient Chinese Ch'an buddhism 'Rivers and Mountains' (or Shan-Shui) tradition that reached its high point in the Tang dynasty.

I have all the poems written and redrafted - and redrafted, and redrafted (I draft a poem a minimum of 3 times, and often up to 7) and am making good progress with the editing (see sample below). I shall fine-tune everything over the winter months and look forward to getting out and doing readings and meeting people around my home county of Mayo here in Ireland next April/May.

I don’t have much, I don’t want much
My practice is non-attachment

Enjoying things as they pass
Letting the swallow fly free

Not wanting to capture and dissect him
Like the scientists

Searching for minds and souls in corpses
In order to do what? Clone one? put it on a stand in a museum?

See how it might win the next war?
Or make some company filthy rich?

Better to come sit with me
Beside the river counting breaths

And watch the golden sunrise on the mountain

I am also pleased to mention that I am presently involved in two thrilling book-projects with other artists; one here in Ireland, and the other in Vienna. With one, a painter, I am a collaborator. And with the other, an editor and contributor. I cannot say more at present because they are not my projects, but I am very excited about both of them as they are for very worthy causes. In due course I shall make them known to you.

Just now, with the shortening days of October, the light is beautiful. But, regrettably, I have not managed to indulge one of my other amin passions - Landscape Photography. Nevertheless, I intend to remedy that sometime soon. But for now, here is an image I made a few weeks ago of the Great Western Greenway (with a few lines of prose I composed).

Until the next blog,

Happy creating,

Monday, September 5, 2011

Watercolour in Oils - after Jack Yeats, Irish artist

Well, the painting I so promised myself I would get back into didn't happen, but I have been busy making art with my camera. Just recently we've had very unsettled weather and heavy persistent downpours of rain here on Ireland's west coast. We tend to get the tail-end of every hurricane. Now most people might see that as a definite downer but for me it means I get a creative buzz as the rivers are swollen and flooded and fair game for a bit of abstract visual art.
When the sun came back out again the other afternoon I took myself out to my nearest fast-flowing hill river and managed to make a few images that I enhanced a little in Lightroom 3 and here is the result. As I studied fine-art for a while and painted abstracts I sometimes use my camera to convey that element of my vision. Hoping you like it. I'm off out to shoot more swollen rivers.