Sunday, March 10, 2013


I love the idea of keeping a sketchbook.
Gail Gallagher sketchbook
Unfortunately, I am not diligent in this matter. My husband Hugh and I took a Travel Sketchbook class in 2000 and that was the last time I made the attempt. The class was taught by Pauline Bewick at the Burren School of Art in County Clare in Ireland.
Burren School of Art
We began the class by personalizing the covers of our hand made journals. Pauline then proceeded to coach us on composition."Choose something near and something far." She also had suggestions for painting on the move. "Use an old plastic film case for your water." I think pretty much the entire class painted a portrait of their paint box, water glass and a fellow student for their first journal pages. 

Hugh Gallagher sketchbook
It was a "soft day" so we painted in the studio for a bit. When the weather fined up we went outside to paint and explore.
Gail Gallagher sketchbook
Hugh Gallagher sketchbook
Gail Gallagher
Pauline encouraged us to paint everywhere and anywhere. 
The hotel, the airport... everywhere.
Hugh Gallagher
Looking at the pages of this journal recreates a vivid memory of the day that I spent painting there. For me, taking photos of beautiful sights on vacation is a wonderful way to keep a reminder of a trip, but painting or drawing in a travel journal requires me to really see the shape, color, texture of a place or thing. This is something that I need to do again. 
County Clare ~ Gail Gallagher
Pauline Bewick photo from here
So many artists have collections of sketchbooks in their body of work. They are one of my favorite things to browse in museum shows when the curators include them. Sketchbooks show another side of the artist's process. The works may be preparatory in nature or something the artist purely enjoys.
Paul Bewick Seven Ages book cover 2005
available here
Pauline Bewick is an inspiring teacher and prolific painter. Besides her many Irish exhibitions she has a traveling collection of paintings. This collection, called Seven Ages, is a collection of her art which features paintings, tapestry and ceramics done from ages 2 1/2 to 70. In this video, Pauline gives us a preview of these pieces:
Hugh and I first discovered Pauline after seeing her book Ireland An Artist's Year while staying at Glendelough House near Caragh Lake in County Kerry. It just so happened that Pauline's home was a short drive around the lake. Pauline was packing for her year long trip to the South Seas but she took the time to show us around her studio.  The Artist's Year book includes many pages from Pauline's sketchbook diary.
Pauline Bewick
March 17th entry from her book Ireland An Artist's Year
We are so fortunate to have taken a painting workshop with this amazing artist.
Pauline Bewick
Pauline, thank you so much for your inspiration.


  1. I hope you do start keeping a sketchbook again! Love what you had done!

  2. Thank you Lisa. Your work is my inspiration too!

  3. Gail, I love your and Hugh's sketchbook. I think scenes get etched in your mind when you draw and paint them and what fun to look back on in future years.


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