On the weekend of the 18 and 19 of April, nine fortunate ISBA members took up the opportunity to travel to Glenveagh National Park to paint. Organised by Oonagh Phillips, the members enjoyed a successful weekend painting in the beautiful surroundings of Glenveagh National Park.
The group, who travelled from Dublin and beyond, stayed at Gartan Outdoor Adventure and Training Centre, which was 15 minutes drive from Glenveagh. We met at the visitor centre at 10am and took the shuttle bus up to the castle. The Head Gardener, Sean O’Gaoithin could not have been more helpful, even providing tickets for the shuttle bus. He was there to meet us and show us to the cottage, which is situated in the castle walled garden.
Painting materials were left at the cottage, while we went on a walk into the gardens to choose the plants we would like to draw and paint. One of the grounds keepers accompanied us with a long secateurs and cut down anything that was out of our reach. The following plants are just a sample of what was collected: Magnolia x loebneri, Rhododendron ciliata, Oleria Willie Brady and Narcissus x incomparibilis, which is a cross between pheasant eye and suede narcissus and is unique to Glenveagh and around since famine times.
The group worked until around 5.30pm and showed up again the following morning again at around 10am, working until 4pm.
There was painting space for everyone, with the cottage accommodating up to nine people. It was also possible for one of the artists to take her easel outside to paint in the glorious weather.
A wonderful weekend was had by all and hopefully the Irish Society of Botanical Artists will return again soon to Donegal.