The Joy of Colour

Newgrange Series
40 x 40cm, oil on canvas

Early this morning, hundreds of people gathered at Newgrange in Co. Meath to mark the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.  On the days around the solstice, between the 19th and the 23rd of December, the light from the rising sun shines straight into the inner chamber at Newgrange, as it has done since the passage grave was first constructed about 5000 years ago.  It was cloudy this morning however, so there wasn’t much to see, but the solstice falls on the 22nd of December this year, so hopefully tomorrow, the clouds will stay back and allow the light of the Sun to reach into the ceremonial chamber and illuminate the mysterious symbols carved into its stone walls.

Unfortunately the knowledge and understanding of those who constructed this monument is lost in the mists of time but we do know that after tomorrow, the days will grow longer, there will be a new year, a new beginning, and the cycle of life will continue…

I did a series of abstract paintings based on the idea of Newgrange about 10 years ago – I was very interested in the effect of colour at the time (I still am actually) but I got involved in political and social issues in the meantime and my work became more figurative.  You have to follow your muse, I suppose, but I sometimes yearn for the purity of those abstract works, the joy of colour…


  1. How I envy you who have something like Newgrange so near. And to really take the Solstice to heart. Here in the US…..

    Anyhow, I like this painting. The color/change of color is really interesting. And happy Solstice too. 🙂


    • Nice to hear from you Katie. It’s true that County Meath in Ireland has many ancient constructions that are aligned to the heavens in various ways. It is amazing how they were constructed – and we thought those people were primitive! Lough Crew is another really interesting site – which is illuminated at sunrise at the equinox.


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