If you’re feeling the winter’s discontent…

painting of snowdrop by Eoin Mac Lochlainn
by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

The three wise men – I always think that they get a raw deal here in Ireland. They arrive on the last day of Christmas, just as everyone is taking down the Christmas decorations, dumping the Christmas tree and going back to work. Not a fun time to visit Ireland, you might say.

Yes, it’s still dark and still pretty miserable here but there’s one thing that always gives me a boost – and that’s the snowdrops. Every January, they force their way out of the cold ground to greet the new year. They pop up outside our back door and they nod their little heads in the wind and rain. They’d bring a smile to the grouchiest of people.  This year, the first one arrived on the 7th of January, the day after those three “wise” men.

But, having noticed the solitary snowdrop, I then started noticing that there was purple campanula in bloom all over the patio. Surely that’s not supposed to happen until June or July? So I know that it’s extremely cold across mainland Europe these days but on our little island, it has been ‘extremely’ mild this year.

painting of Bluebells by Yanny Petters
by Yanny Petters

Now, as you know, I don’t normally paint flowers – but I know some artists who do. There’s Yanny Petters who paints on glass (see above); there’s Nicola Lynch Morrin, Bid Flinn and Sarah Zoutewelle-Morris (see below). All of these images are on their websites which are well worth visiting (see the links below).

Nicola Lynch Morrin
by Nicola Lynch Morrin
painting of yellow tulips by Bridget Flinn
by Bridget Flinn
painting by Sarah Zoutewelle Morris
by Sarah Zoutewelle-Morris
Decor-Art UK photo of snow on pine
by Decor-Art UK

And then there’s photographs – another friend of mine has beautiful frosty photos on her website at:





Sarah Zoutewelle-Morris

Just a thought – I realise that all these artists are female. Is this a coincidence, I wonder, or do real men not paint flowers? Naw… Van Gogh painted flowers; So did Emil Nolde. Any thoughts?







  1. Great post Eoin but you put the wrong image for Yanny ‘s work, these are bluebells:-) Do you have the snowdrops image? Kind regards, Olivier

    Olivier Cornet Gallery 3 Great Denmark Street (beside Belvedere College, off Parnell Square) Dublin 1 Opening hours: Tues to Fri: 11am to 6pm (till 8pm on Thursdays) Sat & Sun: 12 noon to 5pm Closed on Mondays (or viewing by appointment only)

    http://www.oliviercornetgallery.com olivier@oliviercornetgallery.com FB: Olivier Cornet Gallery Twitter: OC_Gallery 0872887261



  2. Thank you for including my photograph in this lovely post, Eoin. It’s very nice to be mentioned together with these wonderful female artists.

    I can’t believe that you can already see snowdrops emerging and declaring that winter is nearly over. (Not sure what message campanulas are sending though.) I don’t think we will see any flowers soon over here… Everything’s frozen solid! Looking on the bright side we can now skate or go ice fishing.

    As for men who painted flowers I came up with Claude Monet and hmm… had to do a search on Google. I must agree that it looks like there are more women who painted (or paint) flowers than men. Why? I don’t know, is the honest answer.

    P.S. Real men paint. They paint and then think that they are much better at it than women.


    • Yes, it’s true Kristina – we have our first Snowdrops, we really don’t get much wintery weather here around Christmas. I think that the end of January or the month of February is the coldest time but even then, we rarely get much snow here in Dublin. (there would be more snow up in the mountains) but nothing like Lithuania, I think. As for the Campanulas, that’s a strange one. They grow all over the place, even in the cracks in the wall, but I never saw them in bloom this early. I’m afraid it’s more evidence of Climate Change. As for the lady painters – I think I’d better keep my mouth shut on this one 🙂

      Thanks for your comment, Happy new year to you, eoin

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Firstly it is important to say that women painted things other than flowers and that not all painters of flowers were women.

    Looking back into history we can see that the situation varied in different places and at differerent times. The culture that a woman lived through had a major impact on what she could paint and how her work would be received.

    We do know that, in the 1800s, while some colleges did allow women to enroll they were not allowed to draw the naked human figure until later in the century. This meant that they were not able to paint the higher genres of art which were history painting and portraiture and often used their talents on the ‘lower’ genres such as still life which included flower painting.

    The 20th century was not kind to women either – this was when the so called canon of artists was written up. Think of the famous artists of the past – have you ever wondered why they are largely made up of white, western men?
    But in the later 20th century there were all sorts of critiques of established ideas one of which was feminism and now we have the situation whereby gender and other differentials are no longer considered.

    One of the things that artists and other thinkers are grappling with now is the environment and the effects of climate change – something that impacts on all humans regardless of gender or location.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for this informative and insightful comment, Fionnuala. Who’d have thought that my simple snowdrop could inspire such an essay. I’ve been thinking about the importance of looking after the planet in recent times, and wondering what I could do about it. Still wondering but… we’ll see what happens, thanks, eoin


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