My old friends might’ve heard about this before but I love talking about it – that crumbling old cottage in North Donegal, those ancient stones, that overgrown empty hearth where my great grandmother must’ve sat… long, long ago.
My great grandmother Emily McGloughlin was from Dublin. She was a nurse/midwife and she worked up in Donegal for over 30 years. Her home was a one-roomed cottage – no electricity, no running water – although there was a little stream burbling past the back of the house with fresh, ice-cold water.
It was part of a ‘clachan’, just a cluster of stone cottages in a shady hollow, not quite a village… and the house on the left was Nurse McGloughlin’s. I remember it felt so nice to be there. I think we could feel her gentle spirit smiling down on us. There was a sprawling old apple tree still growing outside, and some gooseberry bushes.
There’s an Irish proverb – Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin – which literally means: there’s no fireplace like your own fireplace or in other words: ‘there’s no place like home’. I’ve painted many empty fireplaces in the past but I’m particularly fond of the one above.
I have included it in a special, limited edition calendar for 2018 which you can order now from here.
The calendar has a collection of my favourite paintings from the last few years, 13 paintings of old fireplaces in deserted cottages in the West of Ireland. If those walls could talk, what tales they would tell. A different story for each month of the year…
Also available at: http://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/
Actually, a chairde, if you’re interested in buying one of these calendars, you’d better hurry up because there isn’t too many of them left at this stage. I’m just saying…