OUR ACHILL ISLAND ADVENTURE – THE LITTLE ART STUDIO

The Little Art Studio - Achill Island

Nick, John and Samay at the Little art studio

Achill Island scenery is breathtaking, and not just on a clear day. It doesn’t matter whether the sun is shining or the heavens are open and mother nature is dashing out her worst, Achill is simply beautiful whatever the light. As we mentioned in an earlier post, we had the pleasure of staying at the Bervie Guesthouse on Keel strand and it was here that we got to meet a very special fellow indeed, his name is John Michael Nikolai and he is the resident artist at the Bervie’s ‘Little Art Studio’ peeping out shyly from behind the guesthouse. John is a very talented photographer from the USA but his work is not just about capturing the perfect shot, but it is in the way he edits the photos digitally, the printing technique, the paper and overall finish that really make his work demand attention.

Achill Island, Co Mayo, Ireland scenery

The day we climbed Croagh Patrick – John Michael Nikolai

Here are a few examples of the images that we were moved to purchase on our visit to his studio.

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Precipice and Matador – Achill’s Ronan Halpin sculpture photographed on Keel strand – John Michael Nikolai

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8 p.m. in Dookinella – Achill Island – John Michael Nikolai

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Dean Martin’s Horse – John Michael Nikolai

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yip, that’s a dolphin… John gets up very early 😉

These are just a few of the images from John’s wonderful Achill collection, but you can view many more on his homepage where you will also find some very affordable formats that will fill a picture frame nicely. John had said that Achill is a dream for any photographer, and our second visit to Sean Cannon’s Gallery we could see exactly what he meant. We will mention a little more about Sean in our next Achill post.

OUR ACHILL ISLAND ADVENTURE

At Dookinella Beach on Achill Island. They say it in stone.

At Dookinella Beach on Achill Island. They say it in stone.

So, now it begins, back to the grind after our  fantastic Achill Island Adventure.  Last month we were frantically busy, getting our design and print projects finished for their deadlines and securing a space for our planned and long awaited two week holiday to the west coast of Ireland. And what a two weeks it was. Achill Island in County Mayo provided us with exactly what we needed, the remoteness, culture, and on this occasion, great weather. Our Irish Island adventure came to an end last weekend when we flew back from Knock Airport to Düsseldorf, but we still have a head and an SD Card full of memories that we would like to share.

We are no strangers to the island and have many friends and acquaintances to keep us up-to-date with the island’s news. For example, on arrival, our holiday cottage was not prepared and we were happy to stay once more with our friends Elizabeth and John Barrett in the Keel village for a few nights. Elizabeth and John run the Bervie guesthouse which is situated right on the end of keel beach and it really is a delight from the minute you arrive till the moment you leave.

Saying goodbye to Elizabeth & John at their  wonderful Bervie guesthouse.

Like every other guest, we made much use of their well stocked reading room/sitting room, reading up on the islands history and the many notable people who had Achill Island Adventure of their own. The Irish painter Paul Henry, Nobel Prize winning author, Heinrich Böll, Novelist Graham Greene and American Painter Robert Henri have all spend considerable time on the island. As fans of Paul Henry’s Achill landscapes and seascapes we were also very happy to discover the work of Robert Henri, who focused on portraits of the Achill children between 1913 and 1924. A few examples below.

 

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Image source – http://www.broadsheet.ie

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Image source – http://www.artfact.com

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Image source – http://www.broadsheet.ie

Once rented by Paul Henry during his stay on Achill Island. Unfortunately destined to be torn down to the horror of the Keel villagers.

Once rented by Paul Henry during his stay on Achill Island. A local told us that unfortunately the building is destined to be torn down to their horror and the rest of the Keel villagers.

Paul Henry R.H.A. (1876-1958) Dooega, Achill Island, Co.Mayo,  Sold for £148,346 - image source artfinding.com

Paul Henry R.H.A. (1876-1958) Dooega, Achill Island, Co.Mayo,
Sold for £148,346 – image source artfinding.com

‘Dugort bay, Achill island’ is estimated at £30,000-50,000 - looking at what the image above reached in auction I assume this would be worthsubstantially more.

‘Dugort bay, Achill island’ is estimated at £30,000-50,000 – looking at what the image above reached in auction I assume this would be worth substantially more.- image source antiquesandartireland.com

 

 

Placard denoting Paul Henry's tenancy early 1900's

Placard denoting Paul Henry’s tenancy early 1900’s

that’s our first post on our Achill Island Adventure but there is plenty more to come.

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