Monday, December 7, 2009

Art on behalf of the Irish Nepalese Education Trust

These four paintings and two prints will be exhibited at the
Distillery Building (the Law Library), 145 Church Street, Dublin
Opening 11th December, 6.30 - 8pm. Open to the public.
As part of my tithing commitment a percentage of the sales goes to the Irish Nepalese Education Trust.
  1. Totem Wolf Watching, Oils and acrylic on deep canvas, unframed
  2. Motivation ii, acrylic on paper, framed
  3. Birches, Marlay Park Series, Limited Edition Print, framed. My contemporary take on screen printing; a digitally edited photograph printed on to Watercolour Paper.
  4. Walnut Tree, Marlay Park Series, Limited Edition Print, framed. My contemporary take on screen printing; a digitally edited photograph printed on to Watercolour Paper.
  5. Evoke iv, acrylic on paper, framed
  6. Submerged, acrylic on paper framed
If you are interested in purchasing one and supporting the charity email me ballygarrettartstudio[at]
If you would like to make a donation to the charity please contact them directly details can be found on

Friday, December 4, 2009

Documenting work

If you have been following my blog you know that some time ago I took out work from my studio dating back to 1998...
This has caused several things to happen and made me realise some important things.
  • It is important to document your work; it shows process and progress
  • Not all work is or should be for sale
  • Sometimes you have to work through the dross before you get to the good stuff
  • When you hit a good flow of work go for it, go for it, go for it...
  • I need to edit my work more
  • I am overly critical of my own work (are we all?)
  • sometimes the dross is where the gold is...

Other things of passing interest:

I could not get past painting red circles so in  2005 I stopped painting for a while.
Even when I did n't put the predominent colour on the pallete (actually I use a white plate) the colour still ended up dominating the painting. It was very frustrating. Some times you just have to go with it or change meduim.
I could not stop painting blue so in 2008 I stopped painting for a while.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Winter Programme of Events 2009 - 2010

I'm delighted to be announcing my Winter Programme of events 2009 - 2010 and hope you will get a chance to join me at some stage for creative fun, networking, socialising, meeting new people, engaging with art materials and discovering creative visualisation if you have n't already.
I am currently looking out for workshop venues in Carlow, Waterford, Kilkenny and Wicklow, if you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them email me creativedynamix[at] Or you'd like me to come facilitate a network session for a group in your location let me know and I can get right on it!
I'm really excited to be bring you Creative Safari's in 2010 these have been a dream to do for a few years and have come together, so I am delighted to offer you a creative weekend away " the waters and the wild...”.

Entrepreneurial Downtime
7.30 – 9.30pm Tuesday 24 November, 2009. €25

Introduction to creative visualisation. Give yourself space and time to stop your brain, connect in with you and have some fun with art materials. Starting with a deep relaxation followed by an invitation to engage with art materials and networking with a difference.
No experience required.
Tea and coffee 9.30 – 10pm.
Location: dreaming, Donaghmore, Ballygarrett, Gorey

Open Studio Sale
10am – 4pm Saturday 28th November. All welcome.
Ballygarrett Art Studio Sale; paintings, photography, prints and handmade textiles framed and unframed. Unique gift ideas, super price range €10 - €2,000. Also open by appointment.
Location: Ballygarrett Art Studio, Templederry Lane, Ballygarrett, Gorey

Introduction to creative visualisation.
7 – 9.30pm Monday 30 November, 2009. €25
Give yourself space and time to stop, connect in with you and have some fun with art materials. Starting with a deep relaxation followed by an invitation to engage with art materials and share the experience.
No experience required.
Tea and coffee 9 - 9.30pm.
Location: Ann’s Angels, 6 Cinema Lane, Wexford

Entrepreneurial Downtime
7.30 – 9.30pm Tuesday 1 December, 2009. €25
The journey. Using deep relaxation and a guided visualisation you are invited to enjoy space just for you. Art materials are provided for fun and as away to explore and express yourself. It’s about the process not the product.
Tea and coffee 9.30 – 10pm.
Location: dreaming, Donaghmore, Ballygarrett, Gorey

It can’t be Christmas till I get a day off!
7.30 – 9. 30pm Tuesday, 8 December, 2009. €25
A fun evening for friends, neighbours and family to join in a lovely relaxation, have a nice introduction to creative visualisation and get creative with art materials.
No experience required.
Tea and coffee and mince pies 9.30 – 10pm.
Location: dreaming, Donaghmore, Ballygarrett, Gorey

Visualise your Client
10am – 12.00pm Tuesday 15 December, 2009. €35
Develop a clear understanding of who your ideal client is and create a visual reference to consolidate information and as a tool to focus your business.
Tea and coffee 12 -12.30pm.
Location: Ballygarrett Art Studio, Templederry Lane, Ballygarrett, Gorey

Moving Forward!
6 week course starting 7.30 – 9. 30pm Tuesday 12 January 2010 €150
A six week course that combines creative strategies, tools for living and art materials with goal setting. Clarify what you want in your life and start making it a reality. More details on request.
Location: dreaming, Donaghmore, Ballygarrett, Gorey

Creative Safari Weekend
arrive 8pm Friday 29 –depart 4pm Sunday 31 January 2010 €280
“Come away to the waters and the wild...”
Give yourself the gift of a weekend away just for you. Immerse yourself in relaxation, creative discovery and mythic location. Two nights’ accommodation and all meals included. Full details on request.
Location: Caraiosa Centre, Bishopstown, Moate, Co. Westmeath

Creativity coaching is offered on a 1:1 basis at Ballygarrett Art Studio or at an agreed venue.

Gift Vouchers available.

Contact Roisin Markham to book on the CreativeDynamix hotline 086.1546163

Monday, November 2, 2009

October saw a flood of new work

October was fun! I started teaching felt making workshops again titled 'The magic of felt', everyone that came rally enjoyed them and were so impressed that they made a piece of fabric out of fleece. It inspired me to make some new felt also. This one is for stitching...

I also picked up these adorable little cups in a local charity shop. The rose motif is so sweet and the green colour still so vivid on this eighty year old hand painted crockery. More photos and information about these cups here.

Of course it was great to work with Wexford County Councils Enterprise and Community Department on my 'creativity for boosting morale and self esteem project' otherwise known as 'the postcard project' on the 16th of October. You can read about it over at the CreativeDynamix blogspot by following both links. The follow up writing thank you and great quotes on the postcards was fun to do and also gave me time to think about the project and further applications of the idea. I was further inspired by the quotes. I started working on a series of images to be printed onto textiles for beading and stitching; the theme maps and quotes. I am working on progressing the designs, patterns and applications to textiles, clothes or prints for framing. A preview of the initial work:

I got exciting news in October that my tender for Art Alongside Programme has been placed second in order of merit! I am waiting to here more about what this actually means but its positive.
What else has been going on? Yes. I have been having very interesting discussions and extending my network in Ireland and globally. Growing my creative lab network of thinkers, doers and creative's all very exciting stuff. I'm really enjoying the way twitter is connecting me to like minds directly. More of that this month.
After my October blog post I spent some time looking at that work from a decade ago.
I realised that something very specific was going on and I was getting to respond to it if I would stop and make space for it. So that is what I did I stopped and made space for that work to look at it to think about it to just be with it.With the help of a friend and healer Catherine Maguire that window from the past has become a door. The transition happened quickly.
Imagine a door opening into a fruitful garden (a cliche I know but that is the image that comes to mind as I write). It feels good to be in the flow of work that is being communicated back and forth between my current reality and my artistic response to a previous reality. It has opened a very interesting space to work in linking loss in general in my life. As I have written before 'Loss is part of my life'. I am processing and expressing that loss and other things in meaningful images. I have posted a new image as the first image in response to the work from 10 years ago. I am working towards an exhibition with experiential workshops based on the work (1999-2009) which will be referred to as the 'inland series' dates March and October 2010.
If the images are meaningful to me that is enough or is it...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Astonished - me? YES astonished!

I recently did an open studio day where I was astonished by the amount of work sitting on my studio shelves. I took out all the dross work, semi finished work and the finished but not framed work and the framed work... yeah I know and I have n't even mentioned the work that was finished and I would never frame.

I astounded myself that I was storing work that was dated 1998.

But what is interesting about this is that I have allowed myself to hold this work and now I find myself reviewing it, recording it and realising that here lies the evolution of myself as an artist. So I think I will do a retrospective of my own work up until my exhibition "Footprints in my heart..." in 2007, during that exhibition my perspective on my creative work changed.

The other atonishing thing that happened is a small body of work gave me a wake up call. In 2000 I made work of a very personal nature... lets be really clear all my work is personal but this work was from the the core of my soul. In 2000 something happened to me that rocked me to the core of my being and subsequently other things happened that stripped me of my ability to cope. In Autumn 2000 I harvested my creativity to deal with a personal loss. I had not looked at this work in a long time just eight pieces. Eight paintings, drawings and images based around me and this loss they shocked me to my core. I could not believe the emotional strengthen of the work. My reaction happened over the last two weeks and continues. As I write I glance over to where the work is stored in a portfolio stacked behind my shelves, hidden from sight in the studio.
My first reaction was: this work is amazing I wanted to share it! Lets find a group based around this experience and go and do some creative work with them! I met a friend about a week after that and shared the idea with her noting as we spoke how deeply the small body of work was prompting me and effecting me. Two days later I crumbled I knew I needed some space, that Sunday my husband took our three sons off and in the quiet of the studio I took out all eight pieces and looked.
I looked and photographed them and looked.
Then I took myself off to our local beach where I did some work outlining a training session, lay on the sand, took some photographs and went for a swim. I reached the conclusion that I needed to be in that group for me. I need this work validated, I required that it would be witnessed... this was shocking. My ego was messing with my heart and my head. manipulation of the highest order. This was not ok to think like this...
From your perspective your probably thinking by making my art public I am looking for validation but that is not how it works for me. My professional relationship with my art goes as follows I make work for others, the process of creation is my piece and it is not until I am happy with the work that it will chosen for finishing at the framer or hung in a venue. It was a distinct point in my career as an artist where I knew I could hang work and be happy with it full stop. Even to the point that if someone disliked my art work I was accepting of their opinion and feedback with no ego attached.

So another few days passed and I got over being indignant and I came to a further evolution.
I am the witness to that work. Right now that is enough. But a dialogue has opened with the work from 2000 and that is exciting. As I move from 2009 to 2010 a decade has been lived and a window from the past leads into the future and how that window becomes a door is an interesting question.
Part of the reason for this post is still around creating space for our stories. I did not have space to share the loss, sorrow and downright grief. In some ways it is still unresolved perhaps because it is around grief it will always be there. But with compassion for myself I aim to create that space and share with you the continuing story. Not the visual work, not yet, that might follow in due course I have some work to do first.
If you'd like to see the photographs I took on the beach that day I have added them to my redbubble site, click here to be taken there...
I have written on loss before behind my paintings I journal, I process, I write.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Decluttering discoveries

During the week I was cleaning the house in anticipation for the open day today and the Women in Business Networking session yesterday morning. I don't know if your house is the same but we seem to end up with piles of papers, bits of Lego, toys, books and general mishmash of things on top of a table in the sunroom. As I was decluttering the space I came across a box which I knew was special.
I had forgotten about it it just lay there for ages in a pile of junk ignored.

The box contained letters from my boyfriend written from Germany in 1991, a set of New Orleans Mardi Gras beads, two keys (I no longer remember the significance or the location of the where they unlock), an old pingin coin 1968, a parking pass and itinerary to Feile '91, the set square belonged to paternal Grandmother and is marked 12/10/33 M. Gavin, two halves of different shell rings from 1989, some valentines cards (the cutest one talking about the average person needing 300 hugs a month to remain health, happy and secure...). It also contained some things I had written:
A funny Limerick with no date:

An Irish girl by the name of Roisin,
had a drink that was Emerald Green,
she noted with horror that it was already tomorra
And wondered where it was she had been

...and the wail of children but are cats, fills the night air (this was written about 10 years ago)

There is a poem written out by hand by Micheal Davitt called 'Lovers' that I would love to reproduce here but won't without the author's permission. An extract from a Luka Bloom song written out on a post-it note.

A quote
"Do not wish to be anything else but what you are, and try to be that perfectly" Saint Francis of Assisi

All in all a time capsule of 1991.

What are you interested in?

Wordle: Creativity in Action
Image made in

Leave a comment let me know?

Friday, September 18, 2009

My favourite TED.COM

Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity
19:28 Posted: Feb 2009

Someone handed me another newspaper sheet as part of my collaboration project to celebrate my birthday (previous blog) I was so excited that a gift of Elizabeth Gilberts book was with it - thanks Lyola! I have n't read it and I am so looking forward to starting it. Elizabeth Gilbert has come to my attention through earlier this year and I really admire her from this talk so I am really looking forward to reading her book 'Eat, love, pray'.

Life is good!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Questions for a new project

Creative lab open to all exploring the relevance of creativity and art in our lives.

How artists are relevant in today society? Can art get people back to work? How can artists facilitate the creative entrepreneur?

Announcing a self initiated body of work by artist Roisin Markham to explore how an artist can bring creativity to more people, make her arts practice relevant to society, make interesting work, make collaboration the work, the art and symmetry of getting people involved. Taking a broad approach to what art is.

What is the role of creativity and artists in times of harsh economic realities? Creativity for moving forward. Creating a positive creative environment conducive to excellent work.

The core starting point being the fact that art is the realisation of creative thought.

Monday, September 14, 2009

You’re invited to

a workshop introducing
the magic of sheep fleece to felt
on Saturday 3rd of September,
3.30 in Ballygarrett Art Studio.

Ballygarrett Art Studio invites you to discover the ancient tradition of felt making with “the magic of felt” workshop series. An opportunity for hands-on learning in the workshop at the studio. Children are welcome with a parent or adult.
Learn how to make felt at one of the workshops:
Saturday 3rd October, 3.00 – 4.30 pm
Tuesday 13th October, 3.00 – 4.30 pm
Saturday 17th October, 3.00 – 4.30 pm
Workshops €25 per person + €5 for materials. Child & adult price €40 + €8 for materials.
Book your place call Roisin on 086.1546163 email ballygarrettartstudio [@] gmail . com

Join in the creative fun with artist Roisin Markham at Ballygarrett Art Studio, Templederry Lane, Ballygarrett, Gorey.

I will be demonstrating wet hand rolled felt making and some needle felt.
The Workshops are about learning how to make wet hand rolled felt.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Open Studio: ‘out with the old and in with the new’

I am in the process of organising an open studio and sale of all existing work. The driving force is to fund a new body of work and some exciting new collaboration projects.
So I am going with the adage of ‘out with the old and in with the new’.

Time to sell, gift, donate; paintings, photography, digital prints, handmade textiles framed and unframed work. As you can imagine my studio is a treasure trove offering original art as ideas for gifts, something unique to place in that blank wall at home or in the office and there is always the chance that you will find something special to just for you.

Everything will be offered for sale:

  • framed work displayed on the wall will be offered in a price range open to negotiations, if it has just one price that is the price I want
  • box 1: €200 - €80, work framed and unframed of medium size
  • box 2: €60 - €15, small framed paintings, and unframed paintings of different sizes, digital prints, photographs & mixed size unframed work.
  • box 3: ‘Donation box’ with a suggested donation for a local St. Vincent de Paul charity [this box will have original art works, roughs, computer printouts, photos that need to be set free and find good homes]

The date is planned for the 26th of September, 11 – 4pm .

By Wednesday 23rd September all my work will be back from galleries and other exhibition venues and in the studio so if you would like to come and choose something before that date you’d be more then welcome. Call me to make an appointment to visit the studio [086]1546163.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Up and coming events at Ballygarrett Art Studio

Septemeber Schedule
More information to follow.

Saturday 19th September, 2.30pm -4.30pm: Felting demonstration and workshop at the studio. Children are welcome with a parent or adult.

Tuesday 22th September, 7.30 - 9.30: Women in Business Network creative down time.

Saturday 26th September, 11am - 4pm: Open studio.
Paintings, fine art prints, photography and handmade textiles for sale. Great price range €10 - €800, opportunity to see artists studio, collection of diverse work and purchase gifts or a treat for yourself.

Course dates to be set for the following:
Moving Forward Course
Accessing the Creative Process Workshop
Creative Safari Weekend, get away from it all and enjoy some creative down time.
Inspired Business Growth Seminars

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Follow up to networking with a difference

Last week a group of twelve of us meet in 'Dreaming' for an alternative networking session.

We started with a warm up using clay, a simple and effective process to settle people into a session and build group repor and respect.
Everyone is invited to take some clay, as much or as little as they want. Then sitting in a circle everyone rolled their clay into a ball. After a short time I asked everyone to offer their clay ball to the person sitting on the left. Being clear that no one moulded or shaped someone else's 'clay ball' (a group of women with these instructions are fine but with teenage boys and mixed adult group I slightly rephrase the instructions!). The group passed the clay ball around noticing how each of them felt; wet, dry, warm, hot, cold, heavy, light, etc. We passed the clay balls around until our own returned to us. People commented on how different some of the balls felt. The clay was returned to the materials table.

Then I asked everyone to sit comfortably and I facilitated a deep relaxation followed by a guided visualisation which lasted for thirty minutes.

After bringing people back to the room I invited the participants to create something from their relaxation or guided visualisation using a broad range of art materials. The group did not need any encouragement they got stuck in there. It was fantastic to watch these business women accessing their creativity.

After the set amount of time everyone was brought back into the circle and asked to share their work. Being clear that if they did not want to that was okay to.

I was fascinated several of the women had not done anything like this before but what they produced was visually lovely, colourful and they had just started the task without thinking about it (the powerful connection in the grounding relaxation facilitates participants getting out of their own way to just start often with surprising results). Everyone really enjoyed the relaxation.

After sharing the artwork I got people to introduce themselves say who they were, what their business was and involved. It was great to have consciously left this to the end as it removed any conditions on the coming together of the group. We meet as a group, got connected and then discovered some more about each other.

Then we had some light refreshments, chatted for a while and all headed home.

If you would like me to work with you, your business, a network, community group, club, etc please get in touch.

Some feedback I have gotten since:

"I just wanted to thank you very much for a fantastic evening on Tuesday. I had a brilliant time. The format of the evening was great and I really hope you do many more of them. It was such an escape from the daily grind and it really spurred me on to get my creative juices flowing again." via email Linda, business owner manager.

"session the other night was very enjoyable. Thanks." via text Gillian, business owner.

I have developed this type of workshop over the past twenty years. Combining my facilitation and training experience with my creative skills, study in art therapy, my ability to prompt others creativity and build connections. If you would like to use the ideas or workshop outlined above feel free too but please credit it to Roisin Markham and Ballygarrett Art Studios. Also if you do use the ideas you find here let me know how you got on with them.

If you are interested in attending a training session on how to facilitate workshops like this contact me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuesday 18th August: Women in Business Summer Networking Events

Final details for the Women in Business informal network event happening next week near Gorey, Co. Wexford.

Tuesday 18th August: Crash the artistic scene with Women in Business and entrepreneur's down time.
7.30pm -9.30pm
Location: ‘Dreaming’, Donaghmore House, Ballygarrett, Gorey, Co. Wexford [see map].

CREATIVE FUN with Roisin Markham, Ballygarrett Art Studio.

Sessions starts with deep relaxation then enjoy the creative path and immerse yourself in fun with lots of art materials.

This session is a really good stress reliever. Call a halt to trying to do it all. The way I design the workshop is with a gentle process of relaxation to start. Easing the brain to stop thinking about work and just switch off.

Choosing to relax, meet others and enjoy yourself you automatically give yourself a break from all of the things on your agenda. By networking with other women in business you see what life is like in other businesses in your geographical area. What are other women doing? How are they doing it? What are their challenges and how are they managing them?

The art materials are a bit of fun they get you doing something different, using colour, using your hands, doing something completely different from your typical work schedule. The use of the materials is more processed then product based. The workshop requires a willingness to engage and nothing else. For those that run their own business doing something process rather than result orientated is a fantastic and freeing exercise. So no experience is required in art. In fact if you shudder at the thought of using art materials then this workshop is a perfect introduction to engaging in a different creative process. Just 'do it'.

By trying something different and new you stretch your imagination in a different direction. By flexing your creative muscle differently to how you would typically stretch it in your business environment you create new connections and links in your brain that facilitate creative thinking and solution generation on different levels.

There are also the added mutual benefits of being in a group, seeing what happens, how others interact with materials, inspiration and often unexpected dynamic outcomes.

You’ll go back to work Wednesday morning feeling great and ready for any challenges that come your way.

The session will be followed by light refreshments.

Please book & pay; €25 for session (includes light refreshments).
Bookings can be emailed: ballygarrettartstudio [@] gmail . com
Payment by cheque to Roisin Markham and can be posted to
Ballygarrett Art Studio, Templederry Lane, Ballygarrett, Gorey, Co. Wexford.

Any questions call Roisin on 086.1546163 or send her an email.

All women in business in the South East are welcome to attend, if you are not in the South East and would like to attend your welcome to come. Book & pay plus let me know if you would like a list of suggested places to stay. Or alternatively invite me to your area and network.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Gorey Family Play Day, 1st August 2009

The place to be is at the Town Park in Gorey on Saturday afternoon!

I've been amazed at the amount of people who do not seem to know where the town park is so here is the map.

Read more about the events that will be on here.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Women in Business informal network & social creative event

7.30pm -9.30pm Tuesday 18th August

Crash the artistic scene with Women in Business and entrepreneur's down time.
CREATIVE FUN with Ballygarrett Art Studio, GOREY area.

Sessions starts with deep relaxation then enjoy the creative path and immerse yourself in fun with lots of art materials.

Location dependant on numbers contact me for more details, book & pay; €25 for session also includes light refreshments.

read more about other networking opportunties here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Working with Children

I was updating my profile and putting an photo up and it got me thinking I need to say a bit more about the type of work I have done with children and can do with children. Children and entrepreneur's have this really interesting link for me. I suppose they function on a level of creativity that is open and embracing, in the last two years a significant portion of my community arts practice has been based in working with both of these groups.

I have a broad perspective on my arts practice and follow with interest how communities and networks develop and in supporting the individuals creative process.

In children that can be so rewarding and heart breaking at the same time. The 'I'm no good at art' is very tough to hear from a six year old. So I like to provide really different learning opportunities for kids to open up a lateral approach towards creativity and the arts. I like to push boundaries on what art materials are and on what an 'artist' is and does. I suppose that is one reason why I normalise being an artist I want to make it accessible.

With children I have a particular interest in encouraging them to make things; through introducing basic 'make and do' I move them through exploring tradtional art materials and recycled materials to more complex construction. I also have an interest in traditional crafts and skills; felt making, knitting and stitching, gardening and education through outdoor environments. I create projects with and in schools plus group classes at the studio that explore some or all of these elements. From making a 3D intial, making robots with string and cardboard, to building and planting a school garden, to each child planting a spring bulb in a spiral, to planting rainbows, making trees for the library - to exploring communication and personal space through clay and the list goes on (as in more to post, more to follow on).

Another aspect of my work with children is based in their development and learning about groups and their personal space. Introducing playful exercises and creative journeys for children to explore artistically, personally and physically. This work includes workshops like ‘This is me’ about personal space suitable for Senior Infants up where the children explore a series of exercises like ‘take a line for a walk’, ‘this is my scribble’, ‘I am a seed’ to developing awareness about personal space and making a carpet in ‘this is me’. I mix movement, mime, yogic relaxation and grounding techniques, creative visualisation, colour, art materials, games and facilitation. The workshops are designed for children with mixed abilities and age groups. They can also be effective in dealing with issues around acceptance, special needs, bullying and staying safe.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Why Do People Buy Your Art?

An interesting and timely reminder of following up with people who buy your art. Plus making the most of that connection with a client and building on that information for future sales & opportunities. Not rocket science but effective.

Why Do People Buy Your Art?

Shared via AddThis

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Expanding the creative self?

I still struggle with how I work as an artist. I want to do so much; personal work, community arts, mentoring, workshops, education & interactive fun, exhibitions, creating opportunities for other artists, local area artists network - but I have to also cut my cloth both in terms of costs and time. I was going to write about how one can expand ourselves creatively but I cover that another day (its what a lot of workshops and mentoring covers I will be posting about shortly).
At the moment painting just does n't seem to cut it, although there has been a lot going on in my life and it is a way I usually process and enable other processes to expand. At the moment I am attached to the computer - it's the technology thing. I've been exploring social media sites and playing with Twitter. I love technology this was instilled in the early days after college when I worked in the localisation industry. An emerging industry in the early 90’s it was buzz-e in the same way Web 2.0 is today. So I have been exploring social media and looking for other artists who are using it as a platform for work.
I am very interested in the idea of 'collaboration' and have been thinking about trying a few experimental approaches. It is a work in progress in my head and as soon as I have a more defined structure I will progress my ideas into action.
I came across an amazing project and organisation this morning that uses twitter as a platform for an arts project, New Media Scotland. It adds an interesting twist to the arts, I love it!
Cut-Throat Bandits in the Paths of Fame. A re-engagement with the cultural and physical landscape of Edinburgh by imagining and enacting a geographical conversation with eight figures of the past.
New Media Scotland has a great approach partnering with artists, the term used in a broad expansive way and they work on "disseminate new ideas and reach new audiences" great combination. I'd love to hear about more of this type of work happening around the globe if you know of artists, communities, projects etc. please leave me a comment.

I applied for a bursary award two years ago to do a community area specific project based around land & time, mapping land usage and peoples passage through it. It was based on the idea that in rural or urban environments we trace patterns across time. I had this idea that I would find a visual representation for the patterns plus use it as a vehicle to explore historical links to land & local lore about an area. Among the things I suggested was using a variety different ways to capture data including social media. With my expanding knowledge of social media I think I might be ready to revisit that project and make it a better one.

What am I working on at the moment?
Gorey's Family Play Day a community arts event.

Also working on some new grounds for stitching and beading. This is where I use a photograph as a starting pint for a digital manipulation printing it on to fabric and then beading or stitching it. I want to have a series that I can exhibit next year. Must start looking for a good venue.
Some examples from previous expo.

And my Urn project is ongoing, so if you were invited to participate there is still time as I will be working on it during the summer. I'm really enjoying what people are sending back to me I love the way my friends have embraced the project I have about twenty sheets now. Thank you to all who are participating.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gorey Family Play Day

Gorey Town Park 2 -5pm, Saturday 1st August 2009.
The one and only place to be on the bank holiday weekend. You can go to Wexford on the Sunday and the Tinahely agricultural show on the 3rd but the first of August belongs to Gorey and the excellent afternoon of activities planned for family fun in the town park.
A free family fun play day as part of the 150 years celebration of Gorey Town Council. Hosted by Wexford County Council it is a welcome addition to the summer schedule.

I have been working with the Arts Officer in Wexford CC, Rosaleen Molloy to plan some ARTS fun. It has been great fun to think about what different age groups might want and engage in.
I'll post the full list when I have it.
So far Ballygarrett Art Studio has organised or is directly involved in:
  • I live... here place a sticker on the map to show where you have come from for the day.
  • Community Circus performances plus play and learn
  • Jigsaw search and make
  • That’s rubbish – but can it be art? Transforming rubbish into something, exploring the afterlife of an object in reuse, recycle; coffee cups & plastic bottles into objects, aluminium cans into metal sculptures. Demonstration & make and do.
  • Flying things. Paper planes, kites (things to run around with)
  • Newspaper Flappers. Draw fish, decorate them and cut them out. Grab a newspaper and flap the fish in one of the Newspaper Flappers races.
  • Bui Bolg ‘Fox in the Bin’
  • Face painting
  • Knitting circle for some full on clackity clack show and teach session for all ages (if your a knitter come and join in bring what your working on and sit and knit with others)
  • Demonstrations of traditional crafts: Willow weaving, Spinning & weaving, Felt making, Pole-lathe turning

There will also be sports, traditional games, messy play, a DJ, climbing wall, skate boarding action, clown, puppet show and lots more...

See you there!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Story telling, my arts practice

This morning I started to think about how 'story' is becoming central to my art practice again and started thinking back over my arts practice, it has always been central. But making space for each of us to express our stories seems to be important, personally, in groups, in our communities and in our geographical areas.
My workshops and community based work goes some way towards this but I want it to extend and put into action ideas that I have had for a long time, they are now maturing and I hope to bring them to to fruition this summer.
In 2005 - 2006 my painting work primarily dealt with my story, expressing it through painting mainly on paper. The paintings were good and I got to a point where I was pleased with them and if someone did n't like them that was okay because I was able to srtand beside the work and say 'I'm pleased with them'.

I worked towards a solo show in 2007 where my theme was dealing with change, mainly in living location but also the closure of a phase in my life. I was commemorating leaving behind an area I knew really well and an established network and community. As I worked on the exhibition I took on bigger themes that were outside myself. My point of reference grew and changed. I started to look at social capital read Robert Putnams 'Bowling Alone', looked at my experience of how communities function, how personal networks are formed and started looking at the urban rural divide in modern Ireland. My work also expanded to include handmade textiles and photo-graphic prints.

I should add two other significant things. In the year up to the exhibition I had spent most of my working time in the studio alone. The week before the exhibition when I was due to collect my work from the framers I ended up taking our 5 year old to the hospital, twice in three days where he was diagnosed with severe Glandular Fever. The work nearly did not get hung and at the opening I stood know that my husband was at home with our three children one of them still very ill.

At the exhibition opening I stood surrounded by friends and family and a few strangers. I spoke a little about the work and then something wonderful unfolded. What I thought was finished work became a starting point. People responded to my work, the exhibition became a dynamic fulcrum that caused me to change how I approached my arts practice.

I made a decision there and then that I would get out of the studio and work with people more bring my ideas to them earlier in my creative process and look at ways to explore creativity in a more open way with others.

To be continued...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Celebrations and the marking of time

I became another year older yesterday. I have chosen to celebrate not with a party or cake or drinks but with an invitation to celebrate by marking time in a significant and personal way for me.
I've circulated an request to family, friends and neighbours to write something on a sheet of newspaper and give to me. Then I am going to make tight thin tubes out of all the sheets of newspaper and weave them in an urn.

There are other pieces to the project. I will post as it unfolds. I've gotten two pages already. So lovely the thoughts in them so personal, honest and heartfelt.

If your looking for a different way to celebrate; marking of time, rites of passage, someone special I can facilitate and design something for you. I am open to talk with you about a special event or workshop based on using art and soul for celebrations, occasions or closure, email me ballygarrettartstudio(at)

The studio is a good place for gifts with a difference. If you are looking for gifts I work on commissions and have a range of affordable and excellent paintings, textiles and collages for sale at the studio.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Doodles part II

I continue to be amazed and surprised to find fun and free software on the web. it's amazing how do the developers earn money?

One fun one that I came across is called I have been posting doodles there as a way to keep track of them, I'm drawing with the mouse and very quickly so they are pretty basic but you'll get the idea. See them under Havin_fun.

Here is todays doddle.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Rural Arts Network and a stolen rose

Last night I attended A county of Arts and Culture. Would you like to see more arts and cultural events in your community? Presented by the Rural Arts Network. It was held in Leighlinbridge Parish Centre, Co. Carlow and run as part of the √Čigse Festival which is Carlow's Arts Festival.
No mean feat as it is a 90 mile round trip from Leighlinbridge to Ballygarrett.
The meeting was really good and very well facilitated by Conor O'Leary, a dedicated professional who wants to enable local communities to run arts events in their rural communities. He is interested in working with rural communities so if your interested in having arts events running in your community have a look at his website, what he does and contact him for more details.
I really liked the way Conor had three performances interspersed with the content of the meeting, he started with a performance from the Carlow Youth Orchestra, then did a short presentation followed by a great story from a local story teller. The arts officer Aileen Nolan, gave a presentation (too heavy on text) but great to see arts officers at local community based events standing up and reminding people of their role and what they do in the county.
Tara Connaghan the √Čigse Festival Director spoke briefly, she seems to be having great success diversifying the arts festival from Carlow town to the outlying more rural communities.
After that Conor broke us into groups by location and was surprised to see that half the people in the room were from outside Carlow County.
The group I was in really represented the South East; Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford, Tipperary, Kilkenny, all the areas involved in Artlinks. We were asked to brainstorm ideas for local rural arts events. All of the groups came up with 15+ ideas for local arts events. Then we chose one idea and mapped it out further what would we need to do to take the idea further. Then all the groups made a presentation back to the large group on the idea the group discussed and expand on.
Following on from this we got a short form to fill out which asked what three ideas we would like to see happening in our local area and taking one of those ideas what three steps would we need to take to make one of those ideas happen.
After all creative ideas are just that unless you can make them happen.
The evening was closed with two traditional musicians who finished the meeting on a great lively note.

On the way out of the Parish Hall I was stopped in my tracks by the rich and heavily scented rose bushes either side of the drive way entrance. The air was thick with the smell of a good old fashioned T-rose. It had been raining heavily and this seemed to add to the scent the bushes were laden with roses. I broke a rose, stealing it I suppose. I placed it on the dashboard of the car and enjoyed the fragrance as I started my journey home. As I drove by the river a fog had descended capturing the beauty of the river, fields and isolating the trees showing off the shapes in monochromatic splendid foggy isolation.
This morning after making school lunches, cooking pancakes for breakfast I got into the car to drop the boys to the school run and I was meet with the same wall, the heady intoxicating fragrance of the stolen rose.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tree Wisdom

I’ve been reading this amazing book about Trees, actually I've been reading it on and off for a few years. Tree Wisdom The definitive guidebook to myth, folklore and healing power of Trees, written by Jacqueline Memory Paterson
I bought it a few years ago for a proposal I did for a competition for a commission in 2006, I was not awarded the commission. I did a bit of research at the time on the concept of the 'tree of life', ogham, and the ancient Celtic link to trees. Recently the idea of the commission has returned and this blog has acted as inspiration to revisit the idea and start the visual process.
I have just finished reading the chapter about the Ash tree prompted by a recent visit to an amazing place near Gorey with ancient Ash trees all around it.
Hope you enjoy the graphic depicting the incantation to the elements with the power of the ash.
Ash Incantation by Roisin Markham

Monday, June 8, 2009


Wordle: Text doodle! Wordle for word clouds!

Wordle: Doodle3
They could do with a few more colour options but it is fun to use, and saves some time if the word cloud is for a blog or quick label. I have done word clouds in graphic programmes they take time.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fantastic quote!

"Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual"
Buckminster Fuller

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Summer Camps for Children

Offering children creative fun during the summer!

July, 10am - 12 midday
21 Monday & 22 Tuesday Model Making
23 Wednesday & 24 Thursday Print Making
27 Monday & 28 Tuesday Animation with Sandancer studio

Ages 5+. Younger siblings can be catered for on request with parents stay and play option.

If you would like a specific activity or session for your child, family or a group of friends email me; ballygarrettartstudio at
And yes that includes if it rains for days on ended or your at the wits end and you need to get the kids out and about to do something.
Book a creative adventure at Ballygarrett Art Studio!

Information to follow on adult summer camps... well why should the kids have all the fun.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Type - 3D

I've rediscovered my love of typography again, the shapes of letters and words. The curve of an a, the crossing of a t. This has happened for three reasons.

Reason 1. I've been teaching and getting the children at Ballygarrett art studio kids class on a Tuesday to work on a four week type project. It's a project I have done before and kids of all ages love it.

I kicked of the project by asking the kids to have a look at magazines, the newspaper, books and look for their name or their initials. This bring their awareness to printed type. With older children I sometimes get them to go through magazines and make a montage with the text. Then I showed techniques for creating hand drawn typefaces. The kids also drew and coloured in their name in different sizes and styles. Following on from that they drew their first initial large and we cut it out twice.
This Tuesday was spent constructing these two 2D initials into a 3D initial to act as a piece of sculpture in the kids bedrooms. They work really well as stand alone items but they can also be hung from the door or the ceiling. I particularly like them on shelves. These 3D shapes will be decorated in next weeks class. Really looking forward to seeing what these kids do with these shapes.
This project can be done with recycled materials, tape and glue are needed also.
Reason 2. A recent commission for painting room names in a healing centre. It was a lovely job to get. Raphael was painted in red with copper on the elaborate 'R'. The small 'R' was matt varnished to stand out from other letter which were gloss varnished. Painted on to wooden four panel doors.
Reason 3. Designing a type based logo for a new company,

...and I have discovered! Gone for ever are the days of the letraset book. I wonder does anyone have a copy lying around?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Commission - yes even in this economy.

After my recent article in the Gorey Echo (full page on 'A day in the life of Artist - Roisin Markham'. I got a call which lead to a meeting which lead to a commission. It involoves words and the creative expression of same through type or typography. The words will get painted in situ tomorrow I'm really looking forward to it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Finding your own creative path

No matter what you do or who you are, you have a creative path to walk.
Finding an authentic expression for your creativity is important.

I hear
"oh I'm not creative"
"yeah but I don't have time"
"I'm no good at art"

Creativity is about doing what you feel passionate about to the best of your ability. Right now that could be a really important stress reliever.

When we find ourselves in situations that are not truly us, we put ourselves under enormous stress to adapt and change, to 'work' in that environment, fit in, succeed. That constant stress factor takes its toll on our personal mental and physical health. The current economic climate makes us feel like we have less choices so it is really important to manage your personal stress.

Creativity in action is a great way to do that.

We don't always chose to work at or with our passion. Sometime we don't believe we can. But do we know what your passion is? Do you?

Now that is worth exploring.

  1. Inspired Business Growth
    Finding new ways to work in the current economic climate.

  2. Moving Forward
    This course can be run in a business context or on a personal level. The strategic development and goal setting principals are the same but the facilitation is structured accordingly. Moving Forward teaches tools for living and dynamic insights.

  3. Introduction to creative workshops
    Your invited to discover what a creative workshop is and see if you like it?
    Day time and evening on Tuesday 5 May and a morning session on Saturday 9 May are scheduled at Holos Health and Well Being Centre, Gorey.
    Other locations and groups facilitated by request.

If your interested in success through innovation, creativity and action for you, your business or a group your involved in contact Creativedynamix.1 [at] gmail to express you interest in a course and for more information.

Children's drop in Art Class start again today

Families and children are welcome to join the drop in Childrens Art classes run weekly at Ballygarrett Art Studio, Gorey, County Wexford.

Tuesday: 3.30pm - 4.30pm
Wednesday: 3.30pm - 4.30pm

2+ welcome with parental supervision.

Families are traveling to Ballygarrett Art Studio to take part in fun creative activities. As a parent I understand the pace of a school pick up and a drive to an activity so parents are welcome to stay with their children, enjoy a cup of tea and have some chill time. A small box of toys is offered for the smaller siblings to play with.

Stay and create rates are offered along with a drop and go rate.

Adult creative classes are also offerend contact me for more information,

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Work

I've just framed some work and they fit in the small, affordable, good for presents mode so I thought I might post them here so you could have a look at them.

What to do if you see some thing you like?

  1. Let me know you like what you see, you can post a comment below.
  2. If you would like to purchase a piece of work you can email me at ballygarrettartstudio (at) to let me know which piece you would like to purchase and we can make arrangements from there.
  3. If you would like to comission me to create a piece of work email me also.
These orignal framed paintings and textiles can be posted through An Post at local postage rates (I've done it before even for big pieces and it works fine). Size of frames varies the smallest being 15cm x 15cm and the largest in this range being 26cm x 26cm.

You can look at more of my work on line and order prints on line here. Or visit a selection of my work currently on show at the Enterprise Centre in the Gorey Business Park.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fantastic Choco-tastic!

On Tuesday Ballgarrett Art Studio was host to kids for Choco-Tastic! Edible art and construction with chocolate and marzipan.

Thanks to the website demand was so popular that I hosted two sessions. Ages 2 - 13 participated and the chocolate fun was great.

The children made nests for mini Easter eggs and then we had a fluffy chick to place on top of them. If was all about the senses; the smell of the chocolate, the feeling of the twigs, licking our fingers as we went, fun and edible.

The second activity was a bit different we used marzipan and coloured white fondant icing to making a chick, duck or animal shape out of marzipan, just like pottery but edible! The kids were not so impressed by the marzipan so this activity was more about making rather then eating.
We particularly liked the duck with boxing gloves (age 4)
and these dainty decorations on this chick (age 7).

The second group was a group of older girls and they really went for mixing it up with their marzipan creations.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

ART not chocolate for Easter!

Here at Ballygarrett Art Studio we support

Art not chocolate for Easter 2009.

Ballygarrett Art Studio is establishing this campaign and suggests the following reasons why everyone should be supporting this campaign

1. Art has No calories.
2. Art lasts much longer.
3. Original art is affordable. Prices at Ballygarrett Art Studio start at €35. Whatever the budget or occasion we have something to suit or to recommend.
4. Support your local artist.

A selection of my work is on display at the Enterprise Centre, Gorey Business Park, Ramstown, Gorey, Co. Wexford.
Viewing of other work by arrangement with Roisin at 086.1546163.

What you can do;
· Instead of buying chocolate view and purchase a piece of Roisin Markham’s art work or commission work, gift vouchers are also available.

· Forward this to all the people you know and ask them to forward it so that this campaign can gain support

· If you’re an artist steal the idea and start your own campaign
just CC on the email

Monday, March 30, 2009

Art and craft shops

In the Gorey, Co. Wexford Byrnes on the main street stock art materials but I find the range limited and expensive, try the Bookstation down the road, Tesco and Lidil (when they are running art material promotions) offer good value in art supplies. All these places sell off craft supplies and bits and pieces to clear stock and make way for new products coming in. So if your around the town drop in and check what's on offer.
If your looking for an art shop near you check out your local for listings.

These are the places I recommend and purchase from
Premier Arts and Crafts, Greystones or Bray, Wicklow. For contact details no online shop. Both shops in Bray and Greystones are excellent. They also stock great craft fun stuff for boys and girls that are excellent value and make good gifts.

Hopkins Toymasters, Wicklow Town. Established since 1850 so there is no building number you will find them in the middle of the main street, car parking for customers to the rear. Great shop worth a detour from the N11 or a trip all by itself. Toys, books, stationary, great craft and art supplies. They offer great value and will order products for you. Very friendly.

Evans, Dublin for map and address no online shop which is a shame but an excellent shop & they will deliver. They offer great value. I used to go there as an art student and still go there as an artist and teacher. good online shop. If your unable to get to an art shop and need supplies, have access to the internet and have a credit card this is the place for you. If you don't have a credit card you should check out 3V as an option for online payments. If you go to Cork make sure you check this shop our its great. Great little site. if you never buy anything from the site go look at the buttons - so cute, so cool!

Thrifty art supplies

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on art supplies to enjoy art!

If your kids like to cut and paste get them to make collages with a glue stick and a pile of magazines. Reuse old postcards, magazines, newspapers (great for cutting out words for kids that can’t write yet). Second hand shops are great for old magazines at affordable prices. The doctor’s surgery, dentist and local hairdressers are all good sources for these magazines when they are finished with their stock. Try to get a mixture of topics and avoid real trashy celebrity magazines.

A list of potentially useful items:
  • Newspaper
  • Postcards
  • Magazines, flyers, newspaper supplements – for colourful images and coloured paper for collages.
  • Cardboard from cereal boxes makes great card for art projects
  • Buttons. When recycling clothes cut off the buttons and keep them in a jar they make interesting additions to pictures- Lids. Twist top cartons lids like the ones used for litres of milk or juice cartons. Even the two litre milk cartons can be used. Jar lids can also be used.
  • Tissue paper. From new shoes boxes or wrapping. This can be used to paint on, layering over images and for making flowers.
  • Cotton wool
  • Twine or an assortment of wool and threads
  • Feathers
  • Straws
  • Ice cream sticks
  • Easter egg wrappers – great opportunity to collect different coloured foil.
  • Brown or white paper bags
  • Egg cartons
  • Toilet roll inserts

Commercial craft bits & bobs that kids like. Keep an eye out in your local stationary shop, local supermarket or book shop for when they discount craft items and keep a small stock. Or you can go to one of the on line craft suppliers and stock up.

  • felt pompoms,
  • googly eyes,
  • pipe cleaners
  • Glitter, glitter glue, glitter gel, sequins, sequin mesh - all colours
  • Stickers for younger kids, it can be old out of date supermarket promotion stickers, hold onto them. The kids can always colour over the original content.

Keep all the craft materials in a box including scissors, glue and tape.

Teach the kids to clean up as part of the activity that way you don't get left with all the clean up.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Just "be" Workshop

90 minutes of fun exploring your creative, personal and spiritual development . Just "Be".

Well that's what a group of us did at Holos, Health and Well Being Centre in Gorey on Saturday 27 March. Do you know it? Just opposite Gorey's Theatre. Niamh has created a lovely space there. I really enjoyed facilitating the workshop.

So this is what we did
  • a deep relaxation,
  • followed by grounding work and a guided visualisation
  • we explored a series of colour based exercises using art materials
  • a fun surprising exercise called 'goal squares' gave everyone a different aspect to think about and accomplish for the next 2weeks to three months.
  • leading into the closing relaxation and a finsh to our workshop.

Thanks to everyone who came and for your feedback.
"Really enjoyed the morning. Possibly a 3 hour session would work well"
"Lovely and relaxing - I came in a bit lu-la! So calmer now. It has opened up my mind to what I need."
"Love it!"
"Great, really enjoyed the experience"

Friday, March 27, 2009

Kids Weekly Art classes

3.30 - 4.30pm: Tuesday and Wednesday at Ballygarrett Art Studio
The childrens pay as you go drop in Art classes at the studio on a Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon are going really well. Families of 2 or 3 kids are showing up. I know the stay and play price is great value. I have families coming from Camolin, Ferns and Blackwater. The cup of tea for Mums is a plus to.

The plan is to grow the numbers and then move to the Old School House across the road.

I'm always facinated at how children love to make things. Along with doing the typical painting, drawing and colouring I really like to show kids how to construct things. We've done construction with no glue only using string, cardboard and straws. Amazing creations were made including bats, fish and robots. Some of the younger kids learnt to tie their first knot.
This week we trialed the diamond pop up card activity the kids really enjoyed it. The details of how to make the pop up card will go out in the next Newsletter you need to subscribe to the site to get the free newsletter.

Lots of fun and exciting things planned for the next three weeks see Ballygarrett Art Studio's Spring Programme.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Today of all days!

Yes I decided to start blogging. Why today? I found myself saying once to often I have this book or have you seen this great website. So while the website is a waiting to get started - soon to be work in progress here goes a blog!

One of the things I currently love about the web is that you can listen to great information and articles online or download them to an MP3 player and listen to them away from the PC.

I stopped listening to the Irish Radio stations last Novemeber I just decided I did not need all that negativity in my life. So I have been slowly finding interesting sites to listen to my favourite is Its alternative radio thats for sure.
I don't agree or recommend everything on the site but that is the great thing about the web pick and choose - when your done move on.

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