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De Valera Library Gears up for a Break in the Weather by Sara Foust

Clare Champion, Friday, 30th June 2006

A new exhibition at the de Valera Library Gallery in Ennis celebrates midsummer with a recent body of work by Miltown Malbay artist Sara Foust. A Break in the Weather contains over 20 paintings all painted en plein air, or on site, on the rocky Clare coast. The exhibition will be on show from July 4th until July 15th.

"I have been really celebrating the good weather, going out to paint every fine day. After a long, wet winter, it is a lovely feeling to paint outside in the sun, like taking a great stretch after sitting still for too long. Painting en plein air brings energy to the artwork, like trying to paint the soul of the place", says Sara.

Sara's paintings have an undeniable immediacy, bringing a viewer into the scene with her. Her bold brushstrokes and evocative colour reveal the architecture of the coastal rocks and the power play between land and sea. And the scenes are familiar, a careful eye recognises coastal outlooks from Hags Head to the Kilkee Cliffs.

"I think you often see very subdued paintings of the Irish countryside. It is an artist's challenge to find visual drama in our placid landscape of lush rolling hills and winding roads. When you cross a green field and reach the ocean, it is like entering another world! There are jutting rocks and broken terraces, crashing waves and ominous caves. My mission with these paintings has been to capture the energy and the abundant colour, black rocks contrasting with orange lichen, red and yellow seaweed and the ever-changing green, turquoise and steel grey of the sea", she said.

On Friday, July 7th, there will be a reception with the artist at the de Valera Gallery to officially open the exhibition A Break in the Weather, which will be opened by Fiona Woods, noted visual artist and regional arts co-ordinator for Clare County Council Arts Office. The reception is from 5-8pm and the public are welcome.

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