This was all my sister’s idea. She suggested I walk along the Gower coast and paint the bays and beaches. I had no idea how difficult the logistics of this would be. I’ll come back to the issue of bus timetables later, as it is something that has kept me awake at night trying to figure out how to go and get back from places in Gower.

Irish Folklore and how to hold on to your luck!

The other day, I was walking home from buying bread in my local Co-op, when I spied a ladder reaching across my path. Ladders and solitary magpies usually provoke a struggle in my mind. What to do? Avoid it? There wasn’t much space. I would have to go out of my way to walk under it. There were two mask-less builders nearby too. There was a brief clash of science and superstition in my head but they actually coincided nicely. So I took a route which led me into the…

An artists’s journey around the Gower coast

I love looking at maps. I have been gazing at the map of coastal path around Gower for days now. The Peninsula juts out westwards into the Bristol Chanel. Its about 17 miles in length and 8 miles width at its widest point. I am planning to walk around its coastline, approximately 38 miles in length, maybe a bit less. I am, however, going to start with a map of Swansea Bay. People who have never been to Swansea make jokes about the place as if its somewhere to avoid. Quite the opposite…

Owey in Late Spring — Emma Cownie

I love the Donegal islands for their peace and quiet. Oh, the relative absence of cars, the abundance of nature but I particularly love their houses. You may have noticed that I painted quite a few of them, lately; lovely long strings of houses.

A tale of two Lookout posts built 100 years apart

I have been making journeys of the mind to Donegal, and to the little village of Maghery in particular. It lies just a stone’s throw (4 miles or about a 10-minute drive) down the road from Dungloe in the Northwestern county Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. I regard Dungloe as the center of my universe when I am in Donegal, because it has not one but four supermarkets:- Lidls, Aldis, Supervalu, and The Cope.

Looking for the silver lining


Last night I dreamt I was making a turquoise green rug. Odd as I have no plans to make a rug.

We have all shifted from being bit-part players in the Hollywood film “Contagion” to being Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day”. Although numbers of new cases have fallen in the UK, Covid is still very close. Our neighbours came down with it two weeks ago. So lockdown still feels very necessary, even if it seems unending. There have been times it has felt unbearable. When my parents’ second Pfizer vaccination was moved from…

Dunmore Strand (with Mount Errigal)(Private Collection)

My County Derry-born husband, Séamas, is a bit obsessed by Mount Errigal. He loves to tell me that you can see Donegal’s highest peak from different places such as the beach, the tiny local airport, the house, the top of the garden. His father helped run a boxing club named after the Donegal peak too. Actually, after spending the week getting sucked down the rabbit hole that is “family history” research, I have decided this love of Errigal is in his genes.

My work has undergone a small but important shift. Two shifts in fact.

The first is a compositional one. I have decided to revisit some of the “rules” I first used in 2017 when painting my Welsh “Urban Minimal” paintings (see my paintings for my exhibition in the Cardiff MadeinRoath festival here). My “rules” for composition and painting this project were:- no cars, no people, bright light. There must be shadows — at diagonals if possible and simplified forms — there must be as little detail as possible. I want to explore the interplay of the geometry of shadows and…

How two artists responded to “Difficult Times”

This is about two very different artists who lived on different sides of the world almost 80 years apart. Although their lives and times were very different their response to difficult times, although superficially seemingly very different, have a lot in common.

The first artist is called is Evelyn Dunbar. I fell in love with this painting of hers when I happened across it the other day. I had never heard of her before but the painting made my heart sing. Such a beautiful painting — full of poise and elegance. I loved…

Emma Cownie

Landscape painter. Inspired by light and colour. Living in Wales & Donegal.

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