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After a surprisingly easy series of airplane and bus rides I’m finally settled into a nice room at The Burren’s Painting Centre in Lisdoonvera. County Clare, Ireland. This afternoon the attendees met each other and our teacher in the studio, went over her plans for the week, then were sent away for a good night’s rest

For that reason, and the because I couldn’t even get in the door at the Burrens Brewery, I took a pass on some live Irish music and a few pints of their marvellous ale.

Our teacher is a French water colourist, with a delightful accent and listening to her I found myself actually excited about being back in school again. The first few days we’ll cover basics like mixing colours, perspective and weather permitting, head to the ā€¯Burrens” for some outdoor work, no sunblock required.

It’s been such a relief to walk the narrow roads here, a cool, fresh wind in my face, surrounded by rolling hills, ancient stone walls and bored cattle. There are no bugs and so far the people are as friendly as the brochures claim.

Lisdoonvera is a two-street village with more pubs than churches located in the middle of some of the most spectacular scenery in Ireland. On the bus ride up from Shannon I kept thinking that I’ll need a LOT more green paint! One day of the class is actually dedicated to just that colour.

This verdant aspect is the result of rain, lots of rain. The first few days here I soaked and sweated through four days worth of clothes before figuring out how to dress for the climate. At least I won’t have to use that little spray bottle to keep my paints wet.

There is WiFi all over town, everything I own runs fine on 220 volts and a Euro is worth $1.55 so most prices seem low.

More soon.