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Since the Spring of 1974 thousands of eager artists have passed through the doors of the Burren Painting Centre, in Lisdoonvarna. Many have become famous in their own right, others have sought further knowledge and art skills, returning year after year to this artistic haven in North Clare.
The lure of The Burren is for some their prime motivator, for others the opportunity of making new friendships. Or it is their pure love of painting that brings them back time and time again. Many good friendships have been forged, some across international boundaries and even matches have been made. A successful marriage between a Belgian painter and an Irish accountant grew from their first meeting on a painting course in Lisdoonvarna.
burrenpainting.jpgAs well as enjoying the wonderful scenery of the Burren, the artists come face to face with the botany, geology and geography of the limestone terrain. The wind pruned hawthorns have become a signature of the Burren landscape in many paintings. The Atlantic coastline offers immense vistas of sea and sky, which are enhanced by the wonderful light of the Western seaboard. The towering cliffs and sandy beaches are interspersed with rocky inlets and quaint harbours.
Despite the turbulent 70’s and depressed 80’s the Burren Painting Centre continued to offer an uplifting environment for aspiring artists. Art competitions and exhibitions were held regularly despite the difficulties of bank strikes, petrol shortages and postal disruptions. One brave soul cycled from Carlow to Lisdoonvarna with a painting strapped to her bicycle carrier to make an entry in the Burren Painting Centre Competition in the early 90’s, determined to beat the postal strike difficulties.
For the past 20 years Chris O’Neill has co-ordinated foreign painting trips to offer new vistas to the regular clients of the Centre in Lisdoonvarna. Locations have included Moscow, Kiev, New York, Florida, Tuscany, Portugal, Sardinia, France and Copenhagen. The culinary delights of each place and friendly guidance by the tutors, add up to an enjoyable experience, that many repeat annually.
The new season for the ‘plein air’ landscape painting courses commences on May 3rd with the well known Dublin watercolorist Olivia Hayes as the art tutor. Several courses will run over the Summer months including courses in oils, acrylics and pastel. The ‘Finale Paint Out’, a Gathering event on the last day of August and 1st of September will offer an opportunity for past tutors, friends and artists to mingle and paint at the favourite locations throughout the Burren and exchange old memories.
For more information contact :- Christine O’Neill, Course Director T: 00353 65 7074208 E: info@burrenpaintingcentre.com W:   www.burrenpaintingcentre.com