Author Archives: JesseJames

About JesseJames

JesseJames are artists based in Dublin

Snow in Firhouse

Snow was due today. However, we only got a light smattering of sleet around midday which melted straightaway on the wet ground. Snow is rare enough in Ireland that we still look forward to it as a magical event. The last decent snow fall we had in Firhouse was about two years ago. So this snow filled post is James’s way of compensating for today’s disappointment.

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Snow Flakes – Dodder Valley Park, Firhouse
Snow Garden

Calligraphic Marks
Ink Well

The higher contrast  of objects in snow is often very calligraphic, like a chinese water-ink painting on a white background. People trees, bushes and rivers appear almost black against snow. With this in mind I did the following mixed media painting.

Firhouse Bridge under Snow

Hunters in the Snow (below) is one of those paintings that has captivated James from the first time he saw it as a teenager. It is such a vivid scene, more of a cast spell than a mere painting.

Hunters in the Snow – Pieter Breugel the Elder

When commissioned to create a mural for a child’s bedroom, James was given carte blanche to paint whatever he wished. Very quickly he came up with the idea of recreating the Hunter’s in the Snow scene. It was a fairly faithful rendering, but with one big exception – the human characters were replaced with animal ones. The dog in the foreground collecting the stick was a portrait of Jack, the family dog.

Full Mural
Mural Detail
Mural in context

Images: JesseJames. Words: JesseJames.

This Shortest Day

So the Shortest day came, and the year died,

And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world

Came people singing, dancing,

To drive the dark away.

They lighted candles in the winter trees;

They hung their homes with evergreen;

They burned beseeching fires all night long

To keep the year alive,

And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake

They shouted, revelling.

Through all the frosty ages you can hear them

Echoing behind us – listen!!

All the long echoes sing the same delight,

This shortest day,

As promise wakens in the sleeping land:

They carol, feast, give thanks,

And dearly love their friends,

And hope for peace.

And so do we, here, now,

This year and every year.

Welcome Yule!


Image: JesseJames. Words: Susan Cooper.

Inis Oírr’s Fountain

A woman I know told me a man from Galway she knows told her that the cargo of the Plassey, which was shipwrecked on Inis Oírr in the 1960’s, included ceramic toilet bowls. Many of these were spirited away when the Plassey was grounded on Trá Caorach. A woman I know told me a man from Galway she knows told her that some of the ceramic toilet bowls were used in the dwellings on the island, while others were sold in Galway. We imagine Duchampian porcelain installation pieces might still be found unclaimed in the caves and crevices of the limestone.