Carol Cronin of Dunquin Paints the Ocean

Clearly, I adored Ireland. Felt like I had come home to my people. And I feel very much like everyone should go there. You should. Go on. Go. Now.

My favorite thing about the country? How you can round a corner and find amazing things like this, just sitting there: 

Located right next to St. Mary's Church–which I don't have a picture of, appallingly enough. I believe this is a college for the church.

Or this:

Yep. Farmer-man with cows and dog in the middle of town. With palmtrees looking on.

And quirky things like this:

Please, PLEASE beware of the duck. Also the Bruce, who is reflected in the window. Dangerous husband, that Bruce. He whisks wives off to Ireland for 25th wedding anniversaries with virtually no notice. There's a warrant out for him . . . 


But one of the best things we rounded a corner and found was this–just up from the nameless church college next to St. Mary's:

Ah, my dears. THIS was a find. Carol is a wonderful artist–a graduate from the Cork College of Art and Design, widely travelled, awarded, and most adventurous (lived on the barely live-able Blasket Islands off the Dingle Penninsula Coast for a summer). And she keeps a gallery in Dingle.

I've raved about the color of the Atlantic on the west coast of Ireland, but unless you've seen it, it's hard to believe. Carol captures it perfectly: the movement, the color, the drama. With tiny, fine-haired brush-strokes, she imbues the water with a detail that I haven't seen in seascapes before. And I've seen a lot of seascapes. I love me my seascapes. Carol is friendly and open, with an easy smile and manner. She told me that she doesn't want the water to look frozen or stationary, so she doesn't paint from pictures. To keep it alive, she sketches waves at the waterfront, then returns to the studio to paint from memory.

Here (with permission) are the gorgeous results (not as gorgeous as they are in real life, but you get the idea):

You know what? You just need to go see for yourself. And since I can't fly you all to Ireland, here's Carol's web address:

For a great little biographical video–showing both the artist and the ocean that inspires her–go to:

And just to prove I am not making this up:

Carol is the artistic-looking Irish woman on the right. I am the touristy-looking American woman on the left. The lack of a Carol Cronin painting in my hands is due to the bank account we emptied to get over there. But SOMEDAY, I am going to buy one of her paintings. Maybe the little seascape triptych she had on her wall in the gallery behind us . . . 

(And how is it that I continue to look like a giantess next to these tiny Celtic women? It's starting to give me a complex.)


Okay, have you gone and taken a look at Carol's website? Have I given you enough time? No? Well, when you're done you can come back here and look at all the rest of the things I loved about Dingle:

John, the owner of Greenmount House, the B&B we lodged in. Why is his picture on this list? I mean besides the fact that my hunka-hunka-burnin'-love husband is in the picture too? Because John (or maybe his wife) thought of details like this:

A wonderful breakfast-nook, with beautiful views and truly outstanding food.

And this:

A towel warmer — a device invented by angels. I warmed my socks on it. Mmmsnuggy.

But there was also this . . . 

 . . . right on the side of the road. And a little beyond it . . . 

 . . . this. I want this to be my backyard.

And of course, there was always a bit of this . .  

And this:


And a whole lot of this:

Eeep. I hope those cars on the left aren't picky about their detailing. 

And the moment we got tired of city life, we could always drive for five minutes and find ourselves a morsel of this:


All right, my people. I've given you enough images to dream about. Start saving your milk-money so you can go see it in real life. Make sure to take lots of pictures. And Tell Carol and John and the driver of that truck (and the little Drake, while you're at it), hello for me.


About Janiel 433 Articles
I have managed to keep the same husband for nearly three decades, and the same four children for almost that long - although one or two of them say it has been much longer. I have been writing since I learned to hold a pencil, and trying to make people laugh even longer. I hope to do some good in the world before I go the way of it. And if not, I'd better at least get to visit Ireland.


    • Oh, wouldn’t it be grand to get a gaggle of girls together and go? You’d love it there, Robin. The colors alone would make you swoon. We must find a way . . .

  1. Yes, we must find a way to spend at least a month in the U.K. together. Girls only, no boys allowed! Those paintings are amazing. I’ve seen lots of seascapes, but never one where that’s only sea. Lovely.

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