In 2006 I took a Road Trip from San Francisco to New Mexico and back over the course of a month, writing and taking photos all the way. Two years later I had a show of paintings based on those photographs. This is a series of posts of those paintings accompanied by the relevant diary entries.

001clarion hotel, dublin,4am
4am, Clarion Hotel, Dublin, oil on board, 9 x 6 inches (approx.)

1.April 26th/27th 2006

This was the bed in my room at the Clarion Hotel beside Dublin airport and you can see my little Nokia on the bedside table. I love painting beds, all those wrinkly sheets suggestive of a presence, of movement. I love hotels too. I am such a child. Maybe I haven’t stayed in enough of them. My diary entry is not too exciting-actually there’s quite a few boring bits so I’ll be editing as I go-but I am pleased to see that shattered though I was, I dove straight into San Francisco as soon as I arrived. My love affair with tuna steak started here.

Travel sick all the way to Carlow then feel better. The bus journey took nearly 5 hours from Tramore to the Clarion Hotel at Dublin Airport. Shower, watch TV and order apple pie from room service. I am on holidays. After about four hours sleep I am up to get the courtesy bus for the first leg…shagged by London… feel like a mess for the rest of the journey…I get a courtesy bus to the door of the hostel as I am too shattered to go ‘authentic’ with local transport. I shower and go out to explore. Up Telegraph Hill and the Coit Tower-there are murals inside…Diego (Rivera) it seems!-though they aren’t that good and could be ‘in the style of’*….Pier 39 for dinner. Dantes serves up a beautiful tuna steak in spices on garlic mash…$25…later I strolled back past the sea lions and am back to the Green Tortoise Hostel by 7pm.

*The murals in Coit Tower aren’t Diegos but were facilitated by the Public Works of Art Project of the 1930s that fostered so many of Americas’ artists. Would that we had one here in Ireland now. Twenty Seven muralists took part in the 1933 scheme and many of the artists involved were socialist and supporters of Riveras’ particularly after Rockefeller had one of Riveras’ murals, Man at a Crossroads, destroyed in 1934 because the artist had depicted Lenin in it.


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