New Paintings

[To see my Paintings for Sale - click here].

It’s not Yogurt, it’s a Camera

Twice in my life I’ve been given a bouquet of flowers. It didn’t mean I was better than anybody who didn’t get flowers those days, but it was nice.

And when the bar finally closed in Galway on Sunday morning, in time for this photo, taken as the sun rose to shine through my glass trophy onto my sausages, rashers and black pudding, well, it felt very nice.

I’m at my most self-absorbed when approaching a show. From the painting to the logistics, the fear of not being ready and, such is the oddness of showing pictures you’ve painted to people, the fear of actually being ready - I’m a nervous basketcase.

My brain shuts down all functions bar breathing and some limited movement. Sentences cannot be formed. Things will be dropped. My ears will refuse to tell my brain they’ve heard speech.

On Saturday afternoon, 22 of the 24 paintings going on display were yet to be wired. And labelled. Oh and signed. And my steel display framework was yet to be put up, in a room I find full of glass tables, with a fire escape right where I’d planned to erect it, and just 2 inches to play with for most of the ceiling area. I was nervous. Apologies if you spoke to me during this time. Or listened to me.

With the pain in my chest and the sickness in my stomach I was thinking that I will never put myself in this situation again. Never. And yet in a moment of lucidity during soundchecks while screwing eye-screws into canvases I caught myself almost dancing to Beyonce.

The sickly nervous stretch I got through, thanks only to support from friends in Galway, to encouraging words, just as my ears were shutting down, from FatMammyCat, and from help by Alexia and Clara.

But. You know when you go to a wedding and you manage to get in several great conversations? Well such is the energy and talent in the room, that the Irish Blog Awards is quite a good wedding.

You want to meet so many people. You fail to meet so many people. You actually see so many, and yet time permits only a nod, or a howaya, or a see ya in a few. And yet still the main reason Sunday felt so fantastic - ignoring, if you will, drinking until breakfast - was the conversations I did fit in.

It’s impossible to recount all but some of the longer moments I got to enjoy were with Maman Poulet, Walter, Sentence first, Val’s Kitchen, Sweary Lady, Website Doctor, Lisamareedom, James Gallagher, Sniffle & Cry, Mr. M, Laughing Lion, Bock, Beanstalk, Nialler9, Right Click Radio, Nick McGivney, The Voyage, Brian Greene, and Manuel Estimulo.

But it’s so much more than that. There isn’t a dead second in there. While I tried to direct comments at so many people I wanted to meet, I had countless people come up to me to make the nicest comments about paintings, photographs, the webcam, the cottage, the cycling, the cartoons, the studio, and most of all, the dog.

It was overwhelming.

Winning an award is lovely. Being in a group with these blogs is an honour:
    • Sentence first
    • Etsy Ireland
    • Ronan Lyons
    • Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer
    • Organic Growing Pains

Thanks to everyone who helped me and who put up with me. The Radisson staff were great. Thank you to those who played in my free painting thing - I’ll announce the winner shortly. Thank you to those who bought paintings. Thank you to those who laughed at this Irish blogs painting or took a photo of me.

Thank you Conor O’Sullivan & iQ Content. Thank you to the judges for wading through my little world that is Bicyclistic. Thank you for the dozens of tweets that greeted me after I watched the sun rise, and continued to pour in since.

Thank you to those I’ve ignored while getting ready for the show. Thank you to everybody who contributed to making it such a superb night, including red shoes, videos, and props.

Most of all thank you to Damien for the kind words about the paintings, for including me in the event, and especially for putting on the event.

Never again? I’d do it tomorrow.


  1. redmum says:

    Well done Eolai, loved your thanks speech, put me to shame. Am also delighted for you. Think after all your painting and stretches in the studio (really enjoying the live feed, its better than watching paint dry ;) ) you can have a well-earned rest, or failing that a cup of tea :)

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eolaí gan Fhéile. Eolaí gan Fhéile said: My night at the blog awards - it's not yogurt, it's a camera #iba10 [...]

  3. Hola Heolai!

    Was all very much an absolute pleasure to meet your acquaintance. Thank you for staying up with me until it was time for matins. You have an iron constitution that any Falangist would be proud of!



  4. Sweary says:

    I think I celebrated your win more than you did, to be honest. But sure what else would you expect from a man who carries around random pots of yogurt?

  5. lisamareedom says:

    Thankyou and congratulations Liam. Very well deserved. And thankyou for my lovely painting of Sandycove. It is the first piece of art in my kitchen that wasn’t painted by my Liam - (Boo) and is giving my great joy.


  6. Lozzie says:

    I think this posting is a very good example of exactly WHY you won the award in the first place.

  7. Alastair says:

    Thoroughly deserved! You’re a gentleman and a scholar, Eolai, well done!

  8. [...] The Irish Blog Awards? Em, I won. [...]

  9. Stan says:

    Great post, Eolaí, and a lovely photograph! It was a real pleasure to meet you finally, and to see your paintings up close. I probably shouldn’t have introduced myself when I did, while you were still setting up the exhibition, but I didn’t want to miss the chance in case I didn’t get another. And at the risk of repeating myself, congrats again on a well-deserved award! (I’ve updated my post about the IBA in order to write a little about Bicyclistic, among other things.)

  10. Peggy Murray says:

    Hi, Congratulations and well done on winning!

  11. manuel says:

    well done old chum!

  12. Amy says:

    Maith thú a Eolaí!

    Best speech of the night! Can’t believe you kept us all up drinking till 7am … and I can’t believe I bailed and missed that sunrise!

  13. McAWilliams says:

    I was thrilled to see you win Eolai could not have happened to a better man, and also I thought your speech to was so obviously from the heart and I could totally relate to it.

    Sorry I did not catch up with you during the night, I know our paths crossed more then once but hey lets have a beer at the web awrds instead!

  14. Sean Jeating says:

    After all, dropping by via Stan to, at least, leave a short com(pli)ment: Congrats, and Chapeau!

  15. savannah says:

    i thought i left a note of congratulations here, sugar! but if not, well, congratulations! well done and all the best! xoxox

  16. E gan F says:

    Redmum - Thank you. You can probably tell by the lateness of this response that I took that rest. Am looking forward to more live feed stuff, now that I know somebody actually looked at it.

    Manuel Estimulo - Hola! Good times. I love the tradition of picking up a year, or even 2 years, from where we left off. Already looking forward to the next time.

    Sweary - I was celebrating all right, just very quietly and pervily. I think you were beside me at the time.

    Lisamareedom - What a great privilege for me even if it does feel invasive of me to go into your kitchen. Thank you, and well done to you.

    Lozzie - Long, rambling and repetitive? ;) Thanks very much, though I’m hoping Bicyclistic will return to the shorter posts quite soon.

    Alastair - Thank you sir. I’m certain I’d've not eaten anything remotely substantial were it not for your efforts. And then where I would be come sunrise?

    Stan - Thank you, especially for making the effort to find me. When I display paintings I have a tendency to withdraw so would never meet anybody if it were not for their efforts.

    Peggy Murray - Thank you very much. It really is a lot of fun being in that short list, that feeling of involvement, inclusion. I hop you enjoyed it and best of luck for future years.

    Manuel - Thank you Mister. You know when somebody is right there that you don’t talk to them because you can any minute because, well, they’re right there? And then they’re not there. It was that kind of night.

    Amy - Thank you very much. I’m not really sure what I said in my speech, or what I meant to say. It was practically sunrise when you went up in that lift (where did I put that photo?) Good times.

    McAWilliams - Thanks a million John. Yes, one of those nights where with all the criss-crossing I assumed I’d finally bump into everyone properly, but when the music stopped it was the next day and time for breakfast. Without the set up of the paintings on Saturday, and the take down on Sunday, I surely would have enjoyed more times with people. You looked perfect with coffin.

    Sean - Thank you. Much appreciated, and welcome to what is normally a very quiet place.

    Savannah - Oh I’ve milked the posts sugar - there was so much to cover - and I believe you did leave congrats on one of the other posts either here or somewhere else. But thank you, and thank you.

  17. E gan F says:

    For documentation purposes, and to avoid flooding my twitter stream (or in other words I never got to respond at the time), I’m going to say a big thank you here to a bunch of tweets from the following people. I’ve avoided some duplication but not all, because sometimes in life, there’s duplication.

    Most of these I saw for the first time when I finally got to me room, after breakfast, clutching my award and enjoying the morning sun. They were great appreciated.

       Maidhci “Comhghairdeas! Fairplay duit. #iba10″

       CurlyDena “so pleased for @eolai winning Best Specialist Blog. lovely blog, lovely man. congrats! #iba10″

       DarraghDoyle “We have @eolai making an emotional speech on stage. Nicely put, sir #iba10″

       ElliotTucker “Congrats @eolai! Super fab!”

       nessymon “congrats sir”

       AnaRakovac “Yeeeeeaaaaah! Well done!”

       EtsyIreland “Congratulations to @eolai who won Best Specialist Blog at #iba10″

       EmilyAM “Well done @eolai #iba10″

       KieranMurphy “Congrats to @TrustTommy @9BeanRow & @eolai !!! @icedcoffee Will we see pics later?”

       Chiarraigrrl “Congrats @eolai! Great stuff! :) #iba10″

       HangarQueen “Well played sir.Well played”

       Debz “congrats on the award and hoping for mad sales for ya! <3"

       DeclanDeBarra “well done!”

       paysan “Congrats on the award Eolai, well deserved…”

       MarkhamNolan “congrats on the award!”

       Nialler9 “Well deserved to @eolai @choiceprize @culchie @Suzieb @beautie @redmum @panti aNd everyone else for their total wins.”

       ChasTaylor “Congratulations on the award!”

       PrimalSneeze “I offer my conblogulations, sir.”

       Eske “Hey “Specialist” @eolai congrats on you Irish Blog award”

       LozzieCousins “Congrats on your win - I’m really, really pleased for you. Hope you sold loads of paintings, too!”

       Lozzcap “Huge congratulations to Dublin-based artist and blogger @Eolai, who won Best Specialist Blog at the Irish Blog Awards last night. Monty!”

       mwkiley “Does that mean you won yer category? YAY!! Sell lots of paintings, too? Bliss & congratulations!”

       StanCarey “Great to meet you at the #IBA10, and to see your paintings at full size & in 4-D. Congrats again on a well-deserved award!”

       Fiona_McCann “Congrats on the win mr! Sorry I missed the bloggies - up to me tonsils in work work work, alas. Hope ye had fun.”

       ICanHasCook “Had so much fun last night thanks to @dailyspud @kdamo @schlafshane @eolai @sabrinadent @handelaar @icedcoffee @slkav @darraghdoyle”

       ConorOSullivan “#iba10 Winner of @iQContent sponsored specialist award - Congratulations @eolai from all at IQ”

       MollyHicks “a far more pleasant pursuit - and congrats on award at iba, well deserved :-)”

       kala59 “well done you :) #iba10″

       SwearyLady “Is everyone else happy that @Eolai won? I am.”

       SeamusKeleher “@SwearyLady Is everyone else happy that @Eolai won? I am. - same here, congrats to him, bought a painting of his as well :)”

       orlaithf “Congratulations. You must be delirah”

       ElaineEdwards “Hi - I’ve just learned you won a blog award. Well done, well deserved. Sounds like a good night. Congrats - hope you enjoyed it.”

       JBBC “congratulations on the award..I was up against stiff competition with you in the category!”

       iQContent “RT @ConorOSullivan: #iba10 Winner of @iQContent sponsored specialist award - Congratulations @eolai from all at IQ!”

       nmcgivney “@ccrossan myself and @Eolai watched the sun come up over scrambled eggs. we were beautiful, man.”

       MySpyder Web “Congrats! Now seatblet that in!”

       John_McGuirk “Congratulations. An eminently deserved award.”

       siobhanmchugh82 “deadly! Hope it’s well stuck on!”

       Klaraflame “Thanks for the link in your post. Great pic of the sun coming through the award.”

       Dannie O’Brien “Meant to say many congrats on the win. I actually read your blog!! ;-)”

       9BeanRow “it was lovely to meet you at #iba10 Had a lovely browse through your paintings. Well done again on the award.”

       NiceDayDesigns “what a beautiful and heartfelt response, well done again on your win!!”

  18. Nick McGivney says:

    You were the first one I met and the last one I saw, and it was fitting that you won an award in there while you were running the gamut of emotions. This is the best thing that’s been written about the awards too. Well deserved Eolaí. I’ll see you soon again I hope.

  19. [...] It’s not Yogurt, it’s a Camera - my time at the 2010 Irish Blog Awards. Comment (RSS) [...]

  20. [...] 2010: My personal blog Bicyclistic has WON for Best Specialist Blog after being shortlisted in 2 categories. IrishKC was shortlisted for Best Arts & Culture Blog [...]

  21. [...] own personal blog is nominated again, in a different category to the one I won last year, and since I can see dozens of more deserving blogs I’m more than happy enough with [...]

  22. [...] see you there. Apologies if I’m quiet - I get nervous when exhibiting paintings (seemy account of IBA 2010). Enjoy the weekend! Comment (RSS) [...]

  23. [...] Through the Years     IBA 2010 Galway - Em, I won     IBA 2009 Cork - Auction of painting for IBA charities     IBA [...]

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