Thursday, August 25, 2016

Monk's Hydrangeas

Every weekend is 'market weekend' for Boo and her Thai cooking stall at the Kinvara and Ballyvaughan farmers markets. Many other local producers, artisans and musicians also take part to make these markets the special weekly events that they are for the larger community and visitors.

One very special market seller is Michael Monk - previously owner of the famous and renowned Monk's Pub and Seafood restaurant at the pier in Ballyvaughan, Micheal retired some years ago from the publican trade, and became as famous for his 'spuds', (potatoes to the uninitiated) and as a local vegetable farmer in Ballyvaughan.

Michael, having never lost his Dublin charm, is also partial to gifting girls with flowers! A couple of weekends ago Boo was the recipient of these Hydrangeas from Michael's garden.  I thought it would make a great composition for a 'sight size' painting with it's strong leaf flowerhead of reds and pinks.

In life and art it's ultimately the combination of curved lines and straight lines that brings about perceived beauty. Through the deliberate balancing of the strength and order of the straight lines in this composition I plotted a foundational vehicle in which to place the grace and elegance of the curve - it's the balance between them that provides the life and structure of the painting.

I'm looking forward to showing this piece to Michael Monk on Saturday. I think he will get a surprise by his gift of flowers now immortalised in paint.

Hope you like it.

- Richard

Monk's Hydrangeas
oil on linen - 60x60cm [24x24inches]
Reserved for my coming New York Solo Show.
Contact, for more information.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Have you been to Vietnam?
Hanoi is were this short story started for me, the painting came later.

I visited that vast and densely populated city earlier this year. A cold snap of weather had drifted from China down to the northern parts of Laos and Vietnam - so unseasonably cold for that time of year that people were caught by surprise and wandered around the city of Luang Prabang wrapped in bed sheets in an effort to keep warm.

When we arrived in Hanoi it was still wet and cold. My parents were traveling with Boo and I, and efforts had been made to accommodate their interests, including a visit to the square and mausoleum of General Ho Chi Minh.

The atmosphere I felt as we circled the square looking for an entrance was alien and unwelcoming. The mausoleum stood in dark granite backed by a forboding grey sky. The building was fronted by a strong bold red typeface and grey block paving on which people shuffled into line to queue. The soldiers who filed people into line looked untrusting - no welcome was given - no smile - no colour - 'no cameras' - 'no talking'! All you could hear was the sound of wet boots along the red plastic carpet cover which lead us towards and into the monolith.

The remains of venerated General lay there in that vast silent chamber, a ghastly colour of orange light cast over his face. He was plastic and unreal. It was the most uncomfortable architectural space my body had ever entered. I wanted out!

While creating this piece I was surprisingly reminded of that day and my experience of the tomb.
In a way I feel this painting makes battle with my memory of that colourless place - that unnatural space and mummification of life.

A small orange colour note placed along the granite slab nods to my memory of the body of the general. Light and the play of colour and reflection pervades even in shadow.

Monolith, 2016
oil on linen - [24x24in] 60x60cm
PM me for details on this piece.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

What is It?

What's the pictorial concept for a work like this?
What's the initial excitement that draws me in and makes me want to transmute, filter and communicate? 

John O' Donohue described the moment of inspiration so beautifully in his poem, The Artist at the Start of Day - 
'Your eyes seduced by some unintended glimpse
That cut right through the surface to a source'.

Every once and a while a piece just presents itself like this, forcefully communicating an idea for you to investigate. 

With this work it was all about illustrating a hierarchy of 'edges' described by gradated light. 

I posted an image of this work accompanied by a number of other recently created pieces in my latest newsletter. This piece has been reserved and purchased in advance of my coming NYC solo show in November.

'Lilies', 2016
oil on canvas,
50x40cm [20x16in]
Private Collection, New York City.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Summer Newsletter 2016

I'm about to post my Summer Newsletter with details of my coming New York Solo Exhibit and Residency as well as information on my works in San Fransisco, and new studio happenings. 

Join me on this journey by entering your email address into the newsletter sign up feature on my website.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Large Pine Cone and New Studio Space

Settling into work in my new studio space here in Ballyvaughan has been rewarding. The work space in which I create my representational paintings came together so quickly and I've been in the flow - working whenever possible. ( see image below ).

Here is a piece I recently completed that I made available for purchase through Facebook last week. The piece has now been reserved and purchased. There is a strong chance I'll be taking the work with me to display as part of my coming New York solo show, 'Where Your Treasure Is', which opens November 10th at The Sheen Centre on Bleecker St. Over the coming weeks I may make a number of other pieces available to purchase for your collection in advance of the show. If your interested to see some new works keep an eye out for my coming Summer Newsletter or send me an email to ask what works are available for your collection.

Large Pine Cone, 2016
Oil on Linen on Board.
24 x 18cm.
Reserved for a Private Collection, New York City.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Never Grow Old.

A number of months ago I came across these converse sneakers on the floor of a students studio space at the Burren College of Art. I stopped to ponder the image which evoked strong memories and symbolised for me an adolescent moment frozen in time.

The shoes, strewn together on the floor, reminded me of my carefree time in college where I searched, played and 'partied hard'. Behind the shoes lies a black ball point biro - it's tip illuminated by light. During my time in college and for many years beforehand I worked primarily with such a pen on my notebook drawings. It's amazing what marks one can accomplish with such a simple tool.

A couple of days ago I finished and put my signature to this small oil painting.
I hope you like it and it speaks to you of fun times also.

Never Grow Old, 2016
oil on canvas panel - 24x18cm

Thursday, June 2, 2016

All Forms Are Unstable

Over the past month I have concentrated on sharing images and ideas around my abstract works. Throughout that time I have been working solely on my representational paintings.

I choose many of my still life subjects for their inherent formal and abstract qualities. This image of a work in process may best represent that idea for you. 

A decaying wall of peeling paint lends itself to be explored in a considered formal manner which of course involves getting the drawing right so as to describe the illusion of three dimensional space accurately on a two dimensional surface, following the fall of shadow and carefully rendering where and how the peeling paint cracks, splits and rolls.

At the same time this subject lends itself to an abstract application and exploration, where the substance of paint itself is being utilised in the building and reductive passages within the picture plain.

Painting for me is an abstract endeavour from concept to completion and the more an image offers me the chance at describing this sort of fracture while simultaneously expanding my painterly vocabulary, the more gratified and excited I feel to be able to explore and push my visual boundaries.

All Forms Are Unstable, 2016. (work in process)
Private Collection, Boston.
oil on linen,
100 x 70cm

Friday, May 20, 2016

Follow Me!

Since May 1st I've been posting images and writings from my abstract archive on my Instagram and Facebook feed and less often here on my Blog.

Recently I've been encountering some technical issues with 'blogger' that google don't seem to be addressing and am considering winding it down as a platform to post on regularly. We will see!

If you enjoy my updates here and are not connected with me on Instagram and Facebook please look me up and connect there.

Looking forward to keeping in touch.

Yours In Paint,
Richard Hearns

Below image from Crucible opening night at the Burren College of Art.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

West Coast Representation in San Francisco

I'm absolutely thrilled to announce that my work is now represented on the west coast of the United States by Lauren J. Ellis, Director and Chris Kelley of CK Contemporary - a leading gallery just off Union Square in San Francisco.

Please visit this beautiful gallery if your in the SF area and share and spread the word with any pals and contacts close by.

- Richard

Abstrakten, 2016
 oil and mixed media on canvas
- 170x135cm

CK Contemporary, 357 Geary St,  San Francisco, California.

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Market Fair

Boo just arrived home after her third week taking part at the Kinvara Framers Market this season.
This will also be her third year to be part of this and the Ballyvaughan community markets, where she has a her 'Thai Cooking with Boo' market stall alongside an array of other producers and market sellers.

The Market fair has become a great part of our routine over the weekends and gives us a chance to be a part of a greater community and growing food culture in north County Clare.

At the market we can buy locally grown and soured produce supporting the local community, as well as doing some occasional barter - It is the west of Ireland after all! Every week we'd get our free range duck and hen eggs from Jamesie and he in turn gets a great big bowl of Boo's Traditional Thai Curry or some Pad Thai Noodles and possibly some homemade curry pastes to take home. It's a fair deal. You should see the smile on his face - priceless!

Having the market not only contributes goodies to the pantry and fridge but also contributes to the colours around the house during the week as we can buy flowers there too.

Often times as we get home and begin to tidy the produce away I'll find in what we have bought, subjects that I'm interested in painting - this bunch of asparagus being one. The quality and array of colours and textures inherent as well as that formal bunching together by bright blue band just screamed out a challenge to make good on. After fulfilling that roll they went down nicly under an eight ounce Angus steak! Talk about two birds with one stone!

Hope you like it. - Richard

Asparagus and Blue Rubber Band, 2016
oil on panel - 12"x12"