Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Bull Finch

The Bull Finch - oil on board - 12"x10" - sold

Having finished this piece I realized, on reflection, that I had somehow interred the delicate finch in a sort of tomb or sarcophagus.

I love the sensibility to colour, colourlessness and the surface quality of this piece.
I think the treatment of scale and use of  space makes this painting specially delicate.

- Richard

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Curds and Honey

Curds and Honey - oil on stretched oil primed linen - 12"x9"

A couple of weeks in the lead up to leaving to Germany I began and completed several new pieces. A couple of which I shared with you already. While working on this piece I was thinking about the space around the objects, and paid particular attention to the surface quality of the painting itself. There exists a great play between the soft violet/green background colours and the yellow/honey orange colours of the objects.

- Richard 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Symposium Exhibit Opening

This day last week marked the opening of the 3rd Künstler - Symposium in Neustadt, Germany.

The reception and exhibit took place at the same location in which the works were created, the Villa Bohm. The City of Neustadt an der Weinstrasse very kindly gave us this space for the week to work in leading up to the presentation. It was a real overnight transformation from studio/workshops to exhibition, and the reception was very busy indeed, pulling a large crowd from 11am to 6pm.

Here are a few photos from the day long reception.
I want to encourage all of my blog followers here to friend or follow me on my Facebook page.
I am posting a little more regular there.

Many Thanks,

- Richard

Inside the Villa Bohm.

Ralph Gelbert opening the event.

An incredibly talented thirteen year old Chinese Violinist plays what sounds to my ears a very complex and beautiful arrangement.


Karl Oppermann - acting the maggot as usual!

Niv Tisbi with some guests.

In an air sun filled room a gentleman admires five of the pieces I created and presented at the show.

Celebrating with an incredibly talented Nasrin Abu Baker - my Palestinian sister. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Künstler Symposium - A Wonderful Whirlwind

I can't believe it's over! The Künstler Symposium in Neustradt, Germany just finished up on Sunday.
It was a wonderful whirlwind long week filled with new friends, wine, late nights, creative work and little sleep, all in that order!

Special thanks to Ralph Gelbert for his extraordinary generosity, expertise, patience, can do attitude and fun. Ralph, we all enjoyed your company immensely!

I arrived in Germany the week before last on July 13th in plenty of time to enjoy a lunchtime meal out, the chance to meet my incredible host family Philipp and Linda Catoir (who own and run the third largest wine company in Germany, Muller Catoir.), followed up by watching the World Cup Final at an old converted wine cellar in a picturesque pristine Palatinate village in Neustradt an der Weinstresse.

After the celebrations we met the following day at the Villa Bohm. A building with a considerable dark history but one that has seen an amazing change over the years and now functions as a centre for the arts. Many many established artists have worked and shown there, most notably a recent show by Armin Mueller-Stahl the German film actor, painter, writer and musician. His work in quite incredible by the way!

On Monday the 14th we were given our appointed spaces, requested materials, and commenced work.
Many of the artists had brought imagery and a plan as to what they would create during there stay.
I on the other hand had prepared little in that sense, but decided to engage directly with the physical space I was allocated and the materials I was presented with and encountered during my stay.
I worked like a horse, and with determination completed six paintings in six days, one of which was the largest still life I have created to date! Perhaps all the wine and lunch time spritzers loosed me up some!

As a group lead by Ralph, we enjoyed lunch time meals out together each day and also made several group trips to some incredible locations. The UNESCO world heritage city of Speyer was for me a real highlight.

I loved the chance to meet all the artists that took part in the symposium and noted that even with all the upset in the world this week a harmony and positive attitude prevailed. Everyone wants peace. The chance to talk with the wonderfully talented artists Niv Tishbi from Israel and  Nasrin Abu Baker from Palestine presented me with a very real world view - That none of this violence and hatred will get us anywhere! We all want peace and to evolve now and its our hope that through our example and work the world might become a better place.

Here are some photos from this incredible international artists symposium of which I took part.
I will cherish these memories forever and can't wait to see and welcome you all again here in Ireland or overseas soon.

- Richard

Special thanks to Juergen Messler for these photographs.
I will follow up with more photos from the week, publications we featured in, and pictures of the Vernissage shortly.

Richard Hearns - Ireland

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Internationales Künstler Symposium

Guys, I have some really great news! 
I've been invited to attend and take part at an International Symposium of Artists.

The symposium is to be hosted by the City of Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Germany, and begins tomorrow from July 13th to the 21st. The international group of painters and sculptors of which I am a part have been invited to create works over a six day period and present pieces for exhibit on July 21st. 

It's a little daunting, but I am so excited and really looking forward to meet my German host family and experience German hospitality, as well as a chance to spend time with an international group of experienced artists and create together in such an incredible environment.

The studios we have been allocated are in the stunning Villa Böhm.

Imagine, I'll be there this time tomorrow and will be able to watch the World Cup Final IN Germany!!
Before you ask,.. I'm staying neutral! 

- Richard

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014


Pompeii - oil on linen - 20"x20"

Just put the finishing touches to this somewhat monochromatic composition the week before last.
I began working on this richly surfaced canvas a year ago, building up the image over long periods of time.

The arrangement is loosely based on a charcoal drawing that my teacher Gregg Kreutz presented in his book which tackled issues around 'lighting subjects effectively'. Working like this I feel offered me, on many occasions in the past a leaping off point, and has given me and my work a great foundation on which to build and develop my vision. This image now brings me full circle and I can begin to present to you over the coming weeks a whole series of recent studio works.

The title came to me as I developed the painting. The dusty greys and warmed shadow areas reminded me of images of Pompeii, the ancient Roman city which was destroyed and buried under 20ft of ash and pumice during the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD.

Attached below are some close up images of the surface quality an paint application which went into creating this piece.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Annular Arrangement

Annular Arrangement - oil on canvas - 24"x20"

This painting has been in the making for several months.
I subtracted and added elements from both memory and reference over time until I was happy with the overall placement and composition. I also played a lot with the light and shade until I had a meaningful ratio of dark and light patterns. A couple of the referenced objects came from a lesson on 'gradated light' in Gregg Kreutz book, Problem solving for oil painters.

Also attached, details of the paintings 'surface quality'.
I think this is what really sets artist's apart. The individual and unique ways in which we handle and apply the paint as we build up a surface that excites us.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Reflections on a Vocation

Reflections on a Vocation - oil on lead primed canvas - 12"x9" - sold
Private Collection, Ireland

James Elkins writes in his book What Painting Is - 'To a nonpainter, oil paint is uninteresting and faintly unpleasant. To a painter, it is the life's blood: a substance so utterly entrancing, infuriating, and ravishingly beautiful that it makes it worthwhile to go back into the studio every morning, year after year, for an entire lifetime'.

Above is an image of the finished versions of a live still life demonstration I created some months ago at the invite of painting school in Dublin.

Detail Below.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

SEPIL Commission 010 - Landfall, Glengad.

Landfall, Glengad - oil on canvas

The Corrib field, some 83 kms off the North County Mayo coast made landfall via an offshore pipeline at Glengad in 2009, during that period Glengad beach became an area of considerable opposition and protester activity.

The memories of visiting this site at Glengad are some of the most prominent during my first visits to the Corrib Project. I found myself in a lucky situation in which to capture this image of an engineer looking out to sea from a height, close to where the landfall valve, which controls the pressure of the onshore pipeline is located.

As the engineer gazes out across the beach into the bay, he has a vulnerable look, with his hard hat slightly aslant, a CCTV camera looks back at us, mounted atop an acoustic fence. This image gave me a very strong feeling.  It took me time to identify what it was that I felt the image suggested. The soft gaze of the worker over a place that had seen much turmoil and the uniform and non-judgmental stare of the camera as it records the activity of the workers,surrounding landscape and seasons suggested to my mind the idea of a co-existence of opposites and that time heals all wounds. An area that had seen a great deal of chaos was now at peace!

I believe misunderstanding, bad communication and hurt on both sides lead to seemly chaotic behaviour but understand now over time people on both sides of the divide have begun to come together in a more constructive and meaningful way.  

- Richard