Sunday, June 14, 2015

An Impression Life's Energy

In my late teens and early twenties, without being fully aware of it I worked on themes or dealt with subjects such as 'the self'.

My work explored ideas of existence and containment through my notebooks, etchings and drawings. In my mid twenties I began to explore the world through travel and made records of place or memories of place. Many of these images came through a type of hyperactive free association.

Later I began to look more closely at the traditions of picture making and painting, concentrating on works that evoked a visceral response and excited me. Most of the paintings that have influenced me dated between the 16th century and 19th century. I focused mostly on 19th century Spanish and American painting as I enjoyed the painterly quality of that work with its bravado and apparently effortless orchestration. I endeavoured through my work to build a bridge back to this lost knowledge.

I believe I have gone some way to bridging that gap (?) through frustrating failed attempts and continual hard work. 

I think I want to grasp the art of the past, have a real hands on practical knowledge of it. I actually wrote a thesis on abstract expressionism, using Freudian and Jungian theories of psycho analysis as a means of interpreting works.. Let's just say I'm not sure it all worked out!

With these abstractions I consider them a distillation of my current understanding. They become a celebration of a love, a life long love of mark making, pigment, paint and colour. 

Resisting figuration or anything definitive, the recurring feeling is that I am making deposits, a bank of intentional meaningful deposits on the canvas. I want a certain balance of colour, texture and mark making, intentional marks without a preconceived idea of how it will be. A harmony out of a seemingly chaotic process. 

These pieces are designed to be the size of my body. I'm interested in the physicality of painting Or a space my physical body could inhabit, but they are also a reflection of my soul - something inside coming out. 

Sometimes I wish I could leave on the canvas an impression of my life's energy.

- Richard Hearns Artist Statement - Crucible, June 4th to July 4th 2015, Burren College of Art.

Prussian , 2015 - oil on linen - 178 x 135cms.
Private Collection, Ireland

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