Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dandelion 5x5in


Creating and conveying the delicateness of this dandelion was a really rewarding challenge.
Hope you guys like it!

Wishing all of you the best for 2009.

- Richard

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Forest Mushroom 5x7in

Forest Mushroom - oil/panel - 7"x5" - sold

My approach to creating this piece was that I worked in a kind of 'broken colour' way. From observing the forest floor I thought about how best to lay the paint down to describe the accumulation of leaves and twigs that surround this amazing forest mushroom.

I then turned my attention to describing the three dimensional form of the mushroom using lots of thin glazes. - think it has a real look of coming to life out of the forest floor.

Wishing you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas. - Richard

Friday, December 19, 2008

Red Squirrel 5x7in


There are huge grey squirrels eating all the bird food in my back garden at the moment. They're not a bit afraid of me either!

Over the last year I have spent a lot of time walking in the Rhododendron and pine tree gardens around Deer Park in Howth and have spotted red squirrels on several occasions. They are tiny, and not bold as the grey ones.

With this piece I worked to keep the painting lose and playful and at the same time descriptive.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Glorybee 5x7in

Really enjoyed creating this piece. Had a lot of editing and detailing to do. Describing the honey bee and Iris in paint was a great challenge - I'm delighted with the result. Hope you all like it.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Butterfly and Dahlia 5x5in


Spent a whole summer month planting Dahlia's in an absolutely enormous field in Holland while I was working for a farmer. Never got to see them bloom, so creating this painting has been a great consolation.

With this piece I worked to keep the beautiful female brimstone butterfly my main centre of interest.

Thanks for the beautiful photo and information Ton.

"All Art is a collaboration," - Synge

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thistles 5x7in


Just finished this piece a couple of minute ago. This painting of a group of Thistles is the second collaborative painting I have made during this painting project. I hope to finish about 2 to 3 pieces a week during this project.

With this project my current technique is to work on mdf panels which I prime using 6 layers of grounding. Each layer is then sanded down after each coat dries. This results in a smooth, egg-shell like surface which is non-absorbent. This allows me to completely control the surface structure of the painting and to move around the paint on the surface as much as I like.
On a surface like this it is more difficult to complete a painting in one session (like the way I was creating the daily painting series). Thus, one has to paint in at least 2 or 3 layers.

The process is really time consuming but I am enjoying the results. Hope you like them.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ladybird 5x5in


Hi Everyone,
This Ladybird painting is the 101st post on my 'painting projects blog' and also the first of a series of 'collaborative paintings' I am embarking on.

On my last 'daily painting project' I worked mostly from direct observation - that is sitting with the actual object in my studio or outdoors and painting it.

This project involves working directly from photographs supplied by a Dutch photographer friend of mine called Ton Peters . Ton is a keen naturalist and spends a lot of time walking in nature with his camera around Holland and Ireland. His photographs of all thing natural are beautiful.

Using photography as my only reference presents many challenges.
To me photos are inherently flat and capture so much detail without really describing it.
The challenge for me is great- to create a real focal point-to describe different textures with out being actually able to interact with them - to keep things painterly and not to get lost and caught up in 'copying' detail. So for me its a case of editing and coming up with a clear concept around each piece.

With this Ladybird piece my main goal was to create a strong focal point and to describe and capture with paint the very different textures of the ladybird and the leaf. Hope you like it.

'A Quiet Light', my solo show that opened in The CongArt Gallery, Co. Mayo last week has gone brilliantly. There was a huge turn out on the opening night and I would like to thank all who came along. Special thanks to Sheila - who is a star curator and John for his kind words and encouragement.
The show continues until Friday 5th December. You can view some of the work here on there website or check out my website Enjoy.


Monday, November 17, 2008

'A Quiet Light' - Exhibition Notice

Title: Distant Fields and Meadows - 14x10in
Medium: Oil on canvas

Hi Everyone,
Just set down the 'One for One' exhibition at the end of last week and am now getting ready to head to Cong village in South Mayo for a solo show in the Cong Art Gallery.
The Show is entitled - 'A Quite Light' - which I gleaned from a beautiful poem written by John O' Donohue.
This exhibit will showcase a series of expressive Landscape and Figurative paintings I created both in Ireland and Thailand.
The Show opens at Cong Art Gallery, Main St. Cong, Co.Mayo. Reception this Friday 21st of November 2008 Between 6.00 and 9.00pm. Exhibition Continues until Friday 5th December.
So if any of you are in the beautiful 'West' please pop into see the show. I am really excited.
Since the start of the last show I have been cleaning my studio. Its wasn't as messy as Francis Bacon's studio but getting there. We artists call it 'Ordered Chaos'.
Anyway I will be starting my Collaborative Painting Project today and would hope to have something up by the end of the week. Feel fresh and excited again about making work, so thats great.
Wish me luck with the Show and don't forget to 'Watch this Space'.
- Richard

Monday, November 10, 2008

Autumn Maple 5x5in


Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves - oil on panel - 5"x5" - sold

While walking down a road near my home yesterday I watched leaves blowing from the tree branches and bushes. The colours are so vibrant at the moment, but I'm sure in the next few days all the leaves will have fallen. 'All the leaves have fallen'- 'all the leaves have fallen' - 'and the sky is grey'- 'and the sky is grey'- 'California dreaming...Cali...'oh sorry got a bit carried away there.

This piece was painted a while back but did'nt manage to post it till now. Leaves are such a wonderful delicate subject to paint. Hope you like it.

The '1 for 1' exhibition has been extended back to its original closeing date this Wednesday evening. To pick up your beautiful paintings call in this Thursday between 10am and 8pm or we can arrange to meet up.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Old Shed 5x7in

This piece reminds me of summer evenings when I was young. Myself and 'the lads' would walk the train tracks for a couple of miles down to Donabate beach inspecting all the old sheds to see what they held inside. They were long endless summers.


A Study of a Pink Cloud at Dawn


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cypriot Window 5x5in

Window shutters from an old abandoned house in Cyprus.
With this painting my main interest was in capturing the warm light and colour on the left and following a gradient to cooler colours in the shadowed areas on the right.

Yesterday I managed to upload a selection of pages from one of my travel notebooks from 2002.
Its a brilliant feeling for me to look back at these drawings and sketches.
Hope you will check out the work here at this link
So far it contains two travel notebooks and a selection of drawings I made about Brian Keenan's abduction in the Lebanon.


For those of you who missed the press interview yesterday I hope get a copy to upload on the blog soon.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hay Bale 5x7in


A plein air (outdoor) style landscape from my recent trip to the north west of Cyprus.
I have a couple more images from that painting trip to post.

This morning I have been working on my notebooks and sketches archive. Will let you know when I have a new series uploaded.

Hay Bales 5x5in


A plein air study made in Cyprus. Working very quickly and rhythmically with warm colours - trying to capture the essence and feeling of the place.

Since 1994 Rory O' Byrne the Arts Officer representing the Fingal County Council Municipal Art Collection has been assembling an amazing collection of Art works that are displayed in the Public buildings and offices of the Council. The collection features works from established and international artists such as Pauline Bewick, Alice Maher and Patrick Scott.

Rory came to visit me at the show and in my studio and has purchased five of my works for the Public Collection with an appointment to visit again in the new year to see more work. A humbling experience. I am absolutely delighted to have had the opportunity to meet Rory and show him a selection of the work I have made over the years. Hope my work will be enjoyed by all who see it.

Tomorrow is the last day of the '1 for 1' exhibition. Everybody can come to collect there paintings on Thursday between 10am and 8pm. See you then.

- Richard

Friday, October 31, 2008

Pencil and Paint 5x7in

Created this painting a couple of weeks ago. The space allowed for 54 paintings in the '1 for 1' exhibition and I decided to keep about 12 pieces out of the show as back up if people had to take works away before the exhibition close. This is one of those pieces.

Here I think the realism of the pencil is heightened by the contrasting style of surrounding brush marks and colours.

Will be starting my collaborative project with Dutch photographer and naturalist Ton Peters in the next few days.

City Channel came out to interview me on Wednesday at the '1 for 1' exhibition. The interview will feature on Monday's news and in there 'Entertainment Update' section. I'll see if I can grab the interview and upload it here so you can have a good laugh at me - that is if its not too embarrassing!

Friday, October 24, 2008

'One for One' - Exhibition Notice

Thanks to 'everyone and anyone' who came along to my Exhibition Opening last night.
It was a brilliant night and I hope fun was had by all. Special thanks to the Malahide Library Staff who have been so supportive and helpful.
Anyone who didn't make it last night can call to see the show over the next 3 weeks.
Opening Hours 10am to 8.30pm Monday to Thursday and 10am to 5pm Friday and Saturday.
Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Delicious Red 5x5in


This Daily Painting Project started back in June with a painting of a Red Apple.
Seeing as today is the launch of my daily painting exhibition I thought it fitting to come full circle
and post this Delicious Red.
Show is opened tonight Thursday 23rd by Eric Crampton at 6pm in the newly refurbished Malahide Library, Main street, Malahide, Co. Dublin and runs until Wednesday 12th of November.

About this project and body of work:

I began this ‘daily painting project’ in June of this year.
My goal was to produce a small postcard sized oil painting each day and post them on my website/ blog for people to see and for me to keep a record and archive the project as it progressed.

In retrospect, my work since I was a child has mostly been closest to the art form called ‘expressionism’. I have always been drawn to create expressive figurative and landscape pieces both familiar and unfamiliar. Scenes loosely based on places I have been or dreamt of.

With this project I decided that I would concentrate on observational painting, working mostly with still life objects and plein air (outdoor) style painting.
Working this way has continued to enable me to experiment a lot with my own styles and techniques which carry through into all my work and serve to inform and develop me as a painter.
The project has also developed in me a sheer joy for what surrounds me each day from the simplest objects to the delicate complexity of a flower. Working this way forces you to look and look again. It makes you a real life participant.

Hope to see you at the show.

This is my 91st post today and I will be starting a new project soon which will involve a collaboration with a Dutch naturalist and photographer.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Peppers 5x5in


Since the end of last week I have been back working directly with the subjects that started this project off - namely fruit and vegetables in a still life setting. There is really nothing that compares to working this way. I really enjoy the challange of finding a strong interesting composition to elevate the subject.

Official opening of '1for1' an exhibition of works from my 'Daily Painting Project' opens this Thursday at 6pm in Malahide Library, Co. Dublin. Hope you can come along.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bucket and Spade 5x7in


This piece depicts a beautiful scene I came across on Pormarnock strand, a local beach.
The fabulous shaped Island in the distance is called Lambay.
My Concept with this piece was to keep bringing the viewers eyes back to the figures - my centre of interest. I think a managed to capture a lovely sence of movement, form and weight in the figures as they walk down the strand.
Hope you like it.

Over the next couple of days I will be playing catch up as regards uploading my daily paintings.
Since my trip to Cyprus I have been posting images a few days behind the date they were created. So don't be surprised if I post a couple in the same day.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Evening Light 5x5in


Evening Light - composition in blues and pinks.
I have been working on a similar piece depicting a view of Howth from Pormarnock beach. It's about 20 x 20in. For the last couple of years I have been using maganta (a pinkish redish purple process colour) as a base in which to work from. This study will come in helpful when I get back to working on the larger version.
Hope you like it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Rhubarb Leaf 5x7in


This was such challenging and interesting subject. What most attracted me was complementary colours of the leaves light and dark greens set against a distinct dark red vein that runs the length of the leaf. I was really able to play around with edges and the way light falls across and catches the contours of the leaf.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Buttercups 5x7in


This piece was really good fun to create. I designed it so most of the painting reads as dark in tone and this is contrasted by the bright rhythmical pattern of the buttercups leading you through the painting. I think it works well. Hope you like it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Acorn 5x5in


Found this acorn and acorn shell just minutes after they had fallen from an oak tree.
The contrasting texture and colour of the shell and acorn really caught my eye.
They made for a very interesting subject.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Clay Jar at Pretori 5x5in


In this loose plein air style piece I worked quickly trying to describe and capture the forms and shapes in the landscape. I used the clay jar as my centre of interest.
These wonderful large jars can be found dotted around the hills of a small village called Pretori near the town of Paphos.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Islet near Chamili 5x5in


I made a detailed plein air study of this Islet very close to the north west most peninsular in Cyprus. I love the pattern and shapes you find in these offshore rocks. I have been really drawn to islands and landforms like this since I was a child.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Seaweed 5x7in


Seaweeds have so many curious shapes and curves. My main interest while working on this piece was to convay the seaweeds line of growth, its floppy weight and its edges. It made a great subject to study. Hope you like it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dock 5x5in


My main concern with this piece was concentrating on positive and negative shapes, light and warm and cool colours.

I have been drawn to this subject over the past 2 years since I made sketches of a fisherman docking his boat near where I lived in south east Thailand.

Below is a short piece written by Miriam Duggan about a similar piece I made last year.

'One of his strongest features is Richard’s ability to capture light. In Vessel (2007), we see the silhouette of a fisherman with his boat in the last moments of full sun before it starts to set. The sunlight has made the water swollen, as though it were drenched with light and the fisherman seems to be enjoying a moment of quiet contemplation before getting on with finishing the work of the day. The beauty of Vessel comes from its deep evocation of a moment of stillness and ease with simplicity.'

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Near Pano Akourdaleia 5x5in

Pano is the word given to an upper village. The views of the houses and rugged landscape on the roads to these perched villages were just amazing.

I made lots of interesting studies from these vantage points, some of which I used for larger canvases. Will let you know when these big pieces are finished and on my website.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Chapel Agios Minas 5x5in

Chapel, Agios Minas is on the road to Neo Chorio near a forest called Akamas.
I was really taken by the way the light hits the stone work of the buildings in Cyprus.

Climbed a mountain near here called Smigies with amazing views of the Akamas Forest and surrounding coastline. Made some thumbnail sketches there for a painting. Hope to get a start on it over the next week or so.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sky over Anadiou 5x5in


Made this study of sky and surrounding mountains at Anadiou. A near deserted village.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Near Androlikou 5x5in


Just on the outskirts of Androlikou, (an abandoned Turkish village) I came across these beautiful warm golden fields of hay dotted with olive trees and various bushes.
I love the 'rhythm' I found in the Cypriot landscape and how the whitewashed houses caught the light as I looked down on the valley.

I made a series of these very loose rhythmical studies. It was great to be able to paint outdoors with the brilliant light dancing across the landscape.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Eucalypts 5x7in

The first image painted in Cyprus was this Eucalypts tree. There are hundreds of these beautiful trees dotted around the village of Polis (in the north west of Cyprus) and a small protected forest of really old Eucalypts close to a stone beach.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Falling Man 5x7in

Hi Guys. Never managed to get to a computer over the last two weeks but I did manage to have a brilliant trip, paint, and get very inspired while in Cyprus.
Will post some images today and put them in some order for you.

Starting this morning with my first piece I made on my trip. I started to paint this piece on September 11th while on the plane travelling to Cyprus! I had been meaning to paint this images for a long time after seeing a documentary called 'The Falling Man' which addressed the 'Jumpers' or people who through themselves out the windows of the twin towers on September 11th 2001.

The photo the painting is based on was taken by an American journalistic photographer called Richard Drew.
This image of 'The Falling Man' had been hanging on my studio wall for about six months and I had even stretched a large elongated canvas so I could explore this haunting and to me strangely peaceful image in paint.
On the morning of my flight (the anniversary of Sept 11th) I decided that this would be a fitting day to pay homage to this image in paint.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Water Lily 5x7in

Made the sketches of this water lily a couple of weeks ago. I just loved the contrast of the wide white flowers and golden centre against the still dark blueish pond water.

I am off on a trip to the north of Cyprus tomorrow for two weeks. I'll be able to concentrate solely on painting and sun worship while there! I'm sure to find some interesting subjects.
Really looking forward to the little adventure.

So, the next post you recieve should be from 'Prodromi', that is if I can find a computer with internet access!

From now until the exhibition opening on Thursday 23rd of October all pieces are on hold for show.
If you would like to purchase this piece in advance of the show - be the first to send me an e mail and I will hold it for you.To be the first to view new works you can subscribe to my mailing list.