Sunday, August 30, 2009

Among these Stones

Among these Stones - oil/panel - 12"x9" -nfs

Rapid use of broken brush work, blocking in - stabbing and scumbling I attempt to describe the beauty to be found in the landscape here.
These contrasts, shape and pattern relationships, slanting shadows and the interplay of colours lines and textures are all around me in abundance.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Set Dancer's Cottage

The Set Dancers Cottage - oil/panel - 12"x9" - sold

Just as you leave Ballyvaughan along the coast road in the direction of Fanore and Blackhead you are greeted by a turquoise cottage situated on the edge of the road by the bay. A renowned and very elderly set dancer lives here.

At a bend in the road across the water I found a bird watch - a great place to paint this piece - this vantage point allowed me to capture the water, piles of seaweeds and rocks, the protective trees nestled around the cottage and the beautiful slopping fields of green grasses.

Have taken down yesterdays post to work on a bit more. Will post it again when I am satisfied with the image.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rock Fissures near Fanore

Rock Fissures (High Horizon) - oil/panel - 12"x9"

This is one of a series of  'Plein air' (outdoor)  paintings I have made around the burren landscape.
With this piece I endeavored to express and describe nature's visible forces in the landscape by using rapid textural brush strokes and a high horizon to add drama.

Monday, August 24, 2009

In Medias Res

In Medias Res - Oil/Canvas - 64"x26"

What is 'In Medias Res' ?

Just as writers or directors might plunge their audience right into the middle of a story I decided to confront the landscape 'up close' with the last few large scale paintings I have been creating. 
This piece along with the other recent large works seem to hover between abstraction and representation.

This painting marks the 201st image posted on my blog since June of last year. 

Since arriving here at the Burren to take up residency I have been so busy making works that from one day to another I don't know where to begin as regards posting images of completed works. Currently I seem to be following three lines of investigation in my work and they all have a very different format and way of coming into existence.
But yet as you stand back and observe the work you can see how there are really all related.
Working this way keeps me very excited and engaged. 

Hope you are enjoying the work as it progresses.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Vanitas Still Life

Vanitas Still Life - composition in Blue and Ochre - 24"x18"

Nearly all still lifes include - to an extent - an aspect of vanitas, a lament about the transience of all things.

What is a Vanitas?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rusty Metal with Moss

Rusty Metal with Moss - Oil/panel - 12"x9" - sold

During my first three weeks in residency at the Burren College of Art, Artist Patricia McKenna kept the studio next to me. Sharing a studio space with Patricia was so rewarding.

Patricia is a very well established artist who works mostly in art installation and has a strong background in painting.She actually used to lecture at my college, DLIADT, when I was there!

Her project during her time spent here had to do with examining and exploring the idea and concept of 'place'. She was always so busy writing, researching and experimenting with ideas
- it was a joy and real learning experience for me to be able to observe her at work - not to mention all the great chats we had.

When Patrica's time in residence was over it took me a few days to try and adjust to not having her about to bounce ideas off and ask for her opinion.

The last two painting I have made where found objects used in one of Patricia's installation pieces. The day after she had left I was out the back of the college where 'things kind of end up', and found there these metal tractor parts that Patricia had used. I found them so interesting and they reminded me of Patricia's work that I brought them straight back to my studio space.

Here is a link to Patricia's website which contains some of her well known Art projects. Her new website is currently under construction and should be online soon. Will post a link to it when it's up.

Hope you like the work Patricia, and thank you so much for all your kind words of encouragement they have acted as a real affirmation for me.

- Richard

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tractor part with Sheep's Wool

Tractor part with Sheep's Wool - Oil/panel - 12"x9"

Contrasting forms - Rusty Metal stuffed with Sheep's Wool. What kind of a narrative might you read into this?

When I choose an object, whether it be natural or man made, I am primarily interested in its textural qualities, or say reflective, narrative or translucent  - What kind of a challenge will it be for me to describe this thing with paint.
How can I make this (sometimes mundane) object or objects into an interesting painting.

I suppose this is one of the most ambiguous subjects I have painted (but in a way its the same as everything else. After all its how I translate an idea about some-'thing' into marks made with oil on a surface).

Hope you like it - Richard

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Meadow Brown

The Meadow Brown - Oil/canvas - 28"x20" - sold

I turn the lea-green down
Gaily now,
And paint the meadow brown
With my plough.

I dream with silvery gull
And brazen crow.
A thing that is beautiful
I may know.

Tranquillity walks with me
And no care.
O, the quiet ecstasy
Like a prayer.

I find a star-lovely art
In a dark sod.
Joy that is timeless! O heart
That knows God!

'Ploughman' - by Patrick Kavanagh

This piece entitled 'The Meadow Brown', is the second of the larger landscape paintings created since my arrival in the Burren.
Inspired by the land around me it contains vibrant gestural marks made up of earthy colours found here in the landscape.
The stone walls of the Burren draw me in. Each wall, to me, is like the signature of the man who build it.
Like the Art I admire and aspire to - the walls inhabit a strong sense of conviction and authenticity.

Hope you like this painting.

The Meadow Brown - Oil/ canvas - 28"x20"

Friday, August 7, 2009

The West Wind

The West Wind - Oil/Canvas - 28"x20" - sold

This is one of the large paintings on canvas created since my arrival in the Burren.
Along the coast you can find these beautiful trees that have taken on a permanent wind swept shape. There is an amazing energy in them. Even on a calm day they remind you how rough the west wind can blow.

I painted vigorously to capture the hysterical energy I feel pervades in the Burren and used a very limited palette to create these tones, nuances and colours.

Hope you like this piece.