Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Introspective, Self Portrait

Introspective Self Portrait - oil/panel - 7"x5" - Reserved

Since the launch of my last show one month ago I have done little painting with exception of one day of life painting a week at the Royal Hibernian Academy. This 'time off' has been of great benefit to me and has allowed me room for reflection and introspection as well as the chance to plan for future projects and further creativity.

I painted this self portrait some months ago from a photo I had taken in 2006 one night on the forest side of the island of Koh Mak in the eastern gulf of Thailand. I spent many seasons on that island developing my art work in a consistent frenzy of creativity. The reference by which this painting was made must have been taken after a days painting. In some ways this painting reminds me of a little gem of a Rembrandt self portrait. Rembrandt often made self portraits with his eyes in shade but they still seem to convey so much inner emotion. (see below)

Friday, December 16, 2011

The East Wall Currachs Project

'Plaining the Lats!' (pic by Des Moriarty)

I know its been a couple of weeks since I last posted on the blog.
The finishing and wrapping up of my last solo show along with two other very different creative project has kept me busy! My only chance to paint over the past weeks has been at the Royal Hibernian Academy and I have really treasured those hours.

The first project in which I have been involved is a most interesting one - A Currach Boat Building Project, which is taking place at the East Wall Water Sports Centre in Dublin.

This Traditional boat building project is being lead by my great pal Mark Redden. Mark has resided in beautiful Barcelona for the past three years and works as an artist and boat builder. We met first at the age of seventeen and ended up in art college studying together and have remained wonderful and supportive friends ever since. In 2006 we lived and worked at our studios at the Mantua Art Project Centre in Roscommon, it was there in our workshop that I was first introduced to Mark's love and skill of boat building.

I am so pleased to be able to allocate the hours of work needed to see this project through and with the help of a number of dedicated and creative people including Gilda O' Laoire (Designer/ Cabinetmaker), Des Moriarty (Photographer) and Rosie O'Reilly (Fashion Designer and Founder of Re-Dress).

You can follow the evolution of this very special project on the East Wall Currachs facebook page.

Looking forward to filling you all in on this second and very exciting project of mine in the not to distant future. Until then I want to thank you all for your interest, comments and support and wish you all a very Peaceful, Happy and Joy filled Christmas and New year.

- Richard

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Artist's Tools and Extended Exhibit

The Artist's Tools - oil on canvas - 14"x12" - sold

This is the most recent Still Life piece I have made and it was created in front of the Portmarnok Art Group as part of a demonstration and discussion I gave a few weeks ago.
The Portmarnok Art group have kindly invited me to give lectures and demonstrations for their group over the past few years and I feel I am really getting to know them all now individually and always have enjoyed our discussions and interactions.

As many of you know I qualified as an art Craft and Design teacher in 2004 at the National College of Art and Design, NCAD but at that stage had decided that I would continue being a dedicated full time Artist as it was my calling. I do however find it very rewarding to teach groups of interested painters from time to time as well as help individuals with there portfolio preparation and painting. So, if there are any individuals that feel they might enjoy having a dialogue with me as regards their art work or any art groups out there that would like to learn from me please do feel free to send me a mail.

My most recent Exhibit that opened on November 26th looks like it will be extended for a week or so. The show has had a huge turn out and a great response which really is a positive affirmation for me when you consider the current economic climate and how shows have been going in Dublin in general. Its always extra special when so many people purchase your work for their private collections. As Robert Henri said 'The greatest honor you can do an artist is to buy his picture and hang it in your gallery'.
My sincere thanks to all for the wonderful words of encouragement and to all who came along to the opening and to all of you who have visited the exhibit.

Am busy this last week working on a very interesting, engaging and different project, so look forward to share this with you in the coming days as well as some very special news about my next port of call.

- Richard

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Red Shed Door auctioned by Sothebys London

The Red Shed Door - oil on canvas - 18"x15" - sold

This Landscape painting of mine went under the hammer on Saturday night in London. The piece was auctioned by Sothebys London at The Irish Fund of Great Britain Christmas Ball.

I created this piece around March of this year in Co. Mayo. Its is an interpretation depicting the shed in the back garden of my cottage. This little shed which was surrounded by foliage and creepers had the most beautiful deep cadmium red door and a huge wasp hive inside connected to the wooden roof lats.

The reserve started at €2500. Can't wait to hear what it fetched.

- Richard

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Painting Hero

Yesterday I posted a link on facebook about Joaquin Sorolla who is one of my very favorite painters of all time and promised to write something about a few of the many things I feel attract me to his work and painting methods.

There are so many things about his work that I admire and aspire to that I found the idea of where to start writing about him quite impossible!

Then this morning I sat with my parents to watch a short documentary about a wonderful friend of mine called Sabine Menassa from the Lebanon. In the Documentary Sabine said that 'technique without passion and improvisation is nothing' and that's when it hit me - Sabine had just summed up in one sentence exactly what I feel really good painting and creativity is all about!

In the past I have written about a 'gut' reaction I feel when confronted by certain works of art and how these pieces of work go far and beyond technique or illustrative flashiness.

Again and again I see highly rendered and finished paintings with a photographic quality or realism and after a moments engagement am left feeling empty apart from the fact that the technique grabbed me for a moment or the idea that - wow that looks just like a photo!(which it's not)!

With these pieces the treatment and application of paint is uniform throughout. The paint is applied by the artist in the same way - to landscape and figure, to natural organic objects as to the inanimate and there is I find nowhere for the viewer to get in. The whole story has been told so to speak.

Just look at the brushstrokes in Sorolla's Self-Portrait, 1912 above. The gusto and bravado. The fluidity and energy they encapsulate. These brush strokes tell of the true story of the artists intense scrutiny and passion while also communicating an immense knowledge of technique and handling of paint.

- Richard

Monday, November 28, 2011

Exhibition Launch

Donal Mc Neela of the Oisin Gallery did the honours of opening the exhibition.

Myself and Carey Clarke PPRHA.

My wonderful parents Frank and Margaret.

Ms. Rose O Connor, Dia Musleh and myself enjoying the celebration.

My wife Rapeepan on the left enjoying a giggle with Ms. Gillian Evans.

Above are a few pics from the launch of my show.

Thanks so much to all who came by to celebrate with me on the day and to Angga Amituhu for these photos.

Special thanks to Donal Mc Neela of the Oisin gallery who gave the most wonderful opening to the exhibition and to my beautiful wife Rapeepan (or Boo for short) and her great Thai pal Bon who did the most wonderful job on food and drinks for all. We had a huge turn out and only one fruit stick left at the end of the evening not to mention the wine crate!

The show runs now at Malahide Library until December 9th for anyone who has yet to see it and would like to call.
Opening hours are:
Monday to Thursday 10am to 8.30pm
and 10am to 5pm Friday and Saturday.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Coffee Pot and Pear & Expo Details

Coffee Pot and Pear - oil on canvas - 12"x10" (tribute to Kreutz) - sold

Just about to leave this morning to begin the set up of my exhibition. I am very excited and am sure to be working on the display until late Friday night.

Above is a very recent piece which will feature in the show. I really enjoyed creating this painting. The photo gives you some idea of the textural quaility of the piece.

The launch of my 'Objects of Desire' show happens this Saturday at 2pm in Malahide Library. Donal McNeela of the Oisin gallery Dublin will be doing the honours. Hope you can join come me in this celebration.

The exhibition runs from Saturday 26th to Friday December 9th 2011.

Opening Hours are:
Monday to Thursday: 10.00am-8.30pm.
Friday & Saturday: 10.00am-5.00pm.

- Richard

Saturday, November 19, 2011

'Objects of Desire' - Exhibition Invitation

(above - 'Hebe, composition in Purple and Ochre' - oil on canvas - 12"x 10"- sold, click on the images above to enlarge).

You are invited to join me for food and drink at my next one man show entitled - 'Objects of Desire'.

This exhibition of Still Life paintings Officially Opens with a Lunch Time Reception at 2pm this day next week on Saturday 26th of November 2011 at Malahide Library, Main Street, Malahide, Co. Dublin.

The show will comprise of richly painted large and small observational Still Life paintings as well as a selection of 'Cameos'. The shows narrative will run from beautifully classically composed still lifes to more recent contemplative and contemporary investigations.

These Still Life paintings are charged, atmospheric and mysterious, communicating form, light, tone and colour relationships combined with a beautiful and rich application.

You can get pricing and reserve any of the available pieces before the commencement of the show by contacting me at info@richardhearns.com or by reply to me through this blog group address or on facebook.

This exhibition runs from Saturday 26th of November to Friday December 9th 2011.
The Show will be officially opened by Donal Mc Neela owner of The Oisin Gallery, Dublin.

Hope to see you there to celebrate together.

- Richard

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Something a little extra special for you today!
Visit my RHA 'Drawing Inspiration From Life' blog.
'Nude', by Richard Hearns
(tribute to Richard Schmid)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Stone Wall, Country Road

Stone Wall, Country Road - oil on canvas - 40"x30"

More than two years in the making, I remember beginning this large canvas piece after a walk on the green road in the Burren, Co. Clare.

I continued to work on this piece during my second residency at the Cill Rialaig Project in Co. Kerry and was in fact filmed by the RTE nationwide crew putting some definition to the stone wall in the short documentary of January 2010.

Since arriving back in Dublin a couple of weeks ago I again decided to put this large piece back up on my easel and see could I work to bring the painting to some sort of a conclusion.

Last Wednesday I had the chance to catch the end of a talk given by Charles Tyrrell at the R.H.A. He mentioned a very real thing that happens to a painter in the way that even though you are creating a piece, the painting ultimately has a life of its own, and that in some ways you are just there to help it into being!

I have found this idea to be very true indeed - The painting really does communicate with you (in a sort of silent dialogue) and when it is finished you just have to get out of the way. If there is any doubt - you know you must continue with the piece even if that means putting it aside 'to breath' for some time and returning to it later to see what it might communicate to you. Charles was made a member of Aosdána in 1982 and has had a retrospective of his work held in the R.H.A. Gallery in acknowledging the journey his work has taken. Currently there are a selection of his works from a new series at the Academy.

Might post an image tomorrow of the 'under painting' early on during this pieces evolution for you to see. I am really happy with the way this painting has turned out, from its bold composition, to its feeling of place, depth, space and light - Hope you like it.

- Richard
For Purchase information please contact, info@richardhearns.com

Here on the left as promised is an image of the 'under painting' of this large 40"x 30" inch canvas piece entitled 'Stone Wall, Counry road'.
As I use no drawing at the beginning of a painting this gives you a good example of how I might block in my idea of the overall composition and movement of a piece along with an indication of the various tones.

- Richard

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Burren Hay Bales

Burren Hay Bales - oil/panel - 12"x9" - sold

This piece was created in a field across the road from my cottage close to Ballyvaughan village in Co. Clare around August 2010. In the background of the composition you can see an impression of the Aillwee limestone mountain landscape that is famous for it's beautiful cave system.

The light and colour that morning was radiant so I concentrated my efforts on lush brushstrokes on and around the hay bales to represent and capture this as best I could.

- Richard

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Golden Oil Bottle

The Golden Oil Bottle - oil on canvas - 10"x 8"

Singular and fluid brush strokes best described the hi key notes of colour that rang out.
The surrounding atmosphere and luminosity of the golden oil bottle was registered by soft strokes as it sat bathed in morning light from my studio window.

I had a recent visit from artist Mick O 'Dea RHA to my studio. He liked this piece very much commenting on the juiciness and fullness of colour that I managed in its application and orchestration.

- Richard

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Orange Chair

The Orange Chair - oil on canvas - 20"x16"

I love the rest of my life
Though it is transitory
Like a light azure morning glory.

- Tomiyasu Fusei / Tr. Yuzuru Miura

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Artist's Smock

The Artist's Smock - oil on canvas - 30"x24" - sold
Private Collection, Ireland.

This piece to me has an almost palpable monastic feel to it. I suppose in many ways my life and work has had this sort of other world factored in from the outset. My drawings of robed figures in my early childhood and then pieces which developed into to the more transcendent 'figure in landscape' paintings created during my time spent in the far east have this echo of other worldliness.The famous artist and teacher Robert Henri (1865 - 1929) referred to 'records of states of being' that reveal the possibilities of greater existence. He said ' The picture is a by-product of such states as it is in the nature of man to desire. The object therefore is the state'.

The concept of cool blueish whites of the shirt and the warm ochre whites of the wall give this piece a wonderful play of passages from cool to warm to cool. I find my eyes jump back and forth through the varying temperatures. This I feel gives the piece an excitement and strong atmospheric quality. I hope you like it.

Last Friday I left my Mayo studio and cottage near Westport Quay and came back to Dublin. Over the next couple of months I will work towards my upcoming show in Malahide this November and my two New Yorks shows which are scheduled for March 2012.

Just returned today from a life painting session at the Royal Hibernian Academy. It is great to get back to painting with a model from life and to share a space with other artists.

- Richard

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Still Life with hanging Brush

Still Life with hanging Brush, composition in Ochre and Blue - oil on canvas - 18"x14"

'The object isn't to make art, it's to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable'. - Robert Henri

(Detail Below)

Monday, September 12, 2011


Ochre - oil on canvas -16"x 12"
Private Collection, New York City

'The object, which is back of every true work of art, is the attainment of a state of being, a state of high functioning, a more than ordinary moment of existence. In such moments activity is inevitable, and whether this activity is with brush, pen, chisel, or tongue, its result is but a by-product of the state, a trace, the footprint of the state'. - Robert Henri

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Artist's Pot and Paints

The Artist's Pot and Paints, Composition in Ochre and Grey - oil on canvas - 30"x 24"

Over the past months a new body of work has been emerging. In many of my observational still life paintings I have been concerned with design and balance - a richness of colour and painterly application as well as creating a strong focus, not to mention an overlying concept and atmostphere to tie the whole piece together.

During a walk in the burren over a year ago I was struck by the idea of how I might allow the space around a singular object to become just as an important element as the object of reference itself. I do realize that the space has had this important role in my art works all along - but giving further consideration and thought to the space could only prove to strenghten my investigation.

I'm excited, and look forward to introducing you all to this new body of works over the coming weeks!

- Richard

(Detail below)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Goblet and Plum

Goblet and Plum - oil on canvas - 16"x 16" - sold

Yet another painting that has been an age in the making.

With this piece I concentrated on creating a strong atmospheric quality by using many different elements and pictorial devises including most notably - light and shade, varying edges and highly textured descriptive and expressive brushwork.

(Detail Below)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Composition with Multiple objects and Lemon

Composition with Multiple objects and Lemon - oil on canvas - 16"x12" - sold

I began this piece last January as a demo to a school of over two thousand gawking Thai students! Distracted as I was I did manage to complete one or two smaller pieces during the two day seminar but never got a chance to complete this piece.

It has gone through several transformations since its conception and proved very frustrating at times but eventually I managed to bring it to some sort of a conclusion. The painting remains multi layered and textural with the strongest focus being the burst of cool colour and light that is Lemon Yellow.

See Detail Below.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Navigator

The Navigator - oil on canvas - 24"x20" - sold
Private Collection, New York 

'Ready am I to go, and my eagerness with sails full set awaits the wind'.

'Only another breath will I breathe in this still air, only another loving look cast backward,Then I shall stand among you, a seafarer among seafarers.And you, vast sea, sleepless mother,Who alone are peace and freedom to the river and the stream,Only another winding will this stream make, only another murmur in this glade,And then shall I come to you, a boundless drop to a boundless ocean'. - Khalil Gibran

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hebe, arrangement in Purple and Ochre

Hebe, arrangement in Purple and Ochre - oil on canvas - 12"x10" - sold

Here is another piece that I have been working on for some time. Again, this piece was originally started about a year ago in my studio just outside the Burren village of Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare.

I am proud that I managed after so much time and consideration to finally have brought this piece to a quite 'brilliant' finish, with it's strong sense of design, balance and focus not to mention multiple textures and varied applications of paint.

Above is an example of how I currently frame these pieces.

Hope you like it - Richard

Friday, August 12, 2011

Coffee Pot with Buttercups

Coffee Pot with Buttercups - oil on canvas - 12"x 9" - sold
This arrangement in blue and yellow has taken a long time to pull together. I started it at least a year ago during my time in the Burren Co. Clare. The butter cups that feature were found around my garden in Ballyvaughan.

I paid particular attention to the quaility of light on the fabric and creating a sense of space. The grapes were added to the piece more recently creating a triangular balance within the composition.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Old Silver Tea Pot

Old Silver Tea Pot with garden flowers - oil on gesso panel - 12"x9" - sold

As many of you know I delight in completing a painting in a single sitting, but over the past year or so through further development within my practice and processes some studio pieces I feel need extra consideration.

Over the next couple of weeks I'll be concentrating on posting some larger scale observational studio pieces that have been 'in flux and development' over the past year or so. These art works have just come together for me over the past week through insights. I suppose the time was just right for a coordinated coming together of learnt and gleaned ideas as well as inspiration and the impetus to get them right.

This piece was recently created (in a couple of sittings) at my cottage in Co. Mayo. I Love the variety and assemblage of brush strokes and scumbles that I layed in to describe the Silver Tea Pot and how this reflective quaility of the old tea pot is thus communicated. (see Detail Below)

Hope you like it.
- Richard

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

On the Quay

On the Quay - oil/panel - 12"x9" - sold

Returned to this subject and scene that I had painted previously close to my studio just before my recent New York Exhibit.

To my amazement I found yet another sort of triangular arrangement and the light was perfect, so I set to work only to find that I had forgotten my turpentine! I called into Eileen and Liam's, the Westport House grounds keepers who live close by. They kindly gave me some turps from their garden shed - problem solved!

Completed a very finished piece there and then and brought the painting back to my cottage and studio for the finishing touches.

Hope you like it - Richard

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mountain Paths

Mountain Paths, near Clifden - oil/panel - 12"x9" - sold
Private Collection, Unknown, U.S.A

'On a road toward Clifden I cut a path of colour gold and warm,
Through a mountain soft and kind that spoke to me as if we were one.
The same being in different disguise'. - Richard

For Purchasing please contact Anne Merrins at The Whitethorn Gallery, Cliften, Connamara, Co. Galway. Gallery Phone + 353 1 (0)9530703

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Light over a Bridge, Westport House

Light over a Bridge, Westport House - oil on panel - 12"x9" - sold
Private Collection New Jersey, New York State.

'I am seeking for the bridge which leans from the visible to the invisible through reality'.
- Max Beckmann

Above is my most recent plein air oil painting of a bridge on the grounds of Westport House.
I have returned to this bridge now on three occasions to make small oil studies from different vantage points.

The bridge is a wonderful symbol and metaphor of human accomplishment and endeavor.

- Richard

See photo of the painting in progress on location below.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Bridge, Westport House

The Bridge, Westort House - oil/panel - 7"x5"

During some recent reading on various artists I admire I found that the use of small panels has been in use on and off throughout of the history of painting. More recently artists like Sir John Lavery, (20 March 1856 – 10 January 1941) an Irish painter best known for his portraits used panels much like the panels I use for my 'sketches in oil'.
Lavery's small oil studies on panel, finished paintings as they are, helped him work out compositions for larger pieces.

The idea that I too walk out into the landscape with my bunch of small boards is a quite romantic notion for me. But above this notion that we endeavored to capture special and very personal moments it proves that to catch these fleeting effects of light and to help in tuning application and concepts - the sketch in oil is an amazing way to improve and discipline yourself to 'see' more clearly.

- Richard