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

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Windblown Tree. Old Head, Co. Mayo

Windblown Tree- oil on Belgium linen on board - 7"x5" - sold
Private Collection New York City.

A beautiful afternoon spent out on Oldhead with my buddy Gilda O' Laoire - walking in the ancient oak forest and the beach, and of course painting.

Gilda is a talented and very gifted cabinet maker here is a link to his blog - . Thanks for the pics Gilda! Hope those oak saplings are taking root :)

Plan to re - post some images over the next few days of paintings I have come back to work on.
Will then slot them into place on the blog close to the dates they were created.

- Richard

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Across the Bay

Across the Bay - oil on Belgium linen on panel - 7"x5" - sold

Each day I walk passed this point on the bay where a far distant mountain is hugged and framed by two distant sloping hills.
Gestural brush strokes best described the landscape and western sky across the bay.
It can be fun to return to a place you mean to paint and have developed a strong concept around how you might describe the scene.

- Richard

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dawn, Killary Harbour

Dawn, Killary Harbour - oil/panel - 7"x5" - sold

'An author knows his landscape best; he can stand around, smell the wind, get a feel for his place'. - Tony Hillerman

I couldn't help but think of certain paintings by Paul Henry as I composed this piece.

Am I seeing through his eyes? I am surly studying the same wild landscape, a contemporary reverberation!

The painting above is "Dawn, Killary Harbour (1921)" by Paul Henry (oil on canvas)

- Richard

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Misty Morning near Béal an Átha

Misty Morning near Béal an Átha - oil/panel - 12"x9" - sold

On the road that leads towards the north west coast of County Mayo is a wildly beautiful landscape of blanket bog, heather, moss and peat exists. The place has an incredible expansive lost and faraway feeling.

I used the creation of this piece above to experiment with creating a strong feeling of atmospheric distance as well as an opportunity to experiment with varying edges.

Thinking again this morning of Robert Henri I found this quote - 'A mountain seen in the haze of distance must nevertheless look a solid heavy mountain'.

- Richard

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Warm Light, West of the Bog, Achill

Warm Light, West of the Bog, Achill - oil on panel - 12"x9"

Since arriving in Co. Mayo last year I have found countless subjects of inspiration in and around the majestic bog lands of Achill island. Achill, as many of you may know, has a strong connection with painting as one of Irelands most iconic painters Paul Henry (11 April 1877 – 24 August 1958) worked there for many years.

The piece above allowed me the opportunity to work towards capturing the unique quality of light to be found on the island. Through the use of this light the scene I found also presented me with a chance to experiment with atmosphere, distance, edges, colour harmony and temperature.
In retrospect the over all composition reminds me vividly of a piece I created in about 2006 which featured a robed figure ( a recurring motif in my early work) in the far distance as he wound around the path which lay before him.

A few weeks ago while visiting a friend on the island I had the opportunity to meet with a local man who had been studying the art works and history of a less known American painter and teacher Robert Henri (25 June 1865 – 12 July 1929). Henri had worked on Achill island intermittently from 1913 . This man knew of a couple of people still living on the island who as children sat for Henri to compose portraits, and of the gentleman who had stretched canvases for Henri while he lived and worked on the island.

During my recent New York solo exhibition I called to a gallery on Park Avenue and to my delight was brought into the store rooms to see a portrait created by Henri of a native Irish girl from Achill island. These portraits which were created by Henri on Achill are absolutely beautiful and most sought after on the international art market.

There are many inspirational artists and past masters which I admire, but for me Robert Henri has to one of the greatest modern thinkers, teachers and creators. I will be sure to study his work and teachings over the coming years to add to my knowledge and love of Art.

- Richard