Monday, October 14, 2013

Ochre, Green and a little Cobalt

Ochre, Green and a little Cobalt 
(after a composition by David Leffel, title and size unknown)
- oil on linen panel - 7"x5" - sold

All the still life pieces I have been sharing over the past few weeks were began during a trip to Thailand last year. A month or so ago I began reworking and bringing some to a finish.

Since the first of October I have concentrated exclusively on my commissioned work to record the Corrib project for SEPIL. It's been really engaging, progressive, and a  great challenge for me. I'll be continuing to document and write about my progress, insights, and the solutions that I have made while tackling such an important project. These posts will appear on the first of every month during the duration of this commissioned body of work.

In the mean time I will continue to share with you these pieces, a selection of which will feature in my upcoming solo exhibition at the Ib Jorgensen Fine Art Gallery in February 2014.

This week I am off to Madrid and Paris for ten days! Can not wait to visit the sites, museums and friends in both of these incredible cities.

- Richard

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Urn, (tribute to Leffel) - oil on canvas - 12"x10" - sold
Private Collection, Ireland.

Must have began this piece a couple of years ago and put the piece aside several times, returning to it to heighten the light and colour as well as fixing some drawn aspects. I gleaned the image of the Urn from a part of a larger painting made by David Leffel entitled Texture and Light.

It now has an extremely rich feel and many interesting subtle colour shifts, especially close to the shadows.

Hope you like it - Richard 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Study in Green, Grays and Red

Study in Green, Grays and Red (after Leffel)- oil on canvas - 18"x16 - sold
Private Collection, California.

Another composition inspired by my study of the works and thought processes of David Leffel and my time spent with Gregg Kreutz at the Art Students League of New York in 2012. This piece began over a year ago and worked on it on and off over a period of time. Only brought to a finish one evening recently.

Below is a detail from the work.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Black Vessels with Grey and Orange

Black Vessels with Grey and Orange after David Leffel, original title unknown
- oil on linen panel - 12"x9" - sold
Private Collection, Ireland.

Since I was a child I have been trying to reconnect with an art that seemed miraculous and near unobtainable. Unknown to me, I somehow wanted to reconnect with it's historical life which I felt alive and present, but distant.

A few years ago I came across a book with images in it by a painter called David Leffel and was really struck by his work, as his paintings to my eyes, seemed  to build a bridge back towards a somewhat lost knowledge. Their orchestration and mystery interested me greatly.

Then I was lucky enough to be accepted to work in the studio of Leffel's star pupil, Gregg Kreutz at the Art Student League of New York in 2012. I spent two months his crowded studio in advance of my second New York solo show and learnt a great deal. During that period I created several of these 'arrangements' and understood more.

I began this painting in Thailand last year, sometime in late November, and over time worked on the piece at different stages from reference, finishing it a couple of weeks ago.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

SEPIL Corrib Commission 002 - Traveling New Roads.

On my immediate arrival to Bellmullet for my first site visit, on Monday July 29th 2013, I was compelled to write, desperately wanting to record the experiences of my first journey from my studio in the heart of the Burren, County Clare, to the vast expanses of north County Mayo. I had wished I had a dictaphone with me all the way, but the memories of the journey were still fresh in my experience.

Sometime after leaving my studio in Ballyvaughan I began to miss the soft Burren landscape, feeling lost on roads until I entered County Mayo. Then the world opened up again!

On a regional road towards Bellacorrick, (which seemed to go on forever) all twentynine kilometers of it! I thought more philosophically about 'the road ahead', and how when traveling new roads you just trust that the road will unfold ahead of you presenting you with the next piece of the journey and so on, eventually bringing you to your intended destination. In a way this feeling extends through my life as an artist, always trusting that the next brush stroke or mark will lead on to further places yet undiscovered - a new destination.

This winding road, so beautiful with the Glenamoy river on my left, made me think of my great grandfather Daddy Jim Hearns (b.1850), and his brother Frank, the famous fishermen. They surely must have fished this pristine river.

Then I meet a lake, wild and windblown. I continued to snake along this sheltered road catching glimpses of mountains which seemed close by. And then out, onto the vast bog plains which stretched away on all sides, and then rose up into unreachable heights out of nowhere. 

I looked at this wild and untamed landscape, contemplating the job that lay ahead of me. A feeling of foreboding, something sinister rose up in me, knowing of the opposition and history of this project and of some of the more contentious issues, but perhaps that was heightened by the recording from Conception des lumières by Anne Dutoya which was playing ominously that moment on RTE Lyric FM!

I continued on, acknowledging several farmers who worked tirelessly on fences at the side of the road. I reminded myself to be aware and conscious of the communities here and their important traditions. 

These small bog roads rose and fell, knocking out any kinks in the spin. It was a real adventure as I had never taken this road before. And t
hen I was there, having entered the Gaeltacht and the larger Erris area.

Since that journey I have had two site visits, inductions and safety training and had the opportunity to visit the sites at Aughoose, Glengad and a walk from the Leenamore River Crossing along the entire Wayleave. 

I have also taken the time to explore sections of the vast and stunning landscape around the Barony of Erris with it's extraordinary natural beauty,  sandy beaches and sea cliffs carved by the atlantic. The area covers around two hundred and ten thousand acres!

The works I have began to date includes notebook sketches and larger studies in oil on canvas. I am making great progress and have a number of strong visual references that I am working with currently.

I look forward now to my next site visit where I am planning to compose paintings at the Terminal at Bellinaboy, progressing this body of work further. 
At that stage, I believe, I will have a very good idea of how the overall project might unfold and what I will be interested to record in paint.

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Phone: + 353 (0)86 216 1135.