Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Among twenty snowy mountains,   
The only moving thing   
Was the eye of the blackbird.   

I was of three minds,   
Like a tree   
In which there are three blackbirds.   

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.   
It was a small part of the pantomime.   

A man and a woman   
Are one.   
A man and a woman and a blackbird   
Are one.   

I do not know which to prefer,   
The beauty of inflections   
Or the beauty of innuendoes,   
The blackbird whistling   
Or just after.   

Icicles filled the long window   
With barbaric glass.   
The shadow of the blackbird   
Crossed it, to and fro.   
The mood   
Traced in the shadow   
An indecipherable cause.   

O thin men of Haddam,   
Why do you imagine golden birds?   
Do you not see how the blackbird   
Walks around the feet   
Of the women about you?   

I know noble accents   
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;   
But I know, too,   
That the blackbird is involved   
In what I know.   

When the blackbird flew out of sight,   
It marked the edge   
Of one of many circles.   

At the sight of blackbirds   
Flying in a green light,   
Even the bawds of euphony   
Would cry out sharply.   

He rode over Connecticut   
In a glass coach.   
Once, a fear pierced him,   
In that he mistook   
The shadow of his equipage   
For blackbirds.   

The river is moving.   
The blackbird must be flying.   

It was evening all afternoon.   
It was snowing   
And it was going to snow.   
The blackbird sat   
In the cedar-limbs.
Wallace Stevens, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” from The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens. Copyright 1954 by Wallace Stevens.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird - oil on museum panel - 70x50cms

On May 28th of this year I came across this Zen like poem for the second time in my life while attending a lecture on 'Modes of Attention and the exploration of ones capacity to See'. The lecture was given by the former Dean of Academics at the Burren College of Art, Timothy Emlyn Jones.

Two days later I captured this image of a bird perched on a bare tree branch outside my studio space in the Ballyvaughan. It's still a work in progress but would hope to bring the painting to a finish in March of 2015.

This image marks my last blog post of 2014. 
Yesterday I arrived in the city of Barcelona and will be here working in studio at Nave 12 for the next six to eight weeks. Can't wait to share my experiences with you from here in the New Year.

- Richard

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Pride of Connemara

I hope all of you are having a really nice Christmas time!

On Christmas morning I sent out this image of a recent painting entitled 'Pride of Connemara' attached to the main body of a Newsletter. I began the painting back in May or June of this year and brought it to near completion in the last couple of weeks. It is my neighbours Connemara Pony. I captured him walking towards me from a shaded area of his paddock. The light hitting off his beautiful white coat and golden mane contrasted wonderfully with the shaded old stone wall and light dappled foliage. I hope you like it.

The Newsletter I sent out is the first of a quarterly update which supporters and collectors of my work can expect to receive each year. You can sign up to receive these Newsletters and keep in touch on my new updated website richardhearns.com  Please do have a browse and let me know what you think.

Wishing you an abundance of happiness and fulfilment in 2015.

Pride of Connemara - oil on museum panel - 70 x 50cms
Available for purchase - info@richardhearns.com

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Sun is Standing Still.

Since the day before yesterday and for the next two days the sun will be in the same position each day in the northern hemisphere. This is what is called low energy part of the year - the winter solstice. The sun is at it's furthest distance from the earth resulting in the shortest day and longest night of the year.

Let's think about this - plants, trees and animals go into hibernation and conserve and store up their energies for the coming year.  I'll admit it's been hard getting things done lately - it's not easy getting out of bed when the mornings are so dark and I've spent a few days lying in and reading a couple of chapters of a book before breakfast.

The modern world demands that we are at a high production level all the time - higher yield - higher profits, high octane - but life is a cycle, a circle, and the wheel must go down before it can rise up again. I think we all know this to be true, but the capitalist world dictates that we play their game. You snooze you lose! That's what they say!It's my opinion that all the great seers and artists knew how to conserve their energies well. They knew how to replenish, rest, and listen to their bodies and the seasons changing message. Maybe we should try and do the same?

About six years ago I visited a passage Tomb close to the Naul in North County Dublin with a friend on the first day of the winter solstice. We were the first people to arrive and had to get a key to open the ancient passage from an elderly lady who lived close by. Imagine, calling into her at 4am!

I remember opening the entrance and walking up this pitch black passage. All of a sudden I felt the energy of the space shift and I knew, in that total darkness, that I had reached the opening of the main chamber. We stood there spellbound watching the light slowly filter in through port holes which illuminated the space. It was real magic!

In preparation for our visit we brought with us cake and some other festive nibbles and soon were joined by a brother and sister who cycled there each year to celebrate this special moment. They had with them a flask of hot tea laced with whiskey. Incredible to think it was just the four of us there! We all enjoyed sharing that Winter Solstice moment together.

Below an image of a piece I painted about this time last year.
Beannachtaí na Féile.

Winter Sunset, Fanore, 2013 - oil on panel - 7"x5"
Private Collection, Ireland

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The First Batch

Just posted out the first batch of 'Corrib Gas Art Project' Calenders yesterday to all who got in touch. The Calenders have literally gone out across the globe, Australia, Thailand, Lebanon, and all across the United States - New York, Chicago, Wisconsin, and L.A, not to mention all over Ireland.

I feel truly privileged to have been asked to create these paintings and take on this commissioned project. I wish I could start it all over again!

Today I had the opportunity to have all twenty three paintings I created professionally photographed in their bespoke stainless steel frames. I'm looking forward to announce dates when this body of work will be on public exhibit in 2015.

Thanks a million for all the continuing support and interest in this commissioned project.

- Richard

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Landscape Untitled

I suppose it's true, "A painting is never finished - it simply stops in interesting places"*.  I also heard an idea presented recently by Vincent Desiderio I think, a New York based artist, where he quoted some other artist who said, that when he began a painting all his painting heroes where in the room, and one by one they left as the painting progressed until it was only him - and then he left! I think I can relate.

Just today I put the finishing touches to this piece. I began creating and working on the composition sometime in early June of this year. Now I have to come up with a title for the painting. Any ideas? It's such a dreamy image - it reminds me a little of some of the mystery, nostalgia and memory presented the works of the recently deceased Andrew Wyeth. I hope you like it. - RH

* quote by Paul Gardner.

Untitled - oil on museum panel - 28"x20"

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Lone Horse, Caher Valley, Fanore

Some months ago during a walk with a friend of mine up the Khyber pass in Fanore I came across this image of a Lone grey horse standing on top of a rugged Burren hill. I was drawn in immediately to his still and majestic silhouetted form set against the sky.

This path, which snakes east inland along the Caher river valley passes a deserted famine village. The Caher river is the only river in the Burren which flows it's entire course above ground. It has to be one of my very favourite places to walk as it looks untouched and has this timeless quality.

Describing the embankment in this painting I employed glazes and scumbles which I built up over time. The majority of the paintings colour has a cool feel to it offset by the beautiful warm tones I found in the horse's coat.

I hope you like it. - RH

Lone Horse, Caher Valley, Fanore - oil on museum panel - 12"x8"

Sunday, December 7, 2014

2015 Calender Proofing

On Tuesday last I travelled from my studio in Ballyvaughan to the Cashin print studios in Castlebar, County Mayo. There, accompanied by Boo, Deirdre Cavanagh-Walsh of SEPIL and photographer Eamonn Boyle I met with Damien Cashin to view the first run of prints for a calender SEPIL are producing of my work on the Corrib Gas project. The calender contains some twelve images of my paintings in process and finish.

I'm looking forward to sending these out to all who have requested copies and for any of you who would like a copy just drop me a line here, call me +353 (0)862161135 or email info@richardhearns.com with your address and I will be sure to send them along to you in time for the New Year.

Photos by Eamonn Boyle.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Representation in London.

I'm delighted to announce that my work is now represented in London by The Barbara Stanley Gallery.

My paintings are now on display as part of the galleries annual Christmas event exhibition.

This long established contemporary art gallery is located in the south west area of London. Please do call in when you are in the area to see the beautiful selection of works on show.

The gallery is located close to Hyde Park on 27 Connaught Street, London W2 2AY. This show runs from the 1st to 14th of December.

- Richard

The Barbara Stanley Gallery, London - http://www.irishartinlondon.com/

Monday, December 1, 2014

The TBM - SEPIL Commission 015

Below is an image of my latest piece in progress for the SEPIL commissioned project. Just like the piece entitled 'The Terminal', this painting 'The TBM', has it's foundation in carefully considered drawing and design on which I overlaid a strong concept for the use of bold and dramatic colour.
I'm really happy with how it's progressing.

Tomorrow I leave my studio in Ballyvaughan to travel to Mayo to see a printed proof of a 2015 calendar that SEPIL are producing which contains images of my artworks created especially for this commissioned project.

Looking forward to share images of the calendar with you soon, and if anybody would like a calendar posted out to them for the New Year please let me know by email: info@richardhearns.com or call me on +353 1 (0)86 216 1135. I'd be delighted to send you one.

- Richard