Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Darkness to light through love and inspiration

Article: Darkness to light through love and inspiration.

Above a link to a recent feature/article and interview by Hilary Adam White which appeared in the Sunday Independent newspaper on December 27th.

Happy New Year to all my friends and family around the world.
Wishing you a joyful,  peace filled, creative and prosperous New Year 2016.
- Richard and Boo Hearns

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Rembrandt's Bed

Rembrandt's Bed, 2015 - oil on canvas panel.

Wishing you all a cozy, joyful, festive and peace-filled Christmas.

Yours In Paint,
Richard Hearns.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Two Works Old and New

'The Painters Lunch' and 'Lead White'.
oil on panel - 12x9

contact, for pricing.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Basic Precept

For the longest time now I'd been meaning to post an image of this Monet painting that I encountered for the first time at The Fogg Museum on the grounds of Harvard University, Cambridge MA in October of this year.

On seeing this painting, which I feel is one of Monet's finest little works, something fundamental occurred to me. Other then being an expression of his influences, namely Eugene Delacroix's romantic large flower paintings and the other impressionists' interpretations like Manet's studies of the Spanish, Dutch and French still life traditions, particularly his copies and emulations of the works of Jean-Siméon Chardin, whom I love - this small unassuming painting illustrates something wonderful.

That is, that on seeing this piece it reenforced in me the basic precept that fundamentally a picture or painting first and foremost should be an expression of its materials! It seems a basic enough idea and quite an obvious one you might say, but there exists so much work out there in the world that does not measure up to this basic need. An oil painting should be 'painted' and an expression of the medium. The subject matter is secondary to this basic idea. This point is clearly stated in any masterpieces which transcend and elevate even the most basic subjects. It's my believe that the statement is made through the way the paint is applied. How the artist understands and uses his chosen medium is of utmost importance.

I believe the evident lack of this basic precept in many works is largely due to the painters misunderstanding and seeming lack of empathy for his primary concern - the stuff of paint itself.

Claude Monet's - Red Mullets, c.1870
Oil on canvas

#monet #eugenedelacroix #chardin #oilpainting #stilllife #impressionism #realism #richardhearns #studio #harvard #thefoggmuseum

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Supper for Hecate

The ancient Greeks and Egyptians were known to leave Garlic outdoors to evoke the deities.

I created this simple composition in Valencia, Spain earlier this year as I scoured a kitchen late one evening simply looking for subjects or objects in order to 'keep my hands moving'. 

Hecate, the ancient Greek Goddess was associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, light, the moonmagic, and a knowledge of herbs, poisonous plants, and sorcery among other things!
The origin of the name Hecate is not known, but suggested sources include the word in ancient Greek for 'will' and from some obscure texts including Ovid's Metamorphosis: "she that operates from afar", "she that removes or drives off", and "the far reaching one" - which all kind of sounds like how Garlic operates doesn't it!?  - What with it's pungent smell, and how in regards to more recent folklore and myth it's been used to ward off sinister spirits. 

The Greeks left offerings of garlic at village and town crossroads to appease this Goddess.
Hecate is often depicted as a three formed figure - omni present and manifold in her mystic nature.

I like the idea of 'crossroads', metaphorical crossroads that is. How often in our lives are we faced with a decision to make? A defined juncture? A new leaping off point into a vastly uncharted place. Don't some of us wish for this excitement each day and to be brave enough to leap out into the unknown freely!? But as human beings we also have a tendency to pine after the familiar. 

I'm confident that in many ways the process of making or creating draws us in and presents for us new junctures and crossroads daily - allowing the opportunity to investigate, build faith through our efforts and expand further to ever uncharted places through our chosen medium.

Supper for Hecate, 2015  - oil on panel - 12"x12"
Composition with Garlic Bulbs and Basket.

#art #oil #painting #stilllife #realism #richardhearns #fineart #studio

Friday, December 4, 2015


Often times due to my enthusiasm and admitted lack of patience I plunge ahead and post an image or even exhibit a painting before it's 'complete'! It's actually this precise act that at times leads me to want to take the painting back into my studio to work on again. 

I'm convinced seeing paintings in different environments helps one to evaluate the work anew and am sure this is the case for very many painters. In fact I've heard many artists including the renowned Frank Auerbach and Anselm Keifer admit the same when it comes to their practice so I'm sure it's all part of the process. At the same time I find it's vitality important not to brud over a piece. It's such a delicate balancing act!

On getting home after my exhibits and travel in the US this year I saw a 'way in' to a number of pieces and decided to give them more time - seeing if I might be able to improve and add further resonance to the works. It's  a curious relationship! 

It can be a curse reworking images and you must be careful, but as I mature I'm finding I have more patience and want more time in many cases to spend with my paintings and bring them to where I want them to be.

Buoy, 2015 - oil on panel 12"x12"

#art #painting #stilllife #richardhearns #studio #frankauerbach #anselmkeifer 

Thursday, December 3, 2015


Often times due to my enthusiasm and admitted lack of patience I plunge ahead and post an image or even exhibit a painting before it's complete. It's actually this precise act that at times leads me to want to take the painting back into my studio to work on again. I'm convinced seeing the my paintings in different environments helps one to evaluate the work anew. And am sure this is the case for many painters.

The painting below was one of the paintings that featured at one of three private collector viewings organised in New York City this October. On getting the piece home I once more saw a 'way in' and decided to give it another go seeing if I might be able to improve the piece. I'm satisfied that I could and did in this case. It can be a curse reworking images but as I mature I'm finding I have more patience and more time in many cases to spend with my paintings and bring them to where I want them to be.

This painting of a Bouy, with it's ...... contains many of the attributes I find appealing in a painting.

Buoy - oil on panel 12"x12"

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Pencils and Postcard

Pencils and Postcard - oil on linen - 12"x9"
Private Collection, Maine ME.

This Still Life painting depicts my jar of my colouring pencils and a postcard reproduction of Sorolla's painting 'Alberca del Alcazar de Sevilla' from the Museo Sorolla in Madrid.  Myself and Boo first visited Madrid in 2009 on our honeymoon and then again a year or so later when I had the chance to visit Joaquín Sorolla's home which is now a Museum. Sorrolla's painting of an archway and pond struck me as I was made aware that this painting, along with an array of other pieces painted in his home garden were some of the last works the artist created.

For ten years leading up to these pieces Sorrolla had been inundated with a huge mural like commission for the Hispanic Society building in New York City and an array of commissioned portraits. Some say that this grand commission for the Hispanic Society headquarters very nearly killed the artist both physically and artistically. I've seen that mural in Harlem and think it is one of the most incredible accomplishments in the history of representational painting. That being said it is necessarily stylised and staged in it's depiction of the many different regional cultural aspects of Spain but it also shows the breath of Sorrolla's knowledge with regards to composition, brush handling, problem solving and colour etc. It's an incredible feat of accomplishment.

All the same, I really enjoyed spending time with his quieter garden scenes and sketches as they struck me as 'the real Sorolla' and I'm sure provided him with an oasis of sorts at this time in his later years. 

My painting entitled ' Pencils and Postcard' is lite by north light which filters in all diffused through a side window in my kitchen. I hoped this softness would echo that quietness and stillness in those works of Sorolla. 

In this work I applied a harmonic pythagorean grid or the armature of the rectangle to aid me in the placement of the various objects at the outset of the painting, allowing two pencils at far left and right to run in exact correlation with two of the major diagonals.

I hope you like it.

- Richard Hearns

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

In Orange and White

This piece was all wrapped up in a far off land this past year or so. It's been great to reunite.

Many times on seeing an old work you beat yourself up a little, recognising elements in your painting that needed improvement or recognising things you didn't quite understand. But every once in a while you give yourself a pleasant surprise. This certainly was the case with this painting. It's great to have it back and I'm confident to find a home for it in the coming weeks.

Still Life with Orange and White, 2014 - oil on linen - 12"x9"

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Still Life with Pumpkin and Grapes

Hailing back to an earlier colour approach, this liner composition works to create interest by the contrasting of subdued colours and neutral tones set against a warm coloured centre of interest.
Working mostly in cool greys and blues in the surrounding space and background, I also kept the detail in rendering the individual grapes to a minimum so as to lead the eye to the centre of interest created by the punch of warm orange and reds found on the active surface of the pumpkin.

I'm really quite fond of the 'paint handling' and varied surface quality found in this piece.

I hope you like it.

- Richard

Still Life with Pumpkin and Grapes - oil on panel - 12"x9"
For pricing and purchase information please message me or email

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hand turned Bowl

Hand Turned Bowl - oil on canvas - 20"x20"

The challenge of describing a dense wooden turned bowl and a delicate thin glass vessel with the same brush gave me a feeling of accomplishment. It's always like this when painting directly and from life. You are confronted by your chosen objects and must find a way in - a way to begin. A good deal of trust is necessary at this stage and many people on seeing the initial stages of the painting would not be sure or convinced at all of where the piece might be headed.
I'm not at all saying I can see the finished work in my minds eye and work towards that end but I do endeavour to solve one problem after the next until the piece is resolved.

This painting also featured in my exhibit in LA at the end of last month.

For purchasing information please contact, or message me here.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Aqua de Valencia

Aqua de Valencia - oil on linen - 20"x20"
Private Collection, Pasadena CA.

Started some months ago the 'pulp' of this painting was created in the first couple of sittings but I returned to work on it later intermittently. 

I brought this painting along to feature in my most recent solo show in LA. It's always an amazing thing to see where a painting ends up and who connects strongly with the piece. It's my belief that a painting always finds it's rightful collector - thus completing and continuing the cycle of it's creation.

Monday, November 9, 2015

A Mans Work

A Man's Work - oil on panel - 12"x12"
Private collection, Pasadena CA.

One of my recent still life pieces which I brought to the U.S. to feature in my first Los Angeles solo exhibition. The title generated some interesting conversation!

The work has found it's way into a very special home and private collection.
Huge thanks to all who attended and supported my show 'Communion' which opened at All Saints Church with the help of the Former Director of the Armoury Centre for the Arts, Jay Belloli.

I'll post more images of the opening night as soon as I can.
I think I may even have a recording of my conversation with Rev Ed Bacon to share with you all too.

- Richard

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

North Light with Tea Pot and Pumpkins

It's all about Halloween here in New Orleans. In fact it's hard to find food that hasn't got additional pumpkin in it. Even the coffees have some additional flavour from the cucirbit (squash) family.

I created this painting entitled North Light with Tea Pot and Pumpkins just before I left to New York. It's found its way into a very special collection north of here in Scarbourough, Maine.

Hope you like it.

Best wishes from The Big Easy.

- Richard 

North Light with Tea Pot and Pumpkins - oil on canvas - 20"x20". Private Collection, Maine ME.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Branch, 2015 - oil on canvas - 28"x24"
Private Collection, New York City.

Posting this image which featured at the first of three 'private collectors get togethers' organised in New York City this month.

I'm on the Amtrack train back to New York from Boston after a three day stay and adventure around the city's museums and universities. I've been documenting my journey and various points of interest on my Instagram and Facebook account. I'd encourage you all to look me up there if your interested to see this US trip and exhibits documented more closely.

Myself and Boo are having an incredible, interesting, inspirational and uplifting journey here.

Best wishes from somewhere along the New England railway line.

- Richard

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Communion - Los Angeles Solo Show

This date next month October 30th marks the opening of my first solo show in Los Angeles.

This exhibition entitled 'Communion' is being curated by Jay Belloli, the Former Director of the Armoury Centre for the Arts in Pasadena. Jay's help in curating this show continues to be a real gift and the chance to enter into a conversation about my work and practice with the Rev. Ed Bacon, who has been rector at All Saint Church since 1995 is very exciting indeed.

In the meantime I leave to New York City tomorrow, with three private collectors get togethers organised and an onwards trip to Boston, New Orleans, Arizona and San Francisco for extra research, development and fun!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Storm Clouds over Galway Bay

This summer had quite a bit of rain fall, but it did make for some arresting views over Galway Bay. At times you can watch the rain roll in towards land over the Atlantic.
That being said, the weather is promised good for the next week or so!

This is the last image I'll post online of work to feature in my Los Angeles solo exhibition for the moment. I'll move onto a selection of still life works bound for presentation at 'private collectors get togethers' in New York City early next month.

Storm Clouds over Galway Bay - oil on linen - 12"x9"
Reserved for coming Los Angeles Solo Show, 'Communion'.
For pricing please contact, 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Studio Break

Studio Break - oil on panel - 12"x9"
Private Collection, Roschester, NY.

This painting featured in the first of three private collectors get togethers earlier this month in New York City. 

I created this piece just a week or two before leaving for the U.S. 
Wanting to make a direct one sitting painting from observation I composed objects in the composition as a means to read into pictorial space. To heighten this movement of the eye through the space I concentrated on varied and playful loose edges. As a result the surface of the piece is very active and holds interest.

This morning I'm journing up the Hudson Valley by train to make more direct paintings from nature with painter and muralist Garin Baker. We are going to hang out for a couple of days and paint the fall colours in the beautiful surrounding landscape there.

On Monday I leave greater New York for the Big Easy - New Orleans. Can't wait to sample the culture, colours and flavours there.

- Richard 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sacred Islands

During long periods of time spent in studio at the Cill Rialaig artists retreat in County Kerry I would hike up Bolas Head to catch a glimpse or gaze out at the Skellig Islands.

Recently I decided to create this atmospheric piece in an attempt to recall those memories.

Sacred Islands - oil on linen - 12"x9"
Reserved for my coming Los Angeles Solo Show 'Communion'.
For pricing and purchase please email,

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

West of the Bog

The Hearns family hail from County Mayo, and the family origins can be traced back as far as the 1790's.

This painting created depicts an area of North County Mayo. I journeyed there many times last year and walked in the landscape. It really is one of Ireland's treasured wildernesses.

West of the Bog, 2015 - oil on canvas - 12"x9"
Private Collection, Maryland MD, U.S.A.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Burren, Autumn Light.

It's been some kind of wet Irish summer here on the west coast, but that being said many clear morning have produced some incredible vivid colours across the Burren hills behind our home.

At times when I look out the window of my bedroom in the early morning I am greeted with this scene.
The garden cast in dark shadow is strongly contrasted by a rich warm velvet light.

Burren, Autumn Light - oil on canvas panel - 12x10
Reserved for 'Communion' L.A. Solo show Friday 30th October 2015.
Email for pricing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

In His Shaded Paddock

I've been posting images of representational landscape pieces over these past couple of weeks, but all the while in the studio I've been keeping myself busy through observational still life painting. Both large and small, these observational still life paintings enable me to explore a pictorial narrative or strong pictorial concept. I hope to 'hang' each of my paintings on the achievement of such things,                                                                                                          and am not in anyway overly concerned with the 'finish'. Nevertheless, these pieces more then any of my other works, do communicate all the virtues and elements I believe to be necessary in a communicative and exciting visual field.  - I'll look forward to share these pieces with you in due course.

Until then here is another painting featuring my neighbour's Connemara pony, TJ.
John O' Donohue the Irish poet, author, philosopher and priest who grew up in the village next to mine often talked about sheep being the Zen masters of the Irish landscape, but from my observations our donkeys and neighbours horses would give the sheep a good run for their money!

Hope you like his peaceful and contemplative gaze as I captured him - standing in his shaded paddock.

In his shaded paddock - oil on panel - 20x20cm
For pricing, reserve and purchase please contact,

Friday, September 11, 2015

Pride of Connemara

A painting depicting my neighbours Connemara Pony, TJ. 
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.

This piece will also be featuring in my coming Los Angeles Solo Exhibition.

Pride of Connemara - oil on museum panel - 70 x 50cm
For reserve and purchase please email -

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

In December of last year I posted an image of this painting after my first days work of what was to become a seven week long studio residency in the city of Barcelona. The paintings title comes from a wonderful Zen like poem written by Wallace Stevens back in the 1950's.

During the past couple of months I took this painting back into my studio and made some subtle finishing touches to it including line work and glazing. I had thought it needed more work for quite a period, but having lived with the work for some time realised that not to be the case.

This painting will travel with me to the United States and feature in my coming Los Angeles solo show 'Communion' which opens on Friday October 30th in Pasadena.

Hope you like it. - RH

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird - oil on museum panel - 70x50cm
For Pricing and Reserve please email, 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Ancient Wall, Fertile Rock.

Just close to my home is a Burren road I often walk. If you head out west on that road you find an area of untouched limestone pavement crisscrossed by ancient walls.

This painting depicts an area of the limestone paving and a part of one such wall which sits close to the road. Many times I've stopped and sat there, in this sheltered area to study the rock forms. This painting becomes almost a portrait of that wall. For me it's a celebration of what many might consider an unremarkable place.

Just as I write this I'm reminded of friend whom I first met shortly after I came to this area in 2009. Luka Bloom is a singer/songwriter, musician and performer. He wrote a song entitled 'The Fertile Rock' and to my surprise and amazement the lyrics of the first verse are as follows:

In the flowering desert
Lies the heart and soul of man
Find a deep well to draw from
And give back as you can
In the moonlight musicians
Hear their tunes in the Burren wind
And in the shadows
Where an old faith's sheltered
The painter's work begins.

This painting will appear in my coming Los Angeles solo exhibition on Friday October 30th.

Ancient Wall, Fertile Rock - oil on panel - 70 x 50cm.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Old men ought to be explorers.
Here or there does not matter.
We must be still and still moving.
Into another intensity.
For another union, a deeper communion.

- from Four Quartets,  East Coker (1940) by T.S. Eliot

Over the years I've been blessed enough to live in some of the most beautiful parts of the west of Ireland. I even grew up in a stunning Irish seaside village called Malahide. About five years ago I spent time, the best part of a year in fact, just outside the town of Westport in County Mayo. My home and studio were located on the quay area of Clew bay. Many evenings I would walk or run along the coast road close to the shoreline. My memories of my time spent there are of a wonderful communing with nature.

This painting is Reserved for my coming Los Angeles Solo Show which opens on Friday October 30th 2015 in Pasadena, C.A. More details to follow. Please contact me for advanced reserve and pricing of for this piece -

Communion - oil on panel - 70 x 50cm

Thursday, August 27, 2015

As Kingfishers Catch Fire.

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; 
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells 
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's 
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name; 
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: 
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; 
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells, 
Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.

From 'As Kingfishers Catch Fire' by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

For the past couple of weeks and for the next month my work will have a primary focus on landscape and still life studio painting. I know it's been some time since I shared finished works with you in any order but its my hope to be able to this, and keep to a strict routine and sequence in the build up to my coming New York and Los Angeles exhibitions. 

Over the past few months I have been working on a number of landscape and still life paintings and recently brought a number of them to a finish. The painting below, which I named 'As Kingfishers Catch Fire', borrows its title from a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins. I thought of this poem many times as I was working on this specially commissioned piece for an incredible friend and supporter of my work. 

The composition was built up slowly over a period of a few months. It's a representational depiction of a view across the Galway bay towards Connamara and out to the Atlantic Ocean past the Burren hills and headlands of Cappabhaile, Gleninagh and Blackhead.

As Kingfishers Catch Fire - oil on panel - 70 x 50cm
Private Collection, Washington DC.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Portrait of a Pilgrim and US Tour

Since returning from Germany in early August I've been so busy preparing myself for a coming trip and exhibits in the United States that I have had little time to catch up on my blog posts. Apologies for the recent inconsistencies here. I've found myself using Instagram to post updates more often as it works well on mobile devices. Blogger still has some catching up to do in that respect.

One big bit of news I have to share is that Timothy Cardinal Dolan the Archbishop of New York visited me here at my studio in Ballyvaughan, County Clare during his recent pilgramage to Knock from the US. (see article attached)

For the next four weeks I'm really going to focus on studio time. I've to continue to create and work on finishing a body of paintings to travel with me to the United States on October 1st and the opportunity to really immerse myself in my painting over the coming weeks is exciting.

We will catch up soon. Promise!

- Richard

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Memories of Place

The Alps on the German Austrian boarder hugged the town of Bad Reichenhall majestically and towered upwards behind our workspaces were I'd been invited a to create paintings as part of a 2015 workshop, 'Schöpfungsakte zwischen Chaos und Kosmos' (Between Chaos and Cosmos) at the Kunstakademie.

In the short time I spent there this year I learnt a great deal about myself and the processes I employ in the creation of my abstract works.

Five large bespoke linen canvas stretchers were specially made for me by college boesner art store technicians, and work began in hast. My energy was fed by the beautiful landscape and strong group dynamic in the studios. The power of the mountains was palpable!

The experience of my time dispatched in Bavaria has been renewing and immense.
Sincere thanks to Ralph Gelbert for the kind invite and opportunity, and a special note of thanks to the Director of the Kunstakademie, Dr. Brigitte Hausmann for the warm welcome and all the staff who were incredibility professional, supportive and always on hand to help.

- Richard

A view from the studios across the lawn of the old salt mills.

A studio shot of some works in progress.

View across a nearby Alpine lake.

Studio Materials.

Komposition, 2015 - oil on linen - 178 x 133 cm.

Bad Reichenhall seen from the foothills close by.

Abstrakten, 2015 - oil on linen - 178 x 133 cm.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Not 'Bad' at All!

This day last year I was hard at work (and play if I'm totally honest) taking part in an international artists week-long symposium in Germany.

This Sunday I fly to Salzburg, Austria where I've been invited to assist an associate professor of arts, Ralph Gelbert, at a week-long studio based abstract painting workshop at the Kunstakademie in Bad Reichenhall.

I'm so excited to visit Salzburg, a UNESCO heritage city surrounded by the Alps and the birth place of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart! In the little research I've done the place looks spectacular - you know it was the backdrop to the musical play and film The Sound of Music!

There will be so much to see and do there, but if my last visit to the symposium is any reflection of what will take place there will be a lot of studio hours put in too. Work hard - Play hard!! I'm sure that will become our mantra for the week.

Five bespoke canvases await me in the studio and I'm looking forward to getting into that special place of excitement, creativity, mystery and surprise.

- Richard

Friday, July 17, 2015

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

'Inspiration Project'.

John Hopkins students from Baltimore, Maryland in the U.S visited me at my studio for a walk and talk at the request of their photographic tutors Howard Ehrenfeld and Phyllis Ann Berger early last month. Jared Posher who hails from Minnesota featured and combined important objects and words from my life story as part of his 'Inspiration Project'.

Altogether in front of my studio in the Burren, Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Space Time and Documentation.

Wanted to share with you all some images of my Works at my latest solo show - Crucible.
Tomorrow I'll be taking this installation down but am happy to report that with the help of photographer and videographer Eoin Collins we have made a great job of documenting the works in space during the shows running time.

Over the last few days while welcoming and inviting people from the community and further a field to the exhibit I've been sizing and priming new canvases in anticipation and excitement to begin painting again on a new body of work.

I'm looking forward to wrapping up this exhibit. It's been another great experience for me and massively successful with regards to increasing my knowledge base, vocabulary, and reaching new collectors. This exhibition has been the first to showcase my large scale informal abstract works and the positive response has been overwhelming.

Sincere thanks to all for the wonderful support received both online and first hand at the show.

Onwards, Forwards.

- Richard Hearns