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.