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

Friday, November 28, 2014

My Art Works Available On-line

I am making a number of my paintings available for purchase on-line in advance Christmas. I would love to hear from you, to help find a painting or paintings that suit, and would be sure to get the artwork(s) to you or to a loved one all wrapped up as a very special gift in advance of Christmas. These available paintings also come with optional payment plans in place to suit your budget.

Please Email or Phone me for a Special Website Address to see the Available Pieces with Pricing.

Email: richardhearns@gmail.com

Phone: +353 (0)86 216 1135

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

KAVA Group Exhibit at the Russell Gallery

This coming Saturday my work will appear as part of a group exhibition with KAVA - the Kinvara Area Visual Arts group. The exhibit takes place at the Russell Gallery located close to the Flaggy Shore in the New Quay area of North County Clare.
The show will be opened by Aideen Barry, a visual artist and current assistant lecturer at The Limerick School of Art. Aideen also serves as the western regional representative for Visual Artist Ireland (VAI). I'm looking forward to celebrate this launch with all involved.

'Winter Collection' will open on Saturday 29th of November at 18.30h
at the Russell Gallery, New Quay, Burrin, County Clare.
This show runs until December 31st.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Message in a Bottle

Since arriving home from Paris and Germany I've been solely concentrating on my commissioned project for SEPIL, which has a deadline for the end of December. I'm just giddy to share with you the final pieces for this painting commission. I'll be sure to post an image on December 1st for you all to see.

I also have a number of landscape pieces I began way back in May or June of this year, but put them aside for a time. I look forward to examine them afresh and bring them to completion in 2015.

Here also attached is an image of a large observational painting I have been working on intermittently for sometime. It's very nearly finished now. Hope you like it. - RH

Friday, November 14, 2014

From Paris to the Palatinate

On Sunday last we travelled by TGV train from Paris into the heartland of the Palatinate in south-western Germany. This was to be my third visit to Germany this year. I journeyed to spend time with my friend and artist Ralph Gelbert and to discuss a commissioned painting project for the Muller-Catoir family, a large and renowned fine wine producing family in the region.

The trip was such fun and it was so nice to be able to see this area of Germany in the late autumn/early winter and to share this place with Boo for the first time.

In July of this year I had been invited to take part in an International Symposium of painters and sculptures in this area and had the opportunity to create work and exhibit. During my time there I was fortunate enough to be hosted by the Catoir family and discussions began about commissioned paintings of mine to add to the families large collection which dates back some three hundred years.
I look forward to putting planning in place so I can start work on these pieces in April of next year.

I will never forget the warm hospitality we received in this area of Germany. And I look forward to welcome my friends from Neustradt an der Weinstrasse to Ireland again some time soon.

Below some pictures from our visit including highlights of mine from the Staedel Museum in Frankfurt.

Beautifully prepared dinner at Studio Gelbert's and plenty of fine wine!

A view of Ralph's studio space from our bedroom!

Crossing a bridge over the Rhine river in Frankfurt. Don't ask me what we were pointing at!

Städel Museum, Front facade Photo: Städel Museum

Arnold Böcklin - Villa by the Sea.

Jean-Léon Gérôme - Saint Jerome and a Lion.

Rembrandt - The Blinding of Samson.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

From Paris with Love

Paris has been an absolute whirlwind of emotion.
Nervous energy, fun and exhilaration all combined to make this short trip and solo exhibit incredibly memorable. Not to mention great fun with friends, family and new prospective collectors.

After two days hanging and installing the show at Galerie La Cornue we opening the exhibit to a great turnout. The atmosphere was wonderful and warm all helped by gorgeous food by Boo, French wine and of course some fourteen very fine paintings!

Special thanks to all who were able to come along to celebrate the launch with us.
Huge gratitude to Ms. Pauline de Vilmorin and Mr. Xavior Dupey, La Cornue's gallery director and owner.

I will post some photos from the show as I get them but until then here is a couple of nice images from our time spent in Paris.

Boo, chilling out along the banks of the river Seine.

Little Birds at Notre Dame.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Opening Tonight in Paris

Tonight marks the opening of my first solo exhibit of paintings in Paris.
Here is an image of part of the installation at Galerie La Cornue.
54, rue de Bourgogne, 75007 Paris.
This show runs until at least November 28th.
Tonight's after party will happen just down the road at Cafe - Resto, Au coin de la rue.

Hope you can come along.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tea break at the Terminal - SEPIL Commission 014

An image of 'The Terminal' painting during its creation.
As it gets close to a finish it's time for a well deserved tea break.
I look forward to show you the finished piece soon.

Special thanks to Eoin Collins for the photographs.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Two Mangosteen

Here below is an image of one of the smaller oils that will feature in my coming solo show in Paris.
The entire exhibit entitled 'Raw/Cooked: Last of the Summer Mackerel' has it's pictorial narrative based around compositions which includes foods.

Private Collection, Switzerland.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Raw/Cooked: Last of the Summer Mackerel

My first Solo Exhibit in Paris opens this day fortnight. 
'Last of the Summer Mackerel', at Galerie La Cornue. 
54 rue de Bourgogne, 75007, Paris. 
Don't forget to tell your friends!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Museum of Realist Art, Boston

Recently I was informed that my work has been included in The Museum of Realist Art, Boston. This curatorial collection of  realist painting has been build over time since 2011. The founders are currently looking for a permanent space in Boston. Until then the collection is available online.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

All work and no play

Preparation for my coming solo exhibit in Paris is nearly complete.
Of course there will be some last minute things like crating the works for transport, but all the pieces are framed and gathered bar one!
I will post more information on this first exhibit of my work in Paris soon.

My attention the past number of days has been to return to work on pieces for my commissioned project for SEPIL. I'm really pushing ahead with this work now and feeling more and more comfortable with the remaining time. Its good to have a deadline. My works always more concentrated and focused with one.

You know the proverb 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy' - well Thank God I got to let loose on that break in Amsterdam :).

Here is a shot of me with a piece in process that I have abandoned or put aside, at least for a little while.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Rijks Museum

I'm back at work in my studio now but on Thursday last I had the chance to spend a day at the Rijks Museum in the heart of Amsterdam's Museum quarter. The Rijks has just undergone a ten year refurbishment and renovation and just opened up fully again in 2013.

The museum is divided up chiefly into four sections.
'Special Collections', on the ground floor which includes works created from 1100 through to 1600 as well as an incredible collection of Asian antiquities which are housed in a special pavilion. 1700 to 1900 on floor one where I was particularly taken by a Goya self portrait. Then the second floor with its great hall and gallery of honour containing works from the 1600-1700 namely the Night Watch by Rembrandt and little gems by Vermeer like Milkmaid and Little Street.

I never made it to the 1900-2000 on the third floor but I suppose they will all be waiting for my return to Amsterdam which won't come quickly enough.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Rembrandt's Bed

Four days and three nights in Amsterdam was never enough. What was I thinking?!
Myself and Boo arrived into the Netherlands mid week. It was Boo's first time on Dutch soil.

Our first trip into the city was to visit Rembrandt Van Rijn's house.
Here is an image of his bed in which he slept half upright, the belief being at the time that if you slept lying down you could die from a rush of to much blood to the head!

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Little Audio/Visual Treat

Just finished collaging this little audio visual treat a couple of days ago.

Special thanks to John Des Marais for his incredible generosity in composing the accompanying music. These two musical arrangements entitled ' Color Wheels ' were composed especially for the launch night of my 4th New York City solo show which opened at O'Sullivan Antiques in spring of this year.

I was fortunate enough to have met John Des Marais some years ago in New York. John is a Tenor and Composer who works composing compositions for Film and TV as well as being one of the lead singers and long time member of the St. Patrick Cathedral Choir in New York City.

Hope you enjoy watching and listening to this little collage of recent still life paintings.

Richard Hearns - The Artist's Shelf from Richard Hearns on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Impossible Complexities - SEPIL Commission 013

In the image below you can see me working out an incredibly complex drawing for a painting which will illustrate a section of the terminal processing facility at the Corrib Gas Project.

Below that again is an image of the second stage process I have implemented in the working out of this piece. Here I have washed in various colours which will serve me in illustrating and establishing the overall colour relationship of this complex composition.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Preparedness and Process

It seems to me that I spend a huge about of time and energy organising and reorganising my studio space. Cleaning my brushes, scraping cleaning and relaying my palettes, preparing my mediums etc etc. About every third or forth day I find I'm just surrounded by debri and need to organise my space and materials again. I do this in order to be more clear, focused, efficient and creative with my time. It's a catch twenty two really because in order to be more creative and efficient time wise I have to invest a lot of time in getting prepared!

I remember seeing a film of Gerhard Richter at work in his studio some years ago. Anytime he put his brushes down and took a break from work his assistant would reorganise the space for him. I was madly jealous! Well you know what they say, all good things come to those who wait!

Here's a shot of one of my compositions currently in process.
Hope you enjoy this glimpse.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Still Life over Killary Harbour

I spent close to a year living and working in Westport in 2011. I kept a studio at the Custom House Studios close to the quay. Most weeks myself and Boo would drive out the coast road along Clewbay towards Louisburgh and Leenaun which is situated on the shores of the Killary Harbour fjord and close to the ancient woods near the Maam valley. We loved walking there even in the dead of winter!

I had this landscape piece worked up, but only brought it to a finish recently.
It's a view across the harbour towards Ben Gorm mountain. I think the combination of landscape and these objects works well together with the three mountains in the background echoed by the three major objects in the foreground.

Still Life over Killary Harbour - oil on canvas - 38"x30"

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Old Games

Just finished this large piece the week before last.
There was a great deal of careful observation and drawing in order to make this painting what it is.
Combined in a sort of triangular arrangement each object has been lovingly rendered through my observation of the flow of cool north light and preceding warm shadows.
I hope you like it.

Old Games - oil on linen - 40"x32"
Below also, an image of the work during it's creation to give you an idea of scale.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014


Untitled, Brush Bowl and Tube - oil on panel - sold
Private Collection,  Holliston, Massachusetts

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Brand New, Second Hand

Brand New, Second Hand - oil on panel - 12"x9"

This piece, which I created as part of a series of works made in Germany, actually got damaged in transit on my way home to Ireland!

As an artist I am really interested in all the facets and pictorial elements of traditional oil painting eg. composition, drawing, values, edges, colour and light etc.
In paintings, the 'edges' of objects and forms can powerfully convey certain ideas and create illusions. In the case of this painting, the illusion of the 'pristine' and the 'used'.

- Richard

Monday, September 1, 2014

SEPIL Commission 012 - The Welding Inspector

The Welding Inspector -The Pipe - Corrib Gas Project, County Mayo'- oil on canvas

This painting depicts Rodger Hutchinson, a Welding Inspector of the onshore pipeline at the Corrib Gas Project in County Mayo.  Rodger very kindly allowed me access to a welders habitat to meet and see the welders at work. The chance to spend time in the welders environment has been for me one of the highlights of being on site at the Corrib Gas Project to date. 

- Richard

Friday, August 29, 2014

Forty Days and Forty Nights

Here is an image of a very recently finished large format painting.
I suppose the initial concept for this painting was to explore and illustrate the space and light in my studio as well as the idea of searching for a 'paintings subject', the subject of this painting, being a painting!

I have two studio spaces in which I work at home.  In one of the studios I create most of my representational pieces. This space has north light. The other studio space has light that streams in from the west in the evenings. I use this space to create large scale works that I will share with you some time next year.

Forty Day and Forty Nights - oil on linen - 40"x30" - sold
Private Collection, Ireland.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Wet Paint!

I have several large scale still life pieces in process at the moment at my studio.
Thought to send you on this image.
Can anyone guess the whereabouts of the landscape depicted in the background?

- Richard

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Classical Thirds

It was a mad 'egg hunt' in Germany, made easy by visits to Ralph Gelbert's studio.
I collected objects and debris that spoke to me. I picked these objects for there inherent formal qualities and arranged them in this composition which I entitled Classical Thirds.

Classical Thirds - oil on canvas - 64" x 48"
Collection of The City of Neustradt an der Weinstrasse