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

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Filmed by Eoin Collins this video short of me creating a painting was shot, edited and projected at my latest solo show RICHARD HEARNS - CRUCIBLE.

I've been looking forward to share this with you for sometime, and with just over one week left until the close of this exhibit I thought it a good time to post this short documentary for you to enjoy.

RICHARD HEARNS - CRUCIBLE from Richard Hearns on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Young Inspiring People

Just welcomed 35 budding young artists from Ballyvaughan Community School to my current exhibit at The Burren College of Art. We had Show and Tell, Meditation Time and a short Movie. I'm feeling inspired by all their insightful ideas and perspectives.

Later I've a production crew making an ongoing TV series for RTE coming to visit the show and chat to me a little about my work.

Wish me luck.

So, first I showed them what abstract painting is Not!

Asking them how I might create a painting like this they bowled me over with their ideas and knowledge base.

Loads of ideas!

Then with eyes closed a meditation in front of the abstract paintings.

More show and tell. What do you see?

Getting up close to a painting was fun.

Finished with a movie to inspire. See Here -
Got a impromptu round of applause!! That was real magic!! Thank you all!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

with 'Ovid'

Ovid (interested in magical transformations) - oil on linen - 270 x178cms
Private Collection, Ireland.

Ovid features alongside eleven other works and a video installation at my current exhibit ' Crucible ' in the gallery space of the Burren College of Art. This exhibition continues until July 4th 2015.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

An Impression Life's Energy

In my late teens and early twenties, without being fully aware of it I worked on themes or dealt with subjects such as 'the self'.

My work explored ideas of existence and containment through my notebooks, etchings and drawings. In my mid twenties I began to explore the world through travel and made records of place or memories of place. Many of these images came through a type of hyperactive free association.

Later I began to look more closely at the traditions of picture making and painting, concentrating on works that evoked a visceral response and excited me. Most of the paintings that have influenced me dated between the 16th century and 19th century. I focused mostly on 19th century Spanish and American painting as I enjoyed the painterly quality of that work with its bravado and apparently effortless orchestration. I endeavoured through my work to build a bridge back to this lost knowledge.

I believe I have gone some way to bridging that gap (?) through frustrating failed attempts and continual hard work. 

I think I want to grasp the art of the past, have a real hands on practical knowledge of it. I actually wrote a thesis on abstract expressionism, using Freudian and Jungian theories of psycho analysis as a means of interpreting works.. Let's just say I'm not sure it all worked out!

With these abstractions I consider them a distillation of my current understanding. They become a celebration of a love, a life long love of mark making, pigment, paint and colour. 

Resisting figuration or anything definitive, the recurring feeling is that I am making deposits, a bank of intentional meaningful deposits on the canvas. I want a certain balance of colour, texture and mark making, intentional marks without a preconceived idea of how it will be. A harmony out of a seemingly chaotic process. 

These pieces are designed to be the size of my body. I'm interested in the physicality of painting Or a space my physical body could inhabit, but they are also a reflection of my soul - something inside coming out. 

Sometimes I wish I could leave on the canvas an impression of my life's energy.

- Richard Hearns Artist Statement - Crucible, June 4th to July 4th 2015, Burren College of Art.

Prussian , 2015 - oil on linen - 178 x 135cms.
Private Collection, Ireland

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Richard Hearns - Crucible, Opening Night.

Special Thanks to all who attended and have supported me - It's been an incredible successful. This exhibit of large scale informal abstract paintings runs at the Burren College of Art until July 4th, 2015. Open Monday to Sunday 10AM to 6PM or by Appointment.

Below a time lapse video piece of the opening night along with a selection of photos by Photographer and Videographer Eoin Collins. Thanks Eoin for these beautiful records.

Richard Hearns Crucible Opening 4th June 2015 from Richard Hearns on Vimeo.

To view images of works included in this exhibit and to see current availability please visit

Hope you can come along to see the works on display. Look forward to welcome you there.

- Richard

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Crucible - Guest Post by Dr. Marguerite Helmers

Art pleases us and challenges us to think in new ways. Richard Hearns achieves these two qualities in his new work for the exhibition, Crucible. My twenty students from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh visited Richard in his studio at the Burren College of Art on May 20th to see the works in their final stages. This visit made a lasting impression on the group: they had never met a working artist or been inside a studio of art where the paint was still wet.

With his characteristic openness, Richard welcomed the students to experience the paintings without over-intellectualizing them—which also became a greater invitation to experience what is around them in daily life, to not fear that which is unfamiliar, to find joy in what they do. During the rest of our visit to Ireland, the students returned to that message of joy. It became a mantra for writing in journals and composing poetry in Dublin.

People often say that they don’t understand abstract art. I often hear the question, ‘What is it?’

When Richard spoke about these abstract works, we learned that a painting can be the size of a man; that the mark on the canvas is an extension of his arm; that color is emotion. Richard lifted and turned one of the canvases to show us how its size mirrored the size of his body. Between his outstretched arms, the canvas was lightly turned. Richard’s work is palpably physical.

What is it? It is him.

Dr. Marguerite Helmers
Department of English
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Magus , 2015 - oil on linen - 178 x 135cms.
Private Collection, Ireland

Richard Hearns - Crucible opens tonight Thursday 4th June 7PM.
The Gallery, Burren College of Art.

Continues June 4th to July 4th 2015.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Completing the Circle

Approaching the canvas with a loaded brush. In comfort or with pressure to perform. But always with the truth and acceptance that this is what you should be doing. That there is nothing else to do. You are removed from yourself and the painter is working. Not as a painter making pictures, but as an artist painting paint. 

In conversation with Richard Hearns we discuss the possibilities and challenges of paint. How to build trust, resist doubt, resists outside interference.He knows the paint. The techniques and traditions of oil painting. How to apply it to make a representational image. But in this body of work he wishes to disassociate from the quantifiable and the known. The spiritual quality of the paint take precedence. 

We talk a lot about spirit, how to feed a painting with spirit. How the medium of paint is charged and how we attempt to render, capture and recognise the moment that paint, emotion and skill come together. When the circle is complete and the energy that is spent is balanced and floating in meaningful ratios on the canvas. 

Richard Hearns gives life to a flat surface.   He wills the image into existence without a pre-conceived idea of how it must be.Each approach to the canvas is loaded with emotions. Bundles of emotions all channeled to the tip of his brush.

And then the physical action of painting at this scale. The trained body. Trained by Martial Arts, by exercise. The physical exertion at the moment in front of the canvas. Relying on your training and a profound intent. "Its as if you are in a boxing ring, standing alone in the center of the square canvas. You open your eyes to an opponent and you must use the force of the opponent to defeat it. But there is no opponent - only yourself to counter-weight, parry, and engage".

All thoughts and emotions, spinning in a huge circular chamber, looking for an opening. Like the Large Hadron Collider, which was built to address some of the unsolved questions of Physics, his emotions are running at quantum speed. The artist is a huge emotional machine, a channel. He is working to prove something that can be felt but not fully understood. To create and discover something new and exciting. Essentially he believes that  through the possibilities of paint there is an answer to life's unresolved questions and that through paint something fundamental or god-like can be revealed.


The short Essay above was written during my stay in Barcelona earlier this year by my friend Mark Redden, painter and traditional boat builder. I've known Mark since I was seventeen years old. We met a year before we began college and have reminded close friends eversince.  Mark just opened a show of his works,  at the Museu MarĂ­tim de Barcelona.

This essay 'Completing the Circle' along with a projected documentary HD video piece will accompany 'Crucible', my exhibition of large scale informal abstract paintings at the Burren College of Art. Opening to the public this Thursday at 7PM. The show runs from June 4th to July 4th 2015. Hope you can visit and join me there.

- Richard

Catalogue - oil on linen - 178 x 135cms
Private Collection, Ireland.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Reception for the Prince of Wales at NUI Galway

Some incredible news! My work has been selected to feature alongside works by Anne Madden, Manus Walsh and Mollie Douthit at a reception for Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales at NUI Galway next Friday.