Monday, April 27, 2015

Let the Great World Spin

I'm not talking directly about Colum McCann's incredible novel but it's so true - the time and tide waits for no one and our great world just keeps on spinning!

Right now I'm a busy busy boy getting ready for two coming exhibitions.
This morning Gordon D'Arcy, Professor of Irish Heritage Studies and published author visited my studio in Ballyvaughan to view the paintings I have selected for inclusion in my coming local exhibit of representational still life paintings.

It was really enjoyable spending some time with Gordon explaining my interests, various approaches and ways of working. Gordon who paints and draws himself and has illustrated many books on Irish wild life has kindly agreed to open my exhibit 'Rhyme or Reason' on May 8th with the Burren Chocolatiers at Hazel Mountain Chocolates. He will call back to my studio again this Sunday to talk some more about my art practice and career to date over a cuppa.

This evening I put the finishing  touches to this painting below entitled 'Valencia'.
The image your seeing here is not the finished piece but it's close enough.

During my time in Barcelona I became absolutely hooked on freshly squeezed orange juice! I suppose there are worse things to be addicted to! This addiction was compounded further during time spent in Valencia where copious amounts and varieties of oranges where readily available. many of which were sampled in jugs of Aqua de Valencia (look it up). The oranges were literally growing on the side of the roads there.

- Richard

Friday, April 24, 2015

Exhibition in Oughtmama.

I'm really excited to be announcing my first 'local' exhibition/event here in the Burren, County Clare.

Teaming up with Burren Chocolatiers, Kasha Kola and John Connelly at Hazel Mountain Chocolates, myself and Boo will present an exhibition featuring a selection of my original Still Life paintings.
Some of which feature here on my website

Plus after the opening night I will make a number of my Limited Edition Giclee Prints available
for purchase at the exhibition space in Oughtmama. See here for the entire range to of these prints created to date.

Opening my show will be Gordon D'Arcy a renowned expert in Irish heritage and wildlife as well as a published writer and Head of Irish Studies at the Burren College of Art.

The Exhibit will be open daily 10AM to 6PM, Monday to Sunday and runs until Friday 22nd May.
I hope many of you can come to visit us there in this incredible location in the Burren, County Clare.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ways of Working.

This morning I gently heightened the colour of a plum in a delicate still life painting using a soft brush with a touch of pure cadmium red, then an hour later smothered part of a large format canvas in an oily black viscus!

What does your art practice consist of? What is your process? How would you define your practice? How important are definitions and definitives? These are questions I force myself to answer at times. Or questions I feel I should want answers to, as I tell myself an academic discourse demands it!

I know when I listen to a group of musicians and enjoy their sound it can be off putting or disappointing when they dramatically change their style. Perhaps humans always seek the familiar?
In a conversation with artist Katie St. Claire, she pointed out that humans have this ancient inbuilt recognition pattern identifier and build up 'a story' or 'picture' through repetition.

On the other hand when a group or artist changes their style and it's successful for us it becomes a revelation. They take us along with them on an important evolutionary journey. The band Radiohead for example have continued to evolve and change over the course of their long career but we still recognize them as unmistakably 'Radiohead'. A painting by Gerhard Richter is still a Richter whether it's a photorealistic piece or a pure abstraction. So, what is it in the work that becomes that identifier? A certain quality? Is the artist even conscious of that innate sensibility?

My interests in music, film and the visual arts span a gigantic field. Knowing what I like and don't like - what I understand and what doesn't appeal to me. I've always enjoyed engaging in multi disciplines and different aspects of the arts practice but I'm most defiantly committed to painting.
A chat in my studio with the Dean of Academics at the Burren College of Art, Conor Mc Grady illustrated one thing that has been a constant in my practice. That is an 'Engagement - Reflection' ethos or pattern as apposed to the 'Thinking - Executing' process which would be more akin to the way most illustrators might work.

Finally, posing these questions of style and evolution to a young painter from Michigan today - Marc Ferraro, I confided that at times I pine for sure direction - the known, the familiar! He quickly displaced my concerns as only a young fresh and agile mind can by saying 'I'm more engaged with painters that change and develop through different processes and ways of working. Painters that repeat things bore me'!

As Deepak Chopra said, 'What is the known? The known is just the conditioned past, there is no evolution in that, absolutely no evolution whatsoever'.

Marc Ferraro's studio space at the Burren College of Art undergrad study abroad programme.
In this body of work Marc has been using free association and instinct to generate imagery for these painterly works.

A sequential series of images of me putting down some initial gestural strokes and marks onto a large format canvas. Trusting 'accident' and 'chance' as well as my physical movement to bring about something new and undiscovered.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Limited Edition Fine Art Prints

About two weeks ago I collaborated on producing my first ever run of Limited Edition Fine Art Prints. With the help of photographer and printing technician Robert Ellis we created a series of the highest quality Satin Rag Giclee prints in the Burren College of Art digital printing lab.  

The fine art prints are looking incredibly amazing if I say so myself - I'm so happy with them. 

Please give me a shout if your interested in an image or three from this first run!
These Fine Art prints have been produced with great care and to the highest quality possible.
Each print is Certified, Signed and Stamped by the Artist. 

Each image is limited to just 15 prints! Prints can be purchased at a cost of €300 each ex. postage.

Purchased work will arrive in professional packing and framing advice and recommendation can be given.

Contact: Richard Hearns Email:  Phone: +353 (0)86 2161135.

Here below images of the first six images to be produced and a link to a folder on my facebook page containing images of the first six prints. P.s I'll be posting out my Spring Newsletter in the next couple of days. You can subscribe to receive this quarterly on my website homepage  

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Kindest Regards,
Richard Hearns

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Aquarian by Richard Hearns

'Illusions are useful only if we use them
To help us get to our true reality.
Initiations and rituals, if they are noble,
Have this power,
(They magnify the secret hour)
They enable us to pass from
The illusion of our lesser selves
To the reality of our greater selves,
Our soaring powers.

An extract from Ben Okri's poem 'Mental Fight'.

Below an image of my latest painting entitled 'Aquarian'.
I've been working on this image over the past couple of weeks and think it's very near complete.
The painting is entitled 'Aquarian'.
I'll be sure to post a high resolution image of this piece as soon as I can, and it very well may become part of my Limited Edition Fine Art Print series.
Details of which I'll announce in the coming fortnight or so.

Aquarian - oil on linen - 100x80cms

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Let me tell you a story!

There is a small island just off the Cambodian coast in the eastern gulf of Thailand.
I've spent many months if not years there, procrastinating, at play, training, painting and being an idyll island bum. In fact, after a quick calculation I reckon I've spent somewhere in the region of three years of my life on that small island outcrop.

As you can imagine I have many stories and tales from this place. The island holds a special interest in my heart and I feel many miraculous things happened for me there. One being it's the place I met my wife and another in finding my calling in art.

The story I want to share with you today has a more sinister side to it or perhaps not, depending on which side of the fence you stand.

One beautiful clear Thai winters day a young English man arrived on the island after a trip to the mainland. He brought with him several grams of Opium! I'd seen drugs on the island before but in all my years there had never heard of opium being available in this region.

A great deal of the opium was smoked in various cheap knock-off oriental style pipes or rolled in tobacco joints. Several grams of the opium was ingested by infusing it in a hot tea!

Within a couple of hours a palpable air of change took place. The atmosphere in the resort became other worldly. It's occupants in a zombified stupor. Everyone was 'out of it' and insular. Akin to being wrapped up in a ball of cotton. No one ate or washed for what seemed like days. Communication among the lodgers became rare. I remember the cook asking questions - why is no one eating, why are there no orders of milkshakes and the usual dishes to the kitchen? What happened to the seven o'clock rush for dinner?

So, what happened? Well, long term I suppose as the opium dried up the people who came and took part made moves to find more of the same further afield. The place returned to normality and island life began again.

I made several mixed media drawings on paper in my notebook trying desperately to capture the atmosphere of change before it slipped my reach. As I set up this recent still life with a dried opium pod and an old tin pot I was reminded of those few dreamy days by the sea on the secluded island I liked to think I knew so well.


Opium Pod and Tin Pot - oil on linen - 20"x20"
Contact for availability and pricing.

#stories #thailand #island #artist #richardhearns #stilllife #representational #painting #opium #pod #tinteapot

Sunday, March 22, 2015

'Saint Fursey's Song' by Kerry Hardie

I was reminded today of a poem I happened upon by chance some five years ago in the small meeting house library at the Cill Rialaig artist residency in Ballinskelligs, County Kerry. I wanted to share this with you all. The poem is 'Saint Fursey's Song' written by Kerry Hardie in which St. Fursey speaks to his brothers, St Ultan and St Foillan.

'Come, brothers,
we are free now, let us live freely,
the rose and the fire in our hearts.

Let us not worry our heads over rightness or wrongness,
nor fret about goodness,
but sing like the birds in the trees.

And we will go wandering, following the light,
we will speak where we will, and sleep where we will,
and take no more care than the lilies in His book.

I made enquiries of the olive-skinned young man,
he who studies under Cumian
and comes from a place he calls Lebanon;

he tells me these lilies spring up like our orchids fair and careless and singing with colour
and we three will be like them and will walk

with easy steps even in the darkest, most fearsome of places,
and certainly we will fear,
But underneath our fear we will be fearless,

So let us take up our ash -plants and be off,
and you, Ultan, bring that pup if you cannot leave her,
she will lift up your heart when your feet are sore,

she may even bring us a bird for the pot but I doubt it,
I think she is not of the stuff of great hunters.
And you, Foillan, tell your crow to follow after,

and sometimes to go before us to show us the way,
for he is a ruffianly bird, full of appetite
and hard sense,
and it's well that men like us be watched for by such as him.

Now farewell, Ireland, Loveliest of all earth's lands.
we may never more see you with human eyes,
but know that we will always have sight of you in our hearts.

And farewell to all who dwell in this land,
do not fear for us, for our souls are safe,
and what are our bodies but little sod houses

putting shelter round fire and round love?
What harm then if the house should crumble?
Fire and love cannot crumble,
fire and love will burn always
in one house or another
lighting windows in the darkest light.


Below a photo from inside the Cill Rialaig artist residency meeting house in Ballinskelligs, County Kerry.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ai Wai Wai - Done Good.

Just yesterday morning the Burren College of Art, as part of their Wednesday lecture series, aired a documentary video piece on the prominent Chinese Artist Ai Wai Wai.

Last month while in Barcelona I had the chance to visit a retrospective of Ai Wai Wai's work held at La Virreina Centre de la Imatge on La Rambla. The show spanned a gigantic portion of his interests and output from his early years in New York to works documenting his more recent incarceration at the hands of the Chinese government.

I find him a fascinating character. His works explore 'the tensions between truth and lies, evidence and ambiguity, control and freedom, politics, art, power and society'.*

There is much information on Ai Wai Wai online. He is an avid blogger and uses many social media platforms like twitter to communicate his ideas, tell his story and bring to light the need for more transparency the world over. He believes that we all have a duty to work towards producing a new and better reality.

I'll leave you with these provocative couple of lines and image below. It's food for thought!

'We are actually a part of the reality, and if we don't realize that, we are totally irresponsible. We are a productive reality. We are the reality, but that part of reality means that we need to produce another reality.' - Al Wei Wei

*extract from an essay by Independent Curator Rosa Pera.
#aiwaiwai #ethancohen #burremcollegeofart #artist #richardhearns #barcelona

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Message in a Bottle

Below, an image of a recently completed piece entitled 'Message in a Bottle'.
This painting is reserved for the Barbara Stanley Gallery, London.

Working on this painting over a period of several weeks I managed to put the finishing touches to it on my arrival back to my studio in the Burren from Barcelona.

With this piece I endeavoured first and foremost to explore through line the fundamental differences between the objects gathered. How my treatment of line might better describe their uniqueness and ultimately their relationship to each other.

Hope you like it - RH

Message in a Bottle - oil on linen canvas - 40"x32"

richard hearns

Monday, March 9, 2015

Keeping your hand in it.

'Keep painting - day in - day out. Be absorbed by it'. -Milton Avery

My sentiments exactly! (And with the weather as blustery as it is on the west coast of Ireland it's easy to stay indoors in the studio.) It's the processes I'm engaging with that keeps my hand moving, the spirit of the work alive. With several works on the go now I rotate the canvases. This helps me keep a fresh perspective and build insight. I find new ways to bring the works along together. They all inform each other and my ideas flow freely.

Below images of one of the new large still life pieces under construction in my studio in Ballyvaughan, County Clare.

Aquarian - oil on canvas - 40"x30"