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

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 - https://vimeo.com/130368130
Got an 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 http://richardhearns.com/abstract/

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.