New work: Blarney Castle Collection

The Journey

“Back in 2014, as a result of my feverish plein air painting sessions on Kilmacurragh Gardens, Co. Wicklow, I was invited to join an exhibition based on Kilmacurragh House & Gardens. It was entitled “Through the Artist’s Eye” and was hosted in the illustrious National Botanical Gardens, Dublin. And thus, I had become part of a group of artists who would create artworks based on, and exhibited in, various renowned historical gardens of Ireland. These newest paintings are based around Blarney Castle Gardens, representing the fourth garden tackled by the by this artistic group. ” – Rod Coyne.

The Magic of Blarney

When transforming Ireland’s green landscapes into a palette of reds Rod Coyne invites the viewer to see the familiar in an unfamiliar light. A recognisable world becomes the other-world. He is keen to remind us that just below the surface live the Tuatha Dé Danann and fairies, banished to the underworld by mortal men.

The tears of a heartbroken fairy princess imbued the Blarney Stone with power to share the gift of the gab. Applying his red palette to the greens of the Blarney Castle & Gardens the artist affirms that connection between the lore of the Blarney Stone and a deep respect for the little people. “Blarney is something more than mere flattery. It is flattery sweetened by humour and flavoured by wit. “ said John O’Connor Power, in the late 1800’s.

The Method

“Currently I am still in the depths of my Rod-Sees-Red phase, so there was little question that I would be applying that M.O. to create this new work. I like to change one ingredient where ever I create a new collection. This time I was determent to go heavy on the texture and gathered authentic street dirt from in front of the Avoca Studio Gallery. Between layers of under-painting I worked the local detritus into the surface with PVA glue. That was simple and effective with clear to see in the results.

Preferably I work on site and paint plien air. That was not an option, so these are studio paintings. They are also relatively small pieces (20x25cm) for my big hands to make. As my painting aid I completed the sketch in natural colors, key here is the greens stayed temporarily green. And having mapped those areas out in green first, then when I covered them with reds allowing the green to peep out beneath. This was not my original my plan, but instead a very happy accident. The complimentary colors just hop off each other creating a painterly dynamic rhyming with the lore of these historic castle and grounds in Blarney, County Cork. ” – Rod Coyne.

Documented on video

You can see this collection being created on time-lapse video here.

Art Calendar 2024

This new collection features in Rod Coyne’s new Art Calendar: “Blarney Castle“.

Now on view in Dublin

Rod’s collection of new works are currently on view in Dublin with the Doorway gallery until January 2024.

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