The Pirate Painter Project; join Rod Coyne for demo and exhibition.

Pirate Painter Project – Rod’s Description

For the period of 2016 I will be creating my plein air pictures wearing an eye patch, a pirate painter so to speak. I have more or less 20/20 vision in my good eye, and only 25% vision in my lazy eye. For this project I am covering my good eye and relying completely my lazy eye to paint. This is a totally experimental period of work and I have now idea what the results will yield. I am adapting a scientific approach by writing a detailed report on the creation of each painting and videoing the process. This project has received the full backing of Wicklow County Arts Office in the form of a generous bursary. So watch this space when I reveal the results in 2017.

Rod Coyne poses in front of his van sporting the all important eye-patch.
The Pirate Painter leaves the sanctuary of the studio to work in the Wicklow Hills.

 

Rod tests painting a self portrait on a small scale with one eye.
Rod tests painting on a small scale with one eye.

Pirate Painter Project – In Detail

I have a lazy eye, otherwise known as amblyopic eye. This condition can result in many and varied visual impairments, and these can range from mild to extreme. According to a recent optician test, the visual information I receive on my good eye is 92% of 20/20 vision verses 25% through my lazy eye. Specifically, the sight on my lazy eye is heavily blurred, but I do receive the same full range of both colour and light as with my good eye. This blurred vision applies equally up close as it does for looking into the distance.

Rod Coyne paints a self-portrait method wearing an eyepatch.
Rod Coyne uses a self-portrait method to test the viability of his concept before heading outdoors to paint.

Renowned art critic Martin Gayford commenting on Lucian Freud’s lazy-eye remarked how his paintings only came into focus from a distance, while up close they are all about mark-making and the lustre of oil paint. Apparently it’s to do with two sets of images being received by the brain, namely one sharp and the other blurred. My own painting has always born the same characteristics although I never understood the reason untill I read Martin Gayford.

I am now ready for the next artistic chapter in my artistic life. I am a firm believer in a structured and scientific approach so prefer changing just one element of my current modus operandi at a time so as to fully comprehend and judge the results. I see this project as an opportunity to disappear down a rabbit hole with no pre-conception of the pictorial results. My intention then is to calibrate and criticize the results viewing them in the wider context of landscape painting today.

 

Pirate Painter Project – The Questions

What happens if I subtract my good eye from the painting process? In what way would the resulting image be different? How will I deal with a fuzzy, distant subject? How will it affect the colours I see and how I mix them? How will I judge if a brush is loaded or not? To what extent will I believe the canvas is covered when it is not? And most importantly will I bend my restricted vision to suit my current style or visa-versa? Answer: I haven’t got a clue, but the prospect is very exciting.

Rod Coyne complete with eyepatch and a freshly completed plein air painting.
The Pirate Painter at work in Wexford during the Art in the Open festival 2016.

Pirate Painter Project – In the Landscape

The Irish landscape is a means to an end for me, where the end is finding and developing my voice as an artist. So the landscape becomes a vehicle to investigating and developing my own style of plein air painting. This plein air conversation with Co. Wicklow continues unabated now into its 16 year.

My proposal is to continue my plein air conversation with the Wicklow landscape from April to December 2016 while wearing an eye-patch over my good eye. A pirate-painter if you like. It will be like painting with one hand tied behind my back and the results will be documented in oil on canvas in the form of a new body of experimental work. I hope with this experiment to better understand my physical perception of the world. Because my lazy-eye image and focus is so reduced and simplified I wonder to what extent the paintings will reflect this. I am also keen to know if my lazy-eye will improve during the year with all the extra exercise or if my brain will employ completion to “fill in the blanks” in the search for a more familiar image.

The pirate painter with a palette knife between his teeth.
The pirate painter has the bit between his teeth.

 

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Hollywood – Painting with Poets – Early Bird – Painting in the Rain

 

1916 Portrait Collection at the 2016 Hollywood Fair.
1916 Portrait Collection at the 2016 Hollywood Fair.

Celebrate 1916 Collection at Hollywood with 1/3 off canvas prints.

As you know this month Rod Coyne presents his unique “1916 Portrait Collection” at Wicklow’s Hollywood Fair. This exhibition is free and all are welcome. But what you didn’t know is that to celebrate the exhibition we are discounting the whole Canvas Print collection by 33% at the Fair and online.

This year’s vintage Hollywood Fair is themed around the 1916 Easter Rising Centenary. The unrivaled family event promises art & culture, music & song and no shortage of food & drink. And Rod’s canvases have pride of place in St. Kevin’s Church, Hollywood, Co. Wicklow from 7 – 9pm Saturday 20th and 2 – 6pm on Sunday 21st August 2016.

 Painting Workshop #5 at the infamous Meeting of the Waters.
Paint your stress away.

Follow in the footsteps of National Poet Thomas Moore with Avoca Painting School. Rod Coyne’s Outdoor Painting Workshops take place during Summer 2016 at stunning painting locations throughout County Wicklow, Ireland. Workshop #5 on August 13th promises quality time at the Meeting of the Waters . Book your place now.

September Painting Course

September Studio Courses

The Avoca Painting School presents Rod Coyne’s drawing and painting course at the Avoca Gallery which runs over a 6-week period. The Tuesday and Wednesday morning classes are suitable for beginners and advanced painters. Maximum six students per class.
Book your place before the 22nd August 2016 and save €20.


One Minute Painting VideoRod participated in Wexford’s Art in the Open 2016; this was nine years in succession sine the festivals inauguration. “It was way too wet and windy on the beach at Curraghcloe. So I took my paints and headed back through the dunes…”

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Revolution on air!

The Revolution has been Televised!

Rod Coyne reveals his 1916 Portrait Collection to Irish TV, one century on from the Dublin Revolution.

1916 Revolution - Rod Coyne on Irish TV

Rod’s Revolution…

“I remember learning of Easter 1916 as a school boy, awe-struck and filled with pride. While back then the year 2016 seemed a science fiction away, I now stand on the threshold still awe-struck and filled with pride.” – Rod Coyne.

Irish TV’s new and charming presenter Pol Seoige gets to the heart of Rod Coyne’s 1916 Portrait Collection. The interview from last March was all about Rod’s then imminent Centenary exhibition. That show ran from 13th March till 9th April at The Courthouse Arts Center, Tinahely, Co. Wicklow. Coyne’s portraits set the perfect mood for a month of events marking the 1916 Easter Rising. The paintings formed a backdrop to theater, live music, cinema and panel discussions in Wicklow’s favorite arts center.

The exclusive print collection is available here.

Loads more about the exhibition: http://eepurl.com/bSYh2T

You can see the whole interview on YouTube.

“Those who know my landscape work might be forgiven for thinking I have made a radical side-step with this collection. On one had I have done just that, but on the other it’s just me going back to my roots. I have never considered myself a portrait artist, as there many who look after end of things so much proficiently than I ever will. I admire and enjoy their work.  From day one I have drawn by that primitive artistic urge to work with the head, face and figure. I guess it’s just that eternal fascination with the human condition. Indeed, during my early years in Düsseldorf the human condition featured heavily in a long series on paintings examining the Troubles. So the “1916 Portrait Collection” is very much a continuation of those, themes held on pause for a while, rather than a surprise anthology from left field.” – Rod Coyne.

The Easter Rising of 1916 was pivotal to the emergence of an independent Ireland.  Only supported by a minority of the Irish population, the courage and sacrifice of those who led it would in time change their nation’s destiny. The story of how less than two thousand Irish men and women bravely confronted the might of the British army in Dublin remains one of the most compelling in Irish history.