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The Burren #64B

The Burren paintings were inspired by the landscape of Western Ireland. I stayed in a quaint fishing village for four months where I painted every day. In Ballyvaughan and the Burren mountains my eyes focused on the beauty of the place. In such an overwhelming place of beauty I consumed the vastness of the hills, valley and sea. When I came home I brought with me 11 oil paintings, a sketchbook filled with watercolors and 4 drawings. More importantly, my internal suitcase contained the spirit of the place. And that spirt continued to inspire me for more than a year after my return.

The stormy weather and rain over the mountain of the painting entitled Burren #00, (First of the Burren paintings that began the series in January of 2011) was captured by swiftly moving brush strokes created through the fast dancing movement of my hand that held a cheap 4" house painting brush saturated with oil and color. I prefer house painters brushes from the hardware store to the expensive artists brushes. I don't give a damn about them which enables me to slash and bend the bristles to the force of my energy. The grayness of the far off mountains caught in the haze of a downpour needed to be subdued and appear distant, and a squeegee was drawn across it's surface to blur the rocky cliffs. The mustard colored pigment represented winter grass blowing in the wind.

I tend to work in series. Often a theme or direction evolves from another series or it will come about as a reference to a personal experience. In this painting I was taken with the evening sun going down on Galway Bay. In the foreground is a lone tree growing out of the rocky surface on the shoreline. The paint surface is thicker and applied with large brushes and a silk screen squeegee. I enjoy moving and blending paint with unconventional tools. The colors are forced together without conscious thought or control. For me control is arrogant. I look at my approach to painting as opening myself to forces of creativity that are caught rather than conceived by me. I'm a conduit of sorts. I don't stand before a subject and copy it. I breath it in, consume it and let it flow out of me onto canvas. My paintings are a gift from the Universe. What comes through me and appears in this world has never been seen before.

40" W x 34" H oil on canvas

This original painting is on display in our Mineral Point gallery.

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by Terrence Coffman