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Art History The Landscapes Of Patrick Collins

The Landscapes Of Patrick Collins’, Art History

Patrick Collins' landscapes directly connect to his childhood, in that he often spent his early days venturing into the Irish countryside. Such adventures allowed his affinity for nature and keen observational sense to thrive. Throughout his painting career, Collins pulled many of his subjects from boyhood memory. Rather than relying directly on the land itself, he focused on his remembrances of the land, enabling each painting to stand independent, with an internal logic and unique meaning (Ruane, 59). Furthermore, such depictions of memory liken to poetry, as Collins' paintings delve deep into the world of imagination, evoking emotion of the past and present. Although this sense of mystical autonomy encompasses the whole of Collins' works his themes and techniques, however, vary over the course of his painting. Color, brushstroke, use of light, and composition mature from his first pieces to his last. Thus Collins demonstrates a progression of understanding not only in his artistic views, but also in the means which he presents these views in his artwork.

St. Anne's Park, Raheny (c. 1946) demonstrates Collins' early style in painting. The thick, layered application of paint shows his abstract detachment from the specific scene. The dark, brooding colors contrast with the highlights of light, adding further to the fairy tale aspect of the piece. Collins' thick, almost busy composition, however, is short-lived as he progresses to a less cluttered canvas. In Barking Dog (1955) a house, tree, and dog are the only subjects to occupy the piece. Empty space becomes apparent as swirling blues and grays fill up the void, pulling the work together. The dark boarder further contains the painting, while the short depth of field allows the illuminated inner rectangle to pop out from the surface, as it hovers under a mist of dry paint. Such a technique adds to the scene's intangible nature, thereby fulfilling Collins' objective. He states, "You don't believe in the thing you're painting, you believe in the thing behind what you're painting. You destroy your object, yet you keep it … You destroy to find another thing" (Ruane 23). Likewise, Spring Morning (1957) embodies the ethereal qualities of Collins' painting, as soft golds meld in a hazy atmosphere. Though abstracted, the natural aspects of the blustery season emanate from the gestural...

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