Pauline Keaney

Welcome to the website of the artist Pauline Keaney who lives and works on the Greek Island of Hydra.

Here you will find galleries of old and new work; some information on her working methods and studio and a means of contacting her should you wish to view her work or discuss sales and commissions.

"I think the biggest step was getting rid of the horizontal line". Pauline and I are sitting in the Isalos cafe in Hydra harbour talking about her recent paintings. 'The human brain likes to join up the dots, so we often 'read' landscapes into apparently abstract works, when I took out those horizontal marks, the paintings were somehow set free'.

She has, I think, been teetering on the brink of pure abstraction for some time, but unable to resist the temptation of that horizontal line. There is a seduction in the familiar, a safety, and it would have been easier for her to carry on ploughing that same furrow, it worked after all, and those paintings, dynamic and evocative, brought memories of Greece to many a dark Northern wall. But that isn't Pauline, she likes to take risks.

I ask about the process.

"I start by laying down colour, I throw it on actually, mixing the paint from pure pigments myself, then moving the canvas round on the floor, not using a brush. Then at a certain point, I'll decide it's ready to go on the wall and start working with brushes or even my fingers, taking off colour with rags, very much in the way I've always worked. But the difference is that I'm just intuitively following the marks and colours, there's no idea of consciously relating it to something else.
The other big change is that, whereas before I was using just three colours, now I'm working with 6 or 7."

Earlier she'd shown me the painting that had set her off down this path. It was a large square canvas evoking a cloudy sunset. But there was something new, a strand of bright red.

"I threw it on, it could have been sheer desperation - here I am doing another greyish landscape." But it was that red Cadmium Vermillion pigment, and the way she's applied it that opened the door to these new, exciting paintings, works that are not representations of the material world in a literal sense, but are very definitely of this place and this time.

Tessa Green



© Pauline Keaney 2015. Unauthorised reproduction is a crime.

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