Thursday, 18 of July of 2024

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Culture Night at the Avoca Studio Gallery

For Culture Night at the Avoca Studio Gallery we are hosting a public painting demonstration. This ties in with the 5th anniversary of the Avoca Painting School and will be a chance to view an exhibition of Rod Coyne’s current project “My Place on Canvas”. Rod will host the informal demonstration with an on-going Q&A throughout. The event runs 17.00 till 19.30 on Friday the 18th of September and admission is free.

Sky Landscape Artist of 2015


...palette knife in hand I set to work...

...palette knife in hand I set to work...

Popular presenting duo Joan Bakewell and Frank Skinner have returned to Sky TV’s Landscape competition after the success of the Portrait Artist series. Expert judges Tai Shan Schierenberg, Kathleen Soriano and Kate Bryan are also returning. The winner will be awarded a £10,000 commission, which will be added to the National Trust’s permanent art collection.
Narrowly missing out on a place in Heat 3 of Sky Landscape Artist of 2015, by way of open submission, I was offered a place as reserve artist for the Heat. It was a very un-Christian position to find myself in, wishing that one of my fellow artists be ill-fated and fall by the wayside, but what the hell. Failing that I was guaranteed a place in the Wild Card competition the following day. I saw it as an opportunity not to be sniffed at. I wasn’t going there to make up the numbers or for the “experience” but because I believed I could be a real contender.

Our exact painting location remained a secret untill the last.

Our exact painting location remained a secret untill the last.

View of the bay below Trellisick Gardens.

View of the bay below Trellisick Gardens.

In the event all eight Heat artists arrived safe and sound meaning me and Karl (the second reserve artist from Gibraltar) were joining the Wild Card painters. Here roughly twenty artists were competing for one place to progress to the next stages.

Early in the morning we were brought to our painting location and briefed. We would start at 9am and work till 3pm at which time the judges would announce the winner. The judges, presenters and a camera team would be moving throughout us, interviewing us, as we depicted the landscape.

Everywhere we looked there was a camera crew.

Everywhere we looked there was a camera crew.

Lights – Camera – Action

Straight away the crew were asking me to remove a peg from the ground and hammer it in again because the camera man liked the sound. I started working as soon as my easel was standing securely. I do a quick drawing with acrylic marker and start basting the canvas in turps and linseed oil. Tai Shan Schierenberg turns up wondering what I’m putting on the canvas and I explain my modus operandi and he wishes me luck and congratulates me on my setup.

...#1 work in progress...

...#1 work in progress...

I’m working on a 70×100cm canvas in landscape format, depicting the bay and headlands seen from Trellisick Gardens. I want to keep the composition as simple as possible so leave any foreground trees out. The camera team and judges visit regularly following my progress. Late into the picture Joan Bakewell fixes me with a stare when I tell her landscape painting is a lot like self-portraiture, I notice the whole crew surrounding her turn to me in anticipation. I explain that the scene being distilled through me has to have an element of self-portraiture; hence twenty artists paint the same scene in their own individual way. She seems satisfied and moves on with her media entourage.

At 12.30 it’s finished and I can do no more without overworking it. Individual parts of the painting work well but I’m neither convinced nor impressed. It’s completely unremarkable and I don’t like it.

Painting #1 complete.

Painting #1 complete.

I am not worried though, and things might actually still be going to plan. Right on cue the sky darkens and the morning sun gives way to rain. At one o’clock I start my second piece knowing I’ll have to be fast and relentless to be finished on time. It’s another 70×100 canvas but portrait format this time and with a lively, atmospheric, blue under-painting. This the point where most of the others are doing the finishing touches, tinkering around or gone for lunch and out of the rain. My radical decision to start a second large canvas so late in the game catches the attention of the judges and camera crew alike and they’re over to have me explain what I’m up to.

I’m working fast and loose emboldened by the knowledge that I have one piece in the bag, I feel free go a bit wild at the Wild Card competition. I am also aware that if I am to have half a chance of winning I’ll need to be experiential and go out on a limb to create a remarkable picture. Two thirds of the canvas is a vast rainy sky dwarfing the little estuary below. With ten minutes to go I start making big, bold marks in the clouds transforming them to dramatic effect. It ties everything together the way I’d hoped and I’m finished at three on the button.

Painting #2 complete.

Painting #2 complete.

I wonder if the judges had noted my late flourish. They call time and confer to pick a winner. Don’t worry, now, no spoilers here as we were all contracted to secrecy. Suffice to say it was someone else going forward on this occasion. Disappointed but unperturbed I set about packing up. Then privately and unofficially the crew commiserated and informed me that it had been a two horse race and that I had been pipped at the post.

"Trellisick Downpour"

Now I felt affirmed as I loaded the big blue van to start the journey home. I was very happy with my performance and the event as a whole. I didn’t drive all the way to Cornwall for just the “experience” but because I believed I could be a contender, and in the end I got both. I’d do it all again and I wouldn’t change a thing.


Throughout creating the pictures for My Place on Canvas each day was a new adventure. I felt a thrill heading off in search of someone else’s vision of Wicklow knowing there would obstacles to overcome and challenges to be met. Knockananna was the exception to the rule, the directions were perfect and the chosen spot had enough space to park and take in the wide panorama. The adventure lay in creating the art, and the struggle to know what to put in and what to leave out. And then what to do with the shimmer of red berries on green bushes in bright autumn sunshine. The effect on my eyes was quite psychedelic so that’s what I went with.

“My Place on Canvas”

On Sunday 23rd November 2014 I launched the “My Place on Canvas” project at the Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. It was the product of three years work and the Blurb went like this:

30 Wicklow landscapes of real people unveiled

An exhibition celebrating Wicklow landscapes where the public have decided which scenes Rod Coyne would paint. Choosing a selection of those favourite “My Places…” Rod has interpreted them in his own distinctive plein-air style. Each canvas has its very own personal back-story. These sentiments and memories will be exhibited alongside the painting.

This is an interactive project where the artist looks at the world through someone else’s eyes, and they get to see their landscape through his. People who previously were never involved in art suddenly find themselves at the heart of this unique show. The result is a compelling mix of paintings and text celebrating the stunning beauty that is Co. Wicklow.

My Place on Canvas – opening night.

Rod Coyne’s notes for your calendar:

Rod Coyne’s notes for your calendar:

Latest newsletter:

International Group Exhibition: “Schildersweek” where Rod Coyne is one of thirty sponsored artists invited to join the International Art Week, in the Dutch seaside town of Domburg. 23rd – 31st May. This followed by an exhibition throughout the summer.

International Group Exhibition: Dublin Biennial 2014
at the CHQ Building in the IFSC, Dublin 1. June 13th – June 22nd,

International Group Exhibition: Art in the Open 2014
is Europe’s biggest annual arts festival featuring 200 international artists painting en plein air at some of the most stunning scenery in Irelands south-east. The event runs from 28th July till 4th August, culminating with an exhibition in White’s Hotel, Wexford.

Group Exhibition: in the Visitor Centre, National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin. 5th – 22nd of August 2014. See for full details.

“My Place on Canvas” is an exhibition of paintings by Rod Coyne celebrating landscapes of Co. Wicklow at the Tinahely Courthouse Arts Centre in 2014.
You can have your say in which landscapes will appear in the show.
Basically, Rod paints requests. You do not have to be a part of the art-world to take part, it is open to all. You just need to share some details about “My Place on Canvas” and Rod will do the rest.

Painting Holidays and Outdoor Workshops in the Garden of Ireland
Details and booking available

Avoca Studio Gallery is a “clicks and mortar gallery”

Please visit online shop for original paintings.
We will be adding new works on an ongoing basis

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

'Land of the Celt's' poster.

'Land of the Celt's' poster.

If you find yourself in Co. Kerry this weekend then drop into Cill Rialaig arts center where they are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with the ‘Land of the Celt’s’ exhibition. I have three painting there along with some other great artists. For more info:

And of course we’re getting dressed up for St. Patrick’s Day here at the Avoca Studio Gallery, Co. Wicklow. We’d love to see you here too.

Raising the flag for St. Patrick's Day.

Raising the flag for St. Patrick's Day.

Special Offer

We have Avoca Painting School offers for Valentines Week (now untill 17th Feb). A 10% discount on our 6 – week studio drawing and painting course. It runs weekly from 5th of March (2 week Easter break) till 23rd April 2013. And a two people for the price of one on our outdoor painting workshops running from April to September. Booking and details available here:

Season’s Greetings

Hello Art Friends…

…students, collectors and all of you who help us by spreading the good word we want to say a heart felt thank you

for all your support during 2012. And we wish you a happy, peaceful Christmas and a healthy, happy New Year.

"Killakee Cliffs"

"Kilkee Cliffs"

Rod and Anja Coyne

Avoca Painting School

Avoca Studio Gallery
Co. Wicklow

phone 0402 35555
mobile 087 225 9680


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Whats’ news…

Free painting demonstration and 20% Christmas Discount Avoca Studio Gallery.

Hello Art People,

I have a few notes on upcoming events, so please feel free to take part and share…

I will be giving a painting demonstration at the Avoca Studio Gallery on Sunday the 9th December at 1pm. All are welcome, admission is free and you can find directions at:

This is also an opportunity to enrol for Avoca Painting School’s 6 – week studio drawing and painting course. It runs weekly from 8th of January through 12th February 2013. Book before 11th December and avail of a 10% discount, further details:

While here at the Avoca Studio Gallery we are offering a 20% Christmas Discount on all Rod Coyne paintings from the 1st till the 24th of December. Call by or contact us for further details. (This discount does not apply in conjunction with any other offers).

I have work at The Doorway Gallery where their Christmas Show opens at 6pm on the 6th December and runs till 31st of January. 24 South Frederick Street, Dublin 2.

And also on show at the Sol Art Gallery, Christmas Show opens 13th December, 8 Dawson Street, Dublin 2,

"Autumn Beech" by Rod Coyne, 80x80cm, oil on canvas.

"Autumn Beech" by Rod Coyne, 80x80cm, oil on canvas.

Guitar Project

They asked me earlier this year if I would paint on a guitar, but I just had too much on my plate at the time. So I said yes, because I have always fancied the idea of painting on a guitar. It is part of a charity event to raise funds with the aim of giving musical tuition to every school kid in the country, all the more reason to become a part of it: Along the way I managed to get Anja Coyne and Jimi Shields on board with art guitars of their own. The grand opening is next Thursday, 24th May 2012, and upstairs in the Stephens Green Centre, Dublin, Ireland. Please come along and support this worthy cause.

The following are a selection of photos documenting the creation of my “Atlantic Blues”…I hope you enjoy them.

Evite Instrumental Art

Chris Maher stripped and sanded the guitar for me, I added a coat of acrylic primer.

After hours I set it up on my easel…

…and started an under-painting in acrylics.

…and started an under-painting in acrylics.

...more sky...

...and some waves...

...and some sea...

...atlantic beginning to show...

...atlantic beginning to show...

After the acrylics I gave it the final once-over with oil paints and a palette knife.

Rock Star Rod.