2019 | Harry Durdin Roberston



This year saw me continue my fascination with seascapes and the Caribbean and technically I've experimented with pushing the darker values in my landscapes to add some drama to them. I also wanted to explore painting fire and the effects that heightened fires are having on the environment.

Approaching Savannah Sound 20cmx30cm.jpg

This road in Eleuthera, Bahamas leads to one of my favourite beaches. I was attracted to the small dark palmetto plant in shadow on the left contrasting with the warm light on the righthand side of the painting and the sea just coming into view on the horizon.

Dark Irish Sky 20cmx30cm.jpg

Dark Irish Sky

20cm x 30 cm


Here is an example of me pushing darker values as far as I think I can get away with. This is a very familiar view to me at home in Ireland. These hills and fields can really look drastically different from one season to the next and keeps me coming back to paint them.

Forest Fire 20cm x 30cm.JPG

Forest Fire


20cm x 30cm

I sketched various fires from news reports and used my knowledge of painting actual bonfires to render this image based on the wildfires in California. There's a terrible beauty in fire and destruction. Often traditional painters aren't viewed as being contemporary so I was keen to painting something very important happening in the world now.

Sunrise, Harbour Island 20cm x 30cm.jpg

Sunrise, Harbour Island

20cm x 30cm

I painted this on Pink Sands Beach, Harbour Island on the last day of my three week painting trip setting up before dawn. I've been coming to this small island since I was a child and have a strong connection to the place. I actually forgot my medium when I painted this so it has a lot of impastos!

Tropical Storm, Harbour Island 45cm x 45cm.jpg

Tropical Storm, Harbour Island

45cm x 45cm

I painted this under the luxury tent cover from my friends' Ocean View Club terrace. It was very nice having such dry conditions painting this stormy scene. I have a fascination with palm trees and tried here to emulate one of my painting heroes, Winslow Homer.

Midday Dark Blue 35cm x 25cm .jpg

Midday Dark Blue

35cm x 25cm

Again here I pushed the values of the darks but you really do see this level of contrast in the Caribbean. I liked the sympathetic tonal and colour contrast between both the sea and the sky with both going from light to dark blue.

Rain over Clougherhead 45cm x 65cm.jpg

Rain over Clougherhead

45cm x 65cm

I've come back to this painting over the last few years having originally started it in 2017 on a trip with close friends to Co. Louth in Ireland. The weather sweeps across and changes rapidly here but that challenge is also its appeal giving great painting opportunities. You can also get great deep-fried mars bars here as fuel for painting.

Clouds from Eleuthera 20cm x 30cm.jpg

Clouds from Eleuthera

20cm x 30cm

I like to show contrasting colours in many of my paintings be they still-lives, portraits, or in this case, a landscape. The blue and green of the sea are the opposite of the redder, warmer toned afternoon rain clouds coming in.

Pip's Garden 20cm x 30cm.jpg

Pip’s Garden

20cm x 30cm

My friend Will and his family have been close friends of mine since I was just six-years-old. This is the view from his mother Pip’s kitchen out into the garden in Harbour Island. The gardener actually hacked off some branches as I was painting them so I’m glad I immortalised them when I did.