Richard Duning


APRIL 7 - 28, 2018


A soulful selection of my work from the years 2000 to 2018

The title that has come to me is “Relationship.

The decades of my work, so far, really seem to be a story – of course, my story. There have been times when I have felt that the “new work” is radical change, wildly different. However as years pass I see that my explorations are perhaps facets of an experience that continues. It is my journey.

Though certainly I do not know where I am going. “One foot in front of another,” “Journeys of thousands of miles.” Is there a destination? Or does it not even matter? It is, though, an intriguing and mysterious journey. I’m trying to learn. Everything is in relationship – even though I can only try to imagine what it is in relationship to. What is the Other?

I reach and touch the Other. Relationship must apparently involve at least two entities. It is possible, or probable, that I don’t know either of the entities.

But I experience the relationship and the proof is the mark. My paintings and drawings are evidence.

I certainly get frustrated, lost, angry, I cry, I laugh. And what lovely joy I receive.

My experience, my works… are living. What I imagine, what I see and feel will continue to tell a story that may alter itself as time goes by.

And you… will have your own relationship with what you see and feel from my images.


Richard Duning

The Auray Linens

“The Auray Linens” is my name for nineteen panels of figure paintings, with my Nancy as model and muse.

The story started April fifth, 2015. Nancy and I were exploring Brittany, western coastal France, specifically the area around Carnac on the Morbihan coast. The draw for us was the standing stones, their mystery, symbolism, and magical presence. They fulfilled us both in every way during the week we were there. These mysteries of stone have been inspiration and guidance for my work over many years.

While in this area we did some other explorations. We found Auray, a very old town with a tidal river. Benjamin Franklin once stayed here, along the river. It all was mesmerizing.

That very day, a beautiful day, there was an antique fair by the river. It was not a large antique display. But I very much enjoyed the experience. I was not finding anything that really attracted me. Near the end was a display of fabrics. Suddenly my emotions leaped at what I saw.

A bolt of cloth.

I touched.

It had such a presence, old – yes, wonderful stains on the fabric, the selvage was full of character and uneven. Each thread was authentic and just a bit irregular.

I asked about it. “Linen, hand spun, hand loomed, natural color, over 100 years old.” The approximate width was one meter, never cut, perhaps nineteen meters long.

Breathless, I lifted it and held it with love and passion. The cost was $150.

Nancy watched me. She said, “Why don’t you buy it?” I said, “but what will I do with it?” “Don’t worry, you’ll find out.”

Into my arms, happy, over my shoulder, it felt good. I would carry it across France, to Great Britain, onto the plane, and all the way back to Cordun, our home.

Eight months go by. Ideas, technical questions, possibilities, opinions, what will be my subject? My muse, my love, my passion, my Nancy. I will in the end have three different sessions with her: Panels 1-9: 12/27/15. Panels 10-12: 10/6/16. Panels13-19: 6/9/16 (my birthday). All figure work, expressionistic, black paint, and I only used my fingers. This moved me so deeply, a gift.

Panel 17 – my face is represented, looking on, in the upper right corner. Panel 4 – for whatever reason, it did not work for me, and so I worked with it for some days. It became very colorful and dramatic – and does not seem to belong in the group. So there are eighteen, each finished in one session.

I love them so. Someday…. I would love to exhibit all eighteen in one place.

This journey is a major story in my life.

Richard Duning


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