Hugh G. Rice has been living in Winnipeg, Canada since 2004 but spends a few months every year painting back in his native Ireland. His paintings are very much influenced by his environment. Hugh’s vibrant depictions of the Canadian prairie contrast strongly with the small, quiet Irish landscapes.
“I spend Canadian Winters, from January to early spring, in Ballycastle, a small town in the north-east corner of Ireland. My paintings of the Glens of Antrim represent the unique topography of the area. Mountains, rugged bogland, and patchwork fields are painted on small square canvases using a soft monochromatic palette. Acrylic paint as well as oil is allowed to flow off the brush to reflect the mists and rain of an Irish glen in winter and early spring. In contrast, my paintings made during the summer and autumn months while living in the Canadian prairies, are represented on a larger canvas to capture the feeling of space. As a recent newcomer to Canada I am moved by the vastness and flatness of the prairies. The vivid acrylic palette used is often created with triads of complimentary colours. Paint is applied in a variety of ways, usually without the use of brushes.” Hugh G. Rice, 2007
Hugh G. Rice was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1946. He qualified in 1968 from St. Joseph’s College of Education in Belfast with an Art Teachers Certificate (Distinction) and a Certificate in Education (First). His early career was spent teaching secondary and tertiary levels in Belfast before relocating to teach in Zambia, Central Africa in 1974.
While in Zambia he was Artistic Director of the Irish Wild Geese Association where his artwork was prized for hotel and theater displays. The later part of his thirteen years in Africa, were spent as a professor of Art and Design Education and Teacher Training at Evelyn Hone College in Lusaka, Zambia.
After returning to Ballycastle, Northern Ireland in 1986, Hugh extended his knowledge of art and education with the completion of his BA and MA (Education) with the Open University, UK. He continued to advance his knowledge with further doctoral research in modern painting techniques at the same University.
In addition to teaching at many primary and secondary schools in Northern Ireland, Hugh was an Art Consultant for the North Eastern Education and Library Board and was the founding member of Moyle Modern Artists, a community art group.
Throughout the years in which Hugh poured his heart into teaching and introducing new painting techniques to the art communities in which he lived, his own paintings were being admired and collected. Hugh’s work can be found not only in Ireland and Africa, but also in the Netherlands, England, Israel, Australia and more recently Canada and the United States.