A Look Inside

American Art Collector|March 2020

A Look Inside
Kenny Harris’ newest paintings focus on the interiors of homes and castles in Ireland.
By John O'Hern

Last summer, Kenny Harris and his wife, Judy Nimtz, rented a cottage on the Sheep’s Head peninsula in County Cork, Ireland, intent upon painting the landscape. However, Harris discovered the iconic Bantry House just down the road—a 30,000-square-foot manse on 100 acres overlooking Bantry Bay. Harris left a note for the manager of the house to the effect “Hi. I’m a painter. Will you let me come and paint on-site?” Sophie Shelswell White, whose father had inherited the house in 1978, agreed. The family has occupied the house since the 18th century.

Often, visiting historic houses on tours, he must rely on hastily shot photos that he uses as references back in the studio. At Bantry House, he was able to paint oil sketches, which he is now working into larger compositions. In View from Upstairs, the diffuse light of Bantry Bay enters through the window and animates the window and bed curtains and “turns the form” of the porcelain vessels on the dresser.

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March 2020