Wednesday, March 13, 2013


"For what it's worth, all my formal training is in music; I'm a concert flutist, a singer, and a very enthusiastic, but inexpert pianist. None of my academic training is in art (OK, just one drawing class my freshman year at Dartmouth College) although I have painted all my life.
 So why did I wind up being a painter? Perhaps it took longer for me to recognize that as much as I love music, I don't have to do it all day, whereas I cannot live happily without drawing and painting. Those are not empty words-- they are absolutely true even though I have the best husband any woman could ever dial up, and our two daughters made motherhood a lucky and precious part of my life.
I love to study how thinkgs look. And I have always painted birds and flowers and landscapes and people; my earliest memories are of examining the tiniest details of spring wildflowers, and of slapping blue crayon squiggles into coloring books, ecstatic to be 'painting' a sky. (What a concept, I thought! Color and line on paper that can evoke the real thing? Wow! Hooked forever.)
 For the reception, I will bring current works-in-progress, which are mostly botanical drawings and watercolor since I am preparing to teach classes in March and April. I enjoy seeing how other artists work, and would enjoy sharing these botanicals-in-process. They reflect how all of my work is fueled by the intense concentration and pleasure afforded by careful observation. "
The Vermont Arts Council has this to say:
"Riley's artwork has also earned her high honors in the natural history world. She has been selected four times to participate in 'Focus on Nature,' a biennial exhibit at the New York State Museum in Albany, NY, that features natural history illustrations from around the world. Riley was also one of ten artists to illustrate the 2008 Breeding Birds of New York Atlas, and has contributed two pieces to a Guild of Natural Science Illustrators exhibit entitled, 'The Sweet-voiced Bird has Flown: Portraits of Common Birds in Decline.' She frequently contributes art to organizations that aim to conserve land, raise awareness of environmental issues, or restore a species."

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