Irish- born plein air artist, Elizabeth O'Reilly was the guest demonstrator for the Art League of Nassau County (ALNC) during their March meeting.
O'Reilly wasn't exaggerating when she said she "doesn't like anything too scenic" to paint. Not everyone can take Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal, a federal EPA superfund site and make it look beautiful. Her focus was the Carol Street Bridge over the canal, which is one of her favorite subjects. It's one of the oldest metal bridges in New York State.
Using a limited palette of Winsor-Newton oil paints at the ALNC meeting, Elizabeth painted the bridge, saying she always begins with her favorite part of the scene. Using her brushes to mix in linseed stand oil into the paint, Elizabeth worked from the simplified shapes of the background to the foreground, where the canal reflected the hazy sky. She explained how she works outside (plein air). She does a drawing the first day and then comes back the second day and paints her scene, sometimes returning the following day to finish up.
O'Reilly said that she studies an area a long time before she paints it, and has painted the Carol Street Bridge many times. O'Reilly prefers Winsor-Newton paints because she can buy them in her native Ireland as well as in New York.
Estelle Friedman won the raffle for the demonstration painting.
O'Reilly, an award-winning artist, received her MFA from Brooklyn College, New York, and her Bachelors of Education from the National University of Ireland. She was featured in the September 2000 American Artist Magazine and a documentary on her work, Ealaiontóir Thar Sáile (An Artist Abroad) was shown on network TV in Ireland. She does mixed media oils, watercolors and collage with exhibits in New York and internationally. Her paintings are included in museums and collections. Her teaching credits include The National Academy, Parsons School of Design and The New School. O'Reilly's workshops are held in Brooklyn and the North Fork of Long Island. Please visit www.elizabethoreilly.com for more information.
The Art League of Nassau County meets at the Clinton G. Martin Recreation Center, located at the corner of Marcus and New Hyde Park Road near Union Turnpike. The next meeting will be in April, with a pastel portrait demonstration by Lewis Testa and all residents are invited. Refreshments provided. Please visit www.ArtLeagueofNC.org for more information.