Ghost paintingI took down Interact this past week at 3rd Street Gallery and was pleased with the success of it. I feel that it was exactly what I wanted it to be in terms of the work, the concepts and the presentation – a rare delight that I will remember. Much of the work sold, but there are still some pieces available on my portfolio site.

Now that I’ve taken a little rest for my thoughts to settle and return to a place of making, I’m excited to get back in the studio and do some drawings. I have been wanting to continue with the kite drawings, along with working on some paintings using some additional scraps. And those chalkboard – ghosty paintings (see above)…  oh and then there is the wood scraps out on the back patio… ohh and that piece of a door I picked up out of someone’s trash last week. And then I was reminded about Judy Pfaff. So there’s that to think about as well. I guess there are some things to work on…

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With the my solo show coming up super fast the studio (house, yard) is getting a little bit crazy. It’s nice to take a moment and just take a few photos of the work areas – these are the spaces I love being in.

The November show is coming up fast – get all the details here:
Heather Riley Interact
Heather Riley Interact details

There is a lot in my work that is about tension, space, density and relation between objects and people. Recently I have been looking at past work and realizing that I really have been exploring these issues for nearly ten years. The work drifts a bit, but the core of it always holds tight to these themes. I find the way we as people fill space, whether it be by cars on a road or with silence, something is always there. Filling or leaving us wanting.

I Wish We Could Speak by Heather Riley

I Wish We Could Speak
7.75 x 5.5 x 1.75 inches
Oil and found wood on panel

 

Saturday in Lima by Heather Riley

Saturday in Lima
20.5 x 12 x 1.75
Oil, wood floorboard on panel

There has been plenty of work happening in the studio this past month. It’s always reassuring when the work gets into a bad place and then I eventually can get it out. Some works often have to be taken apart, painted over, or partially destroyed in order to move forward, but I have accepted this as part of the process. Both 328 (60 x 24 inches) and Witnesses (48 x 30 inches) below have gone through several lives and are finally settling into themselves. Balloons at Night (30 x 22 inches) always knew what it would be -and that happens sometimes too. All of the works below are still in progress.

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I’ve been busy in the past months making plenty of work and finally getting my studio site up and running. Check it out at www.heatherrileystudio.com.

I’ve continued with the wood pieces that I started making in February, and they have lead to other work of course. After a trip to Lima, I returned home to find that most of my work has been dealing with density and space. Here is a little slideshow showing the work in progress in the studio right now:

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I have been picking up wood in my neighborhood – in the street, in the park. Wood that appeals to me is both organic (retaining some of it’s natural properties) and changed by human hands. These pieces are from a tree that was cut down with a chain saw in a park by my house. I found them both beautiful and fearsome – aggressive and small.

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Construction
wood
approximately 6 x 10 x 3 inches

I have started making these drawings – and will be making several more. They are teaching me some things…

Process Drawing One by Heather Riley, a local Philadelphia artist

Process Drawing Two by Heather Riley, local Philadelphia artist

A painting that I’m working on. A friend of mine told me that it starts angry and ends angry – which is true in terms of the process. This painting is in process…

Then and Now by Heather Riley, local Philadelphia artist

Then and Now
Mixed media on canvas
60 x 30 inches

Arrival by Heather Riley, local Philadelphia artist

I’ve been painting and creating a lot in the past weeks – after dealing with the flu, I’m finally able to be back to the blog. I have been exploring different materials, different approaches and letting myself play more in the studio. I go through cycles it seems – where making work can be difficult, restricted and tedious — to just playing around with every possibility. The latter is where I am now, and I am grateful for it after a long few months of the tedious. I’m going to put up several short posts to get caught up – and just show the work. Here is one to start.

Arrival
Oil on Canvas
8 x 16 inches

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