Archives for category: drawings

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

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 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

The 3rd Street Gallery, which I am a member of, recently did an amazing renovation of it’s back room, changing it from a storage area to a showing space. As a group we decided that it would be very cool to have small works shows in there for the membership. The first show opens this Friday – along with works by Priscilla Snow Algava and Rhea Dennis in the large gallery. Below is the piece I did for the small works show – stop by to check it out!

"Morning" by Heather Riley, a local Philadelphia artist

Graphite, conte, ink, paper, acrylic and oil on paper
5.5 x 4.5 inches

Working smaller allows for a nice amount of experimentation and little pressure… a nice respite from doing the larger work. I do them for friends and when I am feeling stuck with the larger work — helps me loosen up! I have also taken to carving some relief blocks of buildings… it would be nice to have a little collection to be able to print in other works.

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I have always liked getting and sending mail – so once I graduated from school I thought it would be cool to share a sketchbook with a few of my former classmates. I realize this isn’t a new idea — but who cares? I think it is a good way to keep you sketching and accountable, and a great way to get some feedback. Plus you get mail! Here is the first of my sketches – the sketchbook itself is already in the mail to Pittsburg, PA. I will be putting up other artist’s sketches on processprocess as well – more fun to see the whole book I think!

Shared Sketch 01 by Heather Riley

Shared Sketch 01
graphite, colored pencil, cut paper, chalk, india ink and block ink on paper
8.5″ x 11″

Another smaller piece – and yes, those are Yo-Yo Ma’s legs.

Yo-Yo’s Legs
5 x 5 x 1 5/8 inches
Oil, acrylic, cut paper, string and graphite on wood

My house is filling up with paintings and drawings, so I have made some smaller pieces. There is a photo below of my process — or really my desk in the middle of my process really. When I do collage, I rummage through a big box of clippings that I collect and pull out things that interest me. Then I go through the pile and pick out things that will work together. After that I exacto out the shapes I want and start to arrange them on the piece… it doesn’t usually stay this way, the work evolves as I go. I am finding smaller works to be a bit more challenging because you have less room… and have to stop sooner. Perhaps it means more discipline… which is good for my process right now.

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Uh Huh Uh
5 x 5 x 1 5/8
Oil, acrylic, cut paper, string and graphite on wood

More piles… of blimps and submarines, but spread out. I think it’s interesting for objects that are kept to their own domain (blimps belong in the sky – subs belong in the sea) versus objects that are thrown out of their domain. This is something that I have been interested in exploring in my work – where do we belong? What are the rules? How do you break them? How you define space and belonging?

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30 x 22 inches
Oil, acrylic, cut paper, graphite and charcoal on paper

Along with graduation from the Post-Baccalaureate program at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, we put up a brilliant student show. Everyone worked hard to make the show professional, fluid and all around solid. We received plenty of positive reviews from fellow students and faculty. An overall wonderful and successful completion of a stellar program. The pieces I displayed in the show are below:

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An old book cover, books cut into strips… then I started to draw and paint on top. I’m still very much working on this and it has become quite a bit darker than it was in this image. I am trying to build, take away, cover, reveal – a study of my current state.

Book cover, paper, methyl cellulose and oil on wood panel
18 x 24 inches

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