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Local History

Discover the beautiful towns of Westerly, RI and Stonington, CT.

Eileen Kenny Art Exhibit | Looking Back and Going On

This month's exhibit will be with local artist, Eileen Kenny! Her pieces can be viewed in the Hoxie Gallery Wednesday, August 4th through Friday, August 27th during library hours.

Artists' Statement:

"My first painting, of violets in the grass, was done spontaneously using a friend’s watercolors at a picnic in Audubon Park when I lived in Louisiana.  The next time I picked up a brush, years later, was to paint another floral watercolor from my kitchen window in Florida. During ensuing ‘Corporate years’ I explored that medium using strong and vivid pigment.  I loved the wonderful flow that I could control on dry paper or let loose on wet to create its own ideas and magic.  Untutored, I did not build layers of washes but used the medium for a result more opaque, like acrylic, usually painting the backdrop last around the foreground (or still life subject) and saving the unpainted paper for the color white – without helpful masking fluid (not yet realizing it existed!)  I played with color, sometimes with an initial sketch, at other times just using paint to begin and express what I felt.  One of the latter, loosely painted in Wilcox Park soon after moving to Westerly, was of the Park’s lovely and prolific lotus lilies.  On a sunny Sunday their pale yellow and white petals against blue green water – the strange seed pods and variety of hues in the lily pads - combined with the excitement of my first real foray into painting in the open air - led to a frenzy of laying down color that I could never duplicate. The painting created was accepted into the juried summer show at the (then) Mystic Art Association, and an artist was born!

 The idea of having a solo show at the Hoxie crept into my head some time ago and stayed – an offshoot I suppose of sharing group shows there with artist friends, it became somewhat of a bucket list thing – yet it was always going to be - “Someday”.

 Along the years there were the inevitable personal hard times that come with living.  I endured the tears or fear with the companionship of family and friends and with solace gained from going into my studio or joining artist friends to paint.  The past long months of COVID isolation, facing deep losses and unknown future challenges alone, was a time when my creativity was lost.  Although I tried at the start of each new day to heal, to be strong, I was pretty much existing like many others in our changed world.  In a personally dark time a few months ago I renewed a pre-COVID commitment to have this solo show, knowing that I needed a physical goal, a reason for me to start going on.

I hope you enjoy my work and words, in this show “Looking Back and Going On”, and enjoy finding or renewing your acquaintance with its venue, the historic and grand Hoxie Gallery.

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