Artist Interview: Ruth Reilly

Posted by Jenni Kirby - June 09 2020

Big, bold and beautiful describe the paintings of Ruth Reilly. A northerner who moved to Richmond in 1996, she adores her adopted home and the life she has created here. “I love that we have one of the best museums in the country right here,” she says. “I love the little pockets of the shops with the arts and little exhibits, the local art is really awesome.” 

Her paintings begin with black paint on a brush instead of sketching on the canvas which brings forth her signature black outlines. This style is influenced by impressionists like Vincent Van Gogh. “I have always liked the bold lines and the energy in the lines,” she says of the Dutch painter. “If I draw an image first I feel like I lose a lot- it get’s over worked. I like the black line and the commitment of it.” 

Grey Vase, Acrylic, 30x40, $700


Reilly also enjoys the freedom that big canvases afford. She says, “I find it more convenient to paint large, I am a fast painter and I like to get my whole arm working. With a big canvas there is enough room for it to breath.”

When not painting, Reilly likes to sew, quilt, garden and outdoor activities. She also teaches art at Grange Elementary School in Chesterfield County where she is learning how to prepare online lesson plans for her students.


Featured Image - Pug Luv, Acyrlic, 48x48, $1100

A resident artist at Crossroads Art Center for the past six years, Reilly is working on a series of abstract pieces she is planning to put in her exhibit space soon. “I love that Crossroads is an eclectic group of artists that’s not all the same,” she says. And we love having her here.