Elizabeth O'Reilly: Interview

Elizabeth O’Reilly, Newtown Creek, oil on aluminum, 5 x 7 inches, 2014 (courtesy
Elizabeth O’Reilly, Newtown Creek, oil on aluminum, 5 x 7 inches, 2014 (courtesy of the artist and George Billis Gallery)

Larry Groff interviews painter Elizabeth O'Reilly about her work.

Responding to a question about "looking at nature closely as a means of getting out of your head," O'Reilly comments: "I think that it stops me being self-conscious because it’s not something that I carefully set up and have this serious thought about which object goes where or even if it’s just shapes, I can get paralyzed pretty easily with that. If I’m outside, there is all this world of things that I’m stimulated by so when that self-conscious element is gone I’m freed up. I suppose it offers new solutions all the time because you’re looking with a fresh eye even if I go back to the same place over and over, which I do. It’s never the same. It’s a different day, the light is different, something has changed, something got moved; especially in the city. It changes daily and even along the canal it changes a lot. I go out one day and I notice a particular plant hanging over the canal, I go out another day and see a yellow truck sitting by a building, so I’m stimulated by something without a preordained idea of what I’m going to paint. I wander around and think that looks interesting, it presents itself."