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Arete Gallery: Painting by Eileen Turrell

Eileen Terrell

Meet the Artist

I grew up in a small row home crowded with my 5 sisters and parents in a blue-collar neighborhood in Philadelphia PA. To escape that claustrophobia, I would seek any open space that I could reach by foot or by bike. I would lay down for hours in a field or sitting against a tree to watch how the light played between the sun and shadows. I often dreamed of making my escape to these open spaces, where the contrasting colors of sun and shadow could be captured as easily as taking a breath. My mind would constantly paint the scenes before me and I believe this is why I never use a sketch book, even to this day. The vision of my painting is completed in its entirety before I place a drop of paint on canvas.

In my younger years, during grade school, I had won an art contest from the local newspaper to see the Ice Capades. It was during this time in my life when my parents began to notice that “this artist stuff” might become serious. However, money was tight and was not to be wasted on such frivolous things as art supplies, so I started working at the local bingo hall to make money for supplies. I continued working odd jobs and saved enough money for tuition to attend a school of art. Unfortunately, I could only save enough money to go to a small advertising trade school. There, my professors viewed my work as unmarketable due to my unique style and not suitable for advertising to the masses. Despite the criticism, I continued on and graduated from the trade school. I freelanced around for several years but became very frustrated and stifled by the limits that were imposed on my art. Disgruntled, I abandoned the world of advertising but not the world of art, and continued to paint my visions in my head. At this point in my life, I started taking biology and mathematic classes at the community college so that I could pursue a career as a nurse. I excelled in this field by bringing my unique perspective to a patient’s situation and care.

Time passed and I returned to my roots and found my joy once again with oil painting on canvas. To further assist my return to my roots, I began to take classes at The Woodmere Museum. The instructor there encouraged my unique style and praised my efforts. With this positive reinforcement, the paintings that had been locked in my head began to flow like a great barrier had been removed. I started to enter juried exhibitions with positive results, and this set free even more creativity. This creativity resulted in even more showings and attention for my art. Regardless of these recent accolades, the art of placing brush to canvas, for me, is still about immersing the viewer in my vision of the colors and shapes created by the sun and shadows.


Arete Gallery

122 S. Main St.
New Hope, PA 18938

(484) 353-9859

Gallery Hours

Monday through Sunday: 11 am – 5 pm

To book a private tour, please call.

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