Art of the State Artist Interview: Eleanor Day

Girl In The Yellow Dress ©2013 Eleanor Day, 36"x27"
Girl In The Yellow Dress ©2013 Eleanor Day, 36″x27″ oil on canvas
This week’s Artist Interview is with painter Eleanor Day, whose piece Girl in the Yellow Dress is in the same area as Tether in the Art of the State exhibition. Her realistic painting have an interesting outlined technique that I find makes them a little more interesting than if they were strictly true to life. The people in them have a quiet, solitariness to them that helps to draw the viewer in. You can find Eleanor online at her website, and of course see her piece at Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2014 through September 14th at the State Museum of PA in Harrisburg.

1. How did you get started in your craft? (using your media)

I got started working in oils when I went to CAPA and studied under Phillip Corey, who helped convince me of the special qualities of oil paint. Besides, all of my enamored artists worked in oils.

2. What has been inspiring/influencing your work lately?

The fact that I live with my two teenage daughters has me frequently turning to them as models and inspiration. Apart from being available to work from, needless to say, there is

St. Bridget, Patron of Ireland ©2010 Eleanor Day, 12" x 12", oil on masonite $350
St. Bridget, Patron of Ireland ©2010 Eleanor Day, 12″ x 12″, oil on masonite $350

also an emotional depth and intensity in working from your own children, especially as daughters, they are bringing directly to that place of my own adolescence–a phase of life that I’m drawn to exploring.

The subject of the human figure has always been prominent for me–is a never ending source of exploration and discovery. And then on a purely abstract level, color is very important to me, and I love to use varied patterns and textures in my work.

3. Who are your favorite artists in your field?

I have so many favorite artists from history. I am very much drawn to religious paintings from the Renaissance, as well as the stained glass images in cathedrals from that time. I also love more recent work from muralist, Diego Rivera, of course Frida Kahlo, Violet Oakley and Henry O. Tanner. Those are just a few.

Summer Morning ©2012 Eleanor Day  oil on canvas 36" x 48"
Summer Morning ©2012 Eleanor Day oil on canvas 36″ x 48″

4. What is your favorite customer quote or story?

A favorite compliment “Your paintings glow like jewels”

5. What is your favorite piece of art or fine craft that you own?

A favorite piece of art would be a line drawing portrait by an unknown artist of two of my sisters when they were young teens, done on the boardwalk. It’s so simple, and so strong–it’s really good!