Rosemary G. Conroy Fine Art

Spirit Animals

July 7th, 2015

spiritanimalspromo-smSo I have been working feverishly on my latest show which is now hanging in the Kimball Jenkins Estate in Concord for the summer. The opening is Thursday, July 16th from 5 to 7 pm — if you are nearby, please come. I think this show has some of the best work I have ever done in it! Here’s my artist statement for the show.

Rosemary G. Conroy / Artist Statement for “Spirit Animals” Exhibit

The title of this show, “Spirit Animals” is a play on the concept of inspiration and dedication. It dawned on me recently that my artwork is a form of a prayer for the creatures that I paint: a sincere offering of thanks for the inspiration and joy they give me; a humble invocation of their beauty and wildness; and perhaps, most of all, an ardent plea that they continue to exist in this world.

This sounds vaguely religious, yet I don’t really adhere to any particular faith. This probably disappointed my parents, especially after they sent me to twelve years of Catholic school! But I am a deeply spiritual person. It’s just that my most sacred moments happen in the fields and forests and the birds, insects and mammals I find there are the most divine thing in my life.

Coincidentally (or is it?), I also spent twelve years working in the environmental field before becoming a full-time artist. It was another kind of religious upbringing: There was a strong community — I loved being part of a group of devoted people. We had dogma: ours was dedicated to making the world a better place. It felt righteous — how could it not — we were working to save the planet! And it required a kind of faith to believe that we could. But there were also dark nights of the soul. Often it seemed we were losing more ground than we were gaining (still does, I must admit.) These realizations lead to despair. The antidote? To go out and be in the natural world and get lost in it’s beauty and immersed in its wonder. (Of course.)

Now I am a monk it seems, having retreated to my studio where I devote myself to nature — but in a new way. I’m twelve years into being a professional artist and this is what my work is: A fervent prayer to anyone who might listen to consider, in every sense of the word, the wild ones.

Many of the pieces in this show are literally embedded with my incantations, my prayers, my wishes (which may sometimes look like scrawls but really are words), for these blessed creatures to survive — and thrive — alongside us.

Open Studio A Big Success!

October 27th, 2009
Rosemary Conroy's 350 project

Here's what the paintings looked like at my open studio last weekend

Whew — Close to 200 people showed up at my open studio on October 24 & 25th! It was the grand unveiling of my 350 project and everyone seemed to be impressed (or thought I was crazy.) It was great to see it up on the wall and I am pretty charged up to move it forward. And thanks to all my wonderful supporters, we raised a nice bit of change for the Piscataquog Land Conservancy.

Unfortunately I won’t be able to really focus doing more of the 350 paintings for a few more weeks… I have a commission and need to get some paintings done for the Sharon Arts Gallery Holiday Show. As much I want to finish this project, the chance to make money now can’t be ignored. Plus, paying for 350 panels and paint and stuff adds up, you know.

Besides, my new goal is Earth Day 2010 — plenty of time!!!

An Auspicious Autumn

September 23rd, 2009
A painting that I worked on in between my 350 project paintings -- it's metaphorical of course.

A painting that I worked on in between my 350 project paintings -- it's metaphorical of course.

So yeah — auspicious. That’s what I’ve decided this will be. I’ve been working on getting ready for my open studio at the end of October and I’m really getting excited about it. It’ll be fun to show people all of my 350 paintings to date (I think I’ll have about 45 by then, plus a few from my co-artists.)

Part of me sighs when I think how far I had hoped to be by now, but in the interest of cutting myself some slack, I don’t think this project will be irrelevant just because it won’t be finished this year. Listening to the news, it kind of seems like it may take a while to get a world-wide consensus on what to do about global climate change anyway. Of course I HOPE they can pull their act together when our great world leaders meet this December in Copenhagen — this is, after all serious stuff!

In the meantime, I’ll keep plugging away towards having a show of all 350 paintings by the spring of 2010…

350 Begins!

March 2nd, 2009

Whew — this makes it all real, I guess — in a virtual sort of way. Today I start painting the first of what will eventually become 350 portraits of North American wildlife.

The idea is to show how much is at stake in our efforts to combat global climate change. I figure a wall of 350 wild animals staring back at us, the humans in charge, has a chance to make a dent. I chose to focus on North American animals because (a) that’s where I live and (b) we are using the most stuff on this planet and having the biggest impact.

So what gave me this crazy idea? Well, I was inspired by Bill McKibben and his organization 350.org to do something symbolic but meaningful to raise awareness about this important effort. We need to get our CO2 emmissions back down to 350, from where we are at aroun 387 or so. Being a wildlife painter, it wasn’t a huge leap to think 350 paintings. Of wildlife. Of course!

(It did occur to me, at first, to get 350 artists to each do one painting, but the coordination that would have required would have taken me away from my own painting. And being selfish and maybe a tiny bit of a control freak, I decided it will be easier to do myself. We’ll see!)

So I plan to post my images as they come along, so please check back often. I have lots of ideas on how this is all going to roll out, but first I have to get some paint down on some canvases.

Thanks for your interest and support!