Artist Reilly Fitzgerald

Reilly Fitzgerald

Newfoundland artist, Reilly Fitzgerald, paints for therapeutic reasons.

“I’ve always been very active,” says Reilly. “Between 2007 and 2010, I went from being an over-active volunteer, writer, high school educator, father and husband, to no longer being able to perform these things effectively. But I could still paint.”

Reilly has a congenital defect known as an AV fistula malformation, which affects the use of his right hand and arm. After eleven surgeries by age fourteen, Reilly became ambidextrous and left hand dominant.

Rare Breed by Reilly Fitzgerald
Rare Breed

“Painting helps me deal with my chronic pain and gives my life purpose.”

Cape Bonavista by Reilly Fitzgerald
Cape Bonavista

Reilly likes the challenge of painting a variety of subjects in different ways to express his creativity.

Newfoundland Snow by Reilly Fitzgerald
Newfoundland Snow
Canadian Treasure by Reilly Fitzgerald
Canadian Treasure

“I have created large bas-relief pieces made of scrap wood, cut, carved, and painted,” says Reilly. “This includes a large 12 by 8 foot piece titled Canadian Treasure which I created for the Town of Clarenville, NL, as part of the Canada 150 celebrations.”

He also made two smaller iceberg-and-whales pieces: Connected for the pediatric clinic of the James Paton Memorial Hospital in Gander, and Cohesion donated to the Janeway Children’s Hospital in St John’s.

T&G Ladders by Reilly Fitzgerald
T&G Ladders

For his “wood grain paintings”, Reilly paints directly on wooden panels, using the natural wood grain to determine the images. He’s also used tongue and groove board reclaimed from demolished houses, and repurposed them as platforms on which to paint.

“But, I have to say my favourite thing to paint is my home: my town, Clarenville, my province, NL, and my country, in that order, whether it’s the house next door, the birds in the town’s protected sanctuary, or historic locations or events. I have a pride in creating my unique vision of these things.”

Cabot Tower by Reilly Fitzgerald
Cabot Tower

One of Reilly’s significant paintings, “Hell Stirs, Heaven Waits” (2020) is a depiction of the Ocean Ranger disaster.

“It’s a painting that pays homage to my province’s historic and often tumultuous relationship with the sea.”

Hell Stirs, Heaven Waits by Reilly Fitzgerald
Hell Stirs, Heaven Waits

Involved in a variety of projects over the years, Reilly has won awards and achieved formal recognition for his art. He illustrated the children’s book, Lucy Grey by Bruce Stagg, as well as the cover of Bruce’s book, Lend Me Your Ears. He has created posters, logos, produced three-dimensional installations, and much more.

Blackbird by Reilly Fitzgerald
Blackbird

The place to see Reilly Fitzgerald’s work in person is in the Clarenville area. A permanent display of about 50 or so pieces have been at the Eastlink Events Centre since 2013.

Other pieces can be found in various locations about town, such as at the Bare Mountain Coffee House, and the Terra Nova Golf Resort.

Reilly gives most of his artwork to his daughter, Kaeleigh, who sells the originals and giclee prints through her business, Eagle Photo Studio. His work is also available printed on backpacks, jewellery, ornaments, calendars and more.

Soft Light (printed on canvas bags) by Reilly Fitzgerald
Soft Light

He has also kindly created a library of over 60 Colouring Sheets* based on his original artworks. “Feel free to download and use these images for personal projects or educational use,” says Reilly. Here’s one of our favourites.

Clothes and Quilt (colouring sheet) by Reilly Fitzgerald
Clothes and Quilt (colouring sheet)

(*Please respect international copyright laws and do not misuse his intellectual property in mass production for financial gain.)

Hauling Nets by Reilly Fitzgerald
Hauling Nets

View more artwork and read biography details on his Facebook page at Reilly Fitzgerald, Artist.

Squid & Cod by Reilly Fitzgerald
Squid & Cod