|Reilly is a former teacher;
plasterer & painter; hockey, soccer, drama coach; and general
volunteer who has been sidelined due to chronic back pain and
fortunately, he can still paint, because it is therapeutic and
without the ability to paint he would be lost completely. Through
his current physical limitations, Reilly is happy being able to
continue with his painting. He finds the process to be very
Reilly Fitzgerald was born in St. John’s on Sept. 13, 1967. Ten
days later, he and his mother boarded a plane and flew to meet his
father in Wabush, in Labrador West where his father worked in the
iron-ore mines; however, Reilly was back in a hospital in St.
John’s just ten months later for the first of what would
eventually be eleven surgeries performed on his right hand and arm
by the time he was fourteen. Years later Reilly’s doctors would
learn that the operations meant to improve Reilly’s condition,
actually caused it to worsen. This is something that Reilly has
never been bitter about, and he believes that because of his
surgeries, the medical system learned about the particulars of the
condition so that in future the same mistake won’t be made with
Reilly was born right-hand dominant and from the time he could hold a
pencil or crayon he showed an above average ability to draw and paint.
Reilly’s artistic talent may have been natural, however through the
years Reilly has also received formal instruction in fine art. While in
high school, during his grade eleven and twelve years, Reilly earned his
Honours Diploma in Fine Art through a correspondence program even before
he obtained his high school diploma.
While attending Memorial University in St. John’s, Reilly took advantage
of whatever art education the St. John’s campus had to offer at the
time. He attended extra-curricular oil painting classes, and completed the
only two art-related courses offered on campus. Reilly received a mark of
93% in the course. Eventually Reilly would use the knowledge he’d gained
to teach private art lessons, and volunteer, teaching art classes at
schools throughout Conception Bay North. This in turn helped him realize,
at a later point in his life than most people, when he was married with
children, that he was meant to teach. This guided him to complete his
university education, get his teaching degree, apply for jobs anywhere and
everywhere in the province, accept a full-time position as an English
teacher, and move his family from Spaniard’s Bay to Clarenville, which
he now considers home.
- "Getting Ready"
- St. John's
- Reilly Fitzgerald
- Item # RF1
Image Size: 15.5" x 20"
- Framed Size: 24.5" x 29"
- 100 Limited Edition Prints
- $100.00 (Unframed)
- $199.00 (Framed)
Chamber of Commerce 2014 Art Award
“Getting Ready” includes
aspects of Newfoundland, with the coastal scenery, and also
includes the “games” element with hockey, skating, and
snowshoeing being portrayed through snowshoes, skates, and
hockey sticks, and even ice fishing through the person
catching the trout in the background. The central “action”
of the painting involves clearing the ice and preparing to
play. This is what the title, “Getting Ready” means. It is
about the work that needs to be done before we play, and this
painting pays tribute, not only to those who participate in
the sports, but to all those who help organize such events as
the Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games.
I hope everyone who sees “Getting Ready”, and/or the
ornament created from it, feels the joy that came from
creating it, the anticipation displayed in preparing to play,
the nostalgia that comes from memories of playing such games,
and the respect for the work that goes into preparing for any
organized events that occur in the community, from the game of
shinny on the harbour, to international sporting events..
All images © the Artist