Eileen Downes

Eileen Downes is a California native collage painter, known as “the artist who paints with bits of torn paper for a palette.” Early on she pursued a career in graphic design and scientific illustration working for a California civil engineering firm, later earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Studio Art from California State University, Sacramento, and a Graphic Design Certificate from the University of California at Davis. Eileen has developed a unique artistic style by strategically layering bits of torn magazine papers to create the desired effect.  Hidden words, phrases, and imagery become visible upon close observation of the work adding to the meaning of the piece.  She says, “I am continually amazed by specific words that appear almost magically between the torn edges as if they are themselves part of the creator of the artwork.  Often I use unusual collage materials such as band-aids, gum and candy wrappers, heirloom family photos, and sentimental letters from which to create my layered images.  I add a small amount of oil pastel to each piece to increase the textural appeal, and I leave the rough collage edges visible to add to the layered effect.  I hope you enjoy looking at my artwork as much as I enjoy making it.” Eileen currently lives and works out of her studio near Portland, Oregon.