Riley Waite is a fine artist originating from Ireland, currently based in southern California, who focuses on narrative based figure painting. Riley was born in California and moved to Ireland at the age of seven. He returned to California at the age of 18 to pursue his passion for art. He actively attends art workshops, owns his own portrait painting business and is currently taking portrait commissions.

Riley has earned his BFA for drawing and painting from Cal State University, Long Beach, and his studio arts degree and narrative illustration certificate from Orange Coast College. Riley has been exhibited in numerous fine art galleries and museums in California such as the University Art Museum (UAM) in Long Beach, Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion, The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA) and the Irvine Fine Arts Center.

Why Creative Spark?

Riley heard about the residency program and was instantly drawn to it because of its location and its goal of promoting creative growth, and believes it would make an ideal environment to further his art practice. Growing up in Dundalk, Riley’s current series of work includes locales and inhabitants of his hometown. He also sees this as a great opportunity to engage with the local artists as well as utilize the facilities of Creative Spark to create work specific to the area.

Inspiration and Current Plans

Currently, Riley draws his inspiration from the physicality and process of painting itself, as well as visual storytelling through paint. ”When I see a painting by a contemporary and study the way its painted; the way a brushstroke is placed, or the subtle temperature shift in color, it motivates me to get in the studio and explore paint more.”

During his time at Creative Spark Riley hopes to create more work that is personal to him. ”Since graduating I feel like I haven’t had an extended period dedicated to producing my own work. If time permits, I would want to create a whole new series of paintings, enough to exhibit a solo show here in Ireland.”


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