‘I Love Beauty’

Categories: 2024 July-August Issue, Figurative, Oil, Portrait, and Riley, Larry.

Larry Riley pulled back a bit from painting a few years ago but he didn’t pull back from creating. During COVID, when galleries were closed, he turned away from his easel and began to make classical guitars. It wasn’t the first time during his 76 years on earth that he veered from the road he was on and let his curiosity lead him. He’s taken chances—and reaped rewards—by mapping his own route.

In 1982, after spending nine years taking care of people’s teeth, Riley sold his dentistry practice and turned to fine art. Later, after spending about 40 years as a painter, he took another road—one that led him to a new adventure: making classical guitars. Today, he is back in his studio, focusing on painting the people and scenes that have caught the attention of collectors around the world and earned him countless accolades.

But let’s go back to those guitars. “I took a little time off from painting and built some classical guitars,” Riley says. “I needed to do something different, to change my attitude. I started playing classical guitar in college, and I’ve now built four of them. It’s very intense work. It took me almost two years to build one of them.”

Read the full article in the July/August 2024 issue.

Georgette’s Loom

18″ by 24″

Navajo Pride

14″ by 11″