Painting in a bright primary palette is still very much a part of my life (although the Koktail Kids have reignited my passion for black ink...and mischief). I have worked on a wide variety of projects over the years, from small-scale and large-scale paintings, to installations.

My ongoing project, Kite Dream, is a graphic novel and touches on various points of my life as an artist, (unexpected) parent, and my diagnosis of Dystonia. 

This has been a particularly inspiring and challenging project that could not have been possible without the help and support from my dear friends and family. 119 people backed the crowdfunding project and helped Kite Dream take flight. I look forward to completing the project and sharing my journey. 

If you are interested in contribution a monetary donation to my current project, Koktail Kids, all proceeds go towards the creative process: from supplies to the actual printing (and everything in between). Get in touch with me to learn more.

I deeply appreciate the support...every single penny! I treasure being able to share my story and art with others. Thank you for helping make this happen.

Riley + Maud

Maureen Riley

In 1980 I had a dream that changed the course of my life. 

I had spent the previous seven years drawing in black ink (the Koktail Kids are leading be back to that time), but in the dream I was sitting at a table with a blank sheet of paper and tubes of paint. I picked up a brush and began painting and was suffused with joy. When I woke up I knew I had to paint. Three months later, I had completed my first watercolour (after crushing attempts and failures that did not stop me at all). A little over a year later I had my first show of large watercolours. This dream would be strangely mirrored in a scene described by the British poet Stevie Smith written decades before, and when I came upon that passage I was a Stevie Smith fan for life.

My work is intrinsic to the way I experience life. The more I delve into themes that emerge slowly and evolve over time, shifting and changing shape, the more meaningful my work feels. I draw inspiration from other artists, music and architecture (as well as three cats who live with me).  Frida Kahlo, Chagall, Miro and Klee are among my favourite artists and I have drawn amazing energy and ideas from the folk art of Mexico, Eastern Europe as well as early illuminated manuscripts. Kahlo, especially, was my muse during a dark night of the soul when Dystonia, a gremlin on my shoulder, appeared in 1991. The music of Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson and Jane Siberry often flow through my studio. Dozens of poets inspire me and I read poetry every day.