At a tender age, Eileen McElroy Allen showed an above-average skill in drawing and a fascination with color. Though the interest remained, the development of her art skills was not pursued until many decades later.
When Eileen was in her mid-fifties, a dear artist friend was diagnosed with the early onslaught of dementia. In order to help her friend stay engaged, the two decided to take watercolor lessons from the local community college. Eileen rediscovered the dormant passion for painting and a new fascination with the flow and movement of color and tint on the paper. Though her friend was too soon unable to manage classes, Eileen became insatiable in her pursuit to develop her watercolor technique and to explore other mediums.
Eileen took continuing education art classes from the community college where she teaches - as many as she could! One such course was Marcelle Hook’s oil portraiture class, featuring the Classical Renaissance style of the Old Masters. This exacting and revered technique was a challenging counter balance to the free flowing “loose” approach of watercolors. Eileen has a compelling desire to learn techniques to refine her art. Whether seeking to master the Classic Renaissance technique or abandoning control to the free flow of watercolors, the goal of Eileen’s art is to capture the spirit and personality of her portrait subjects and to evoke a sense of wonder when viewing still lifes.
Eileen is privileged to have been a student of many fine art teachers including Betty Tyler, Susan Couch, Rocky Alexander, Marcelle Hooks, and the renowned portraiturist and master teacher Frank Covino.
Multi-hued sunsets and scarlet poppies are apt subjects for art, but Eileen finds people far more compelling. From Rembrandt, the Father of Portraiture, Eileen learned the basics. Some of her favorite classic masters are Caravaggio and Guido Rene. Other favorite artists include Bouguereau, Klimt, Leighton, Mucha, Stephen White, and Mo Welch. Though still very much a student, Eileen’s goal is to interpret her subjects with passion and insight.
Eileen was born and raised in Texas and, after marriage, transplanted in North Carolina. She and her husband Sam have a daughter, Kim, and a son, Jeff, and are the proud grandparents of five energetic grandsons and two lovely granddaughters. Eileen is a life-long teacher. She taught English for ten years in middle and high schools, and has been an instructor at a community college for over thirty-five years. In addition to family and school, Eileen is actively engaged in church and community.