Robert Shillady (b. 1947) paints stylized scenes with precise detail, honing in on forest floor along the Maine coast where the viewer becomes intimate with ferns, lichen, estuaries, leaves, twigs, roots, stones, and grasses. Through the application of multiple layers of acrylic paint interspersed with glazes (sometimes as many as forty layers), Shillady elicits marvel with the hightened reality of his surfaces. For his most ambitious paintings, Shillady chooses to paint scenes with an elaborate cast of characters engaged in any number of activites from meandering around town (Union Street, Blue Hill), and sailing (Eggemoggin Reach Regatta), to a lobsterman painting buoys (The Lobsterman) and his newest undertaking The Return to Dada, which pays tribute to this influential art movement in true Shillady fashion.
Shillady, who was born in Boston Massachusetts, grew up on the Cape. He studied silkcreen with Anne Ballou at deCordova Museum School in 1978, and holds a BFA from Boston University School of Fine Arts. Shillady’s work was selected for the Portland Museum of Art Biennial in 2005, 2007, and 2011. He has exhibited widely since 1974, and his work has appeared in numerous reviews and publications, including Paintings of Maine: A New Collection, a book by Carl Little. Shillady lives with his wife Ellen Booraem in Brooklin, Maine.