Lorin Willey is an Irish-American artist who has been drawing and painting since early childhood. At twenty-one years old, he was the featured artist on American Public Television's documentary; "Art in Wisconsin". Lorin graduated, with honors, in advanced painting and anatomy drawing from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. As a graduate, he studied with famed figurative artist Robert Grilley. He also studied with the American master, Daniel Greene. However, Mr. Willey claims that it was in 1984 that his "real" education began. It was at that time that he began a journey, which for the next three years took him to almost every major art museum in America. Between 1984 and 1987 he traveled to, studied, and researched extensive collections of master works from around the world. It was also, during this time, that Lorin and eight other Milwaukee artists banded together and created the "Green Bridge Group" and as documented by the art critic, James Auer, contributed significantly to the revitalization, in Milwaukee, of drawing and painting from the figure. It was, also, in 1984, that Mr. Willey began to leave his studio and paint plein air. Seven years later, Lorin gained national attention when, in 1991, he was presented with the Award for Excellence in one of America's premier landscape competitions, the Arts for the Parks Exhibition in Wyoming; he was awarded again in 1993.
In 1991, Mr. Willey created the "Wisconsin Painter's Studio", a co-operative and school for artists. Asked by former students to teach his "methods of approach", he embarked on a painting instructor’s path that has continued to this day. Since then, Lorin has helped hundreds of artists through his spirited painting and drawing seminars. He is a frequently invited guest artist, and speaker, at many of Wisconsin’s major art organizations and educational institutions.
Mr. Willey has been journeying annually to his ancestral Ireland since 1998. He is continuously creating paintings inspired by his experiences there. He has exhibited his work throughout the United States and Ireland, and is in collections in America, England, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, France, and Australia. He is presently exhibiting in, and represented internationally by, the Lavelle Art Gallery in Clifden, Ireland, the Killarney Art Gallery in Killarney, Ireland, the Kingswood Art Gallery in Dublin, Ireland, the Fine Line Designs Gallery, and the Paint Box Gallery, in Door County, Wisconsin, and the Lorica Artworks Gallery in Andover, Massachusetts.