LEONARDO – By profession, she is a naturalist with the Monmouth County Parks System, and at heart, she is also an outstanding artist who will be conducting a number of art programs for the Parks System this summer. It is the perfect blend of just two of the talents and interest of Eileen Bolognese.
A native of Middletown and a graduate of Rutgers with memberships in both the Art Alliance of Monmouth County in Red Bank and Arts Students League of New York.. Eileen has also exhibited in art shows, including one at the Seabright library and one at the Monmouth Beach cultural center. Eileen has been drawing since she first put pencil to paper when she was three years old.
She is a perfectionist in her style and now gives private or group art classes to advanced art adults and children, and gives her lessons either in the students’ homes or outdoors, since Eileen’s emphasis is on nature, the environment and her favorite, her floral and animal paintings.
For the summer programs for the Park System, the artist will be concentrating on the pollinator gardens when students will paint outdoors, using acrylics and canvas, incorporating fine art and a deeper appreciation of pollinator flowers and how they benefit from the environment. Currently, a second class is also being planned by the County for both advanced and beginning students, with lessons on painting flowers on rocks. With Jason Goldman, who is also employed by the Parks System, as the writer, Eileen is currently working on illustrations for a children’s book about a pollinator garden.
“I like collaborating with artists to help develop their individual talent, “ the soft-spoken mother of two explained. “Sometimes an artist will have difficulty with a particular stroke, or a blend of color. Once I have him stand back and assess his entire work, determine what it is he specifically wants to accomplish with it, and give him some guidance in how to hold his brush to get that particular touch, it comes to him,” she smiles.
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It’s a successful plan similar to what she will use in the scheduled summer program, she explains, when students will be painting and Eileen will advise on brush techniques, improving shapes, and color values.
Artistic, creative talent and a love of nature and the environment and the importance of protecting it apparently all run in Eileen’s family. Her dad was a landscape designer and her brother Mark designs and executes landscapes. Her sister Catherine sews, knits crochets and creates jewelry. Eileen’s niece, Hallie, exemplifies her creativity as a nail artist.
Eileen charges $25 an hour for lessons, with students never committed for any specific number of classes. She also discounts the fee to $15 each when two or more students are together for the same class. Gift certificates are also available, she said, for future lessons. While she teaches in person, Eileen said she could offer a class on ZOOM.
Married to Paul Bolognese, the couple are parents to Peri, a student at Boston University, and James, a student at MAST, on Sandy Hook. After living in New York City for several years, Eileen and her husband moved back to Middletown and have been living in Leonardo for the last 18 years.
For further information or to schedule a class, e-mail the artist at