In 1951, Bernard began a long-standing affiliation with the Silvermine Guild of Artists in New Canaan, Connecticut, after he first exhibited there.
To the left, The Barker, 1954.
He was later elected to their Board of Trustees and was made a Guild Fellow, the organization’s highest honor. By that time, Bud Riley had established himself as a major artist in the area.
In 1958 Riley received national recognition through an article in American Artist magazine. In that article, Riley described his love for art:
Each painting is an adventure for me. I paint solely for the joy or excitement of painting and, as we all know, enjoyment comes almost entirely from anticipation or expectancy, rather than from realization. I like to feel that as I proceed I may encounter [an] open door to unknown painting possibilities. Entering these doors and exploring the territory within, feeling my way through experimentation, I am accorded the delightful thrill that comes of discovery. Thus each painting becomes an entirely new venture, and the pattern of achievement may vary in each case.
Reviewing a Riley exhibition, art critic Martha Scott stated:
One surmises he studied drawing and anatomy at the National Academy, that he was exposed to the frescoes and gilding techniques of Florence, that he soaked up the treasures of the Uffizi and Pitti Palace... No conjecture about an artist could be more erroneous!
To the right, The Sleeping Clown, 1954.