Observation of an Artist (by Heather)

It’s interesting for me to be able to observe an artist in action first-hand.  I am constantly amazed by Eric’s ability to envision an idea and bring it to fruition, especially when it comes to his art.

Some of his current paintings pull in bits and pieces of photos we’ve taken near and far, to create some amazing montages.  By capturing the afternoon sunshine on Italian Cypress in the Tuscan countryside, or majestic flags billowing in the wind, he’s able to bring to canvas the colorful world he sees.

I’m also always interested in finding out more about how artists got their start and what inspires them.  Here’s what Eric had to tell me about his journey:

H:  How did you get your start/gain an interest in painting?

E:  Like all little kids, I used to draw a lot, always asking for art supplies for Christmas.  My mom sent us to a couple summer art classes/programs with Ruth Nichols in David City.  That’s where I was really introduced to painting, and since then I’ve always wanted to be a starving artist, without the starving part……

H:  What inspires your ideas?

E:  Places, people, moments.  I travel a lot and take A LOT of random photos for visual reference.  I probably have thousands of photos I’ve taken sitting in storage (physical and digital), waiting to be incorporated into an idea for a painting.
H:  I can attest to the photos for reference, Eric will grab the camera and run outside to catch some cool clouds, the morning sunrise peeking over the trees, or a random bike shadow as we are riding home from work.

H:  Do you find it easy to translate those ideas to canvas?

E:  Sometimes.  Sometimes I know what I want to do and it‘s just spot on what I envisioned, but there are times that it (the idea) takes me to a totally different place than I thought it would, with colors and layout.  Sometimes it can be a struggle and I’ll have to set it off to the side and come back at a later date when inspiration hits.

H:  What types of mediums do you use and why?

E:  I typically use acrylic paint on canvas – acrylics are what I learned to paint with and am comfortable with.  They’re nice because they dry quickly, provide an easy clean up, don’t put off fumes, blend pretty easily, and work well with a new transfer technique I‘m trying on some of my newer paintings.  I do also take advantage of my photographic and graphic design skills to morph ideas into layouts for paintings.  I’ve also painted on aluminum sheeting, windows, and cork board, among other things, for different feels or projects.  For this show, I’ve gotten into repurposing old frames and scrapped wood to create custom/unique frames for some of the pieces.

H:  What is your favorite style of painting and why?

E:  Tough one…..my favorite artists are Van Gogh, Rockwell, and Dali.  I like the impressionistic style of Van Gogh, capturing movement and color.  Rockwell captured moments using realism and human experiences – the things that we do every day but still leave an impression, like the idyllic Thanksgiving meal with the turkey being presented at the table.  Then Dali, who introduced me to the concept of the surreal, bringing to life that which bends the imagination.  I like being able to introduce extremely bright colors into my paintings, combining what’s in every day life and translating to canvas my ideas and visions.  Some of those ideas are easier to accomplish with painting than digital art and photography.

H:  Describe your most favorite work(s) you’ve created so far.

E:  I really have three favorites, Jarod’s Gift (football scene), Katie’s Gift (ballet dancer) and Sailboat Cove at Sunset – mainly because they were created for people very close to me.  (these are viewable in Eric’s portfolio and on his facebook page).


To view some of Eric’s newest works, please join us for his openings at the beginning of March at the Noyes Gallery and MoJava in Lincoln.  If you are unable to attend one or both of the openings, Eric’s works will be on display and available for purchase throughout the entire month of March at both locations.