Sunday, December 23, 2012

More Trees...

I'm not sure what is driving this fascination, but I so thoroughly enjoy looking at trees...and trying to duplicate what I see, perhaps using a variety of untapped colors, both in nature and on my pallet.  Here are a few of the latest, all 12x12" acrylic on canvas panels.  -Erico




Friday, December 21, 2012

Where's my art? ...

It occurred to me this morning that my art is finding its way out into the world.  Maybe the works themselves haven't hit international status, but I find it thrilling to know that people from many countries are reading this blog and finding something worth viewing.  I welcome any and all comments regardless of language.  (I'm sure I can find a translation somewhere!).

I'm pleased that my first gallery event in October 2011 was such a success, sending over 20 pieces to the homes and offices of friends and family within the greater Milwaukee area.  And other works have been purchased since them, along with the commissioned Window pieces hanging in the Cintron-Cortez home in Shorewood--definitely my greatest accomplishment thus far!  However, it pleases me very much to know that some of my paintings have made it to homes and collections in other states.  Isla and Pueblo are hanging in the Lynch home in Arizona.  Second versions of Sunflower and Poppies have found their way (today!) into the Sanchez home in Miami.  Now...Sing! has also found its home in the Marshall Collection in Miami (or possibly somewhere in Europe!).  That's certainly exciting for me!

It was enlightening for me to see what I could accomplish on my own, but it's time to broadened my involvement with the visual arts community, as well.  So I've started some networking with local artists and organizations.  In March, I'll take part in my first community art fair in Cedarburg, just outside of Milwaukee, and look forward to other opportunities to display my work.  And I've joined a few arts organizations that are already providing much needed support to this emerging artist.  This should help me to analyze my work and find critiques that are greatly needed to help me improve my techniques and skills.

As this year comes to a close, it occurs to me that 2013 should be the year of great development in this new-found career.  I've got so much to learn...and so much to share.  -Erico        

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Commissioned Work..."Windows"

In Spring of 2012, I was asked by a married couple, friends and former students of mine whose wedding I sang many years ago, to create something for a large wall they were struggling to decorate in their family room.  Their home is a vivid dwelling filled with colorful furnishings and the music of their daughter.  They wanted something "different and colorful" for this large space.  When they saw my "Window" piece from an earlier posting, they fell in love with it and said "That's it!  That's what we want!"  I have just completed the following three pieces to adorn their colorful home.  -Erico

"Window Red" (acrylic on canvas, 36x36") Dec 2012

"Window Yellow" (acrylic on canvas, 36x36") Dec 2012

"Window Blue" (acrylic on canvas, 36x36") Dec 2012
All three of these works are now part of the Cintron-Cortez collection, hanging beautifully in their family room.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012...
"Thanksgiving" (acrylic on canvas, 16x20") Nov 2012
Thankful.  Thankful for the gifts of music and art and dance and theater.  Thankful for friendships and family.  Thankful for a home I enjoy and the art I can make within it.  Thankful for the goblet and plate at my table.  -Erico

"Window" (acrylic on canvas, 22x28") Nov 2012
This was truly an experiment with color.  I followed a script that challenged me to mix and match a variety of paint tones and hues and to create a sense of balance throughout the various areas of the canvas.  There is texture throughout...and a hint at a third dimension flowing through the window and surrounding panes.  I've painted other colorful pieces, but this one is definitely the most colorful of all.  -Erico
Watercolor Surprises!





                        
      "Trees of Water" (watercolor, 7x10") Oct 2012



Start with black watercolor paint... Master the brush strokes... Pay attention to the tips of brushes... Add another color or two or three or four, just to see what happens... Watercolor trees! What a pleasant surprise!  Who knew?  -Erico
The Human Condition...
"Fuego" (acrylic on canvas, 24x24")  June 2012
"Invisible" (acrylic on canvas, 16x16") May 2012

"Shame" (acrylic on canvas, 16x20") June 2012
"Fading Beauty" (mixed media, 18x24") Nov 2012



























Whether inspired by a lyric of a song, a line from a movie, an outpouring of emotion, or an act of defiance, our human condition shines through.  These paintings inspire me to reach...to reach out past the darkness and into a new reality.  -Erico 
Nature challenges us...

"Wave" (acrylic on canvas, 12x14") Sep 2012
"Riding The Storm" (acrylic on canvas, 16x20") July 2012



"The Storm" (mixed media, 36x36") Nov 2012

In our constant struggle to survive the amazing acts of nature, there is an opportunity to find beauty within the disasters.  In Spanish there is an expression:  "No hay mal que por bien no venga."  While it translates to "There is no evil that doesn't produce some good" (intentional double negative), it is a reference to the silver lining behind the dark cloud.  -Erico  
Nature beckons...


"Bubbles" (acrylic on canvas,  14x30") Sep 2012
"Willow" (acrylic on canvas, 14x30") Sep 2012


"Pink Forest" (acrylic on canvas, 18x24") July 2012

"Waterfall" (acrylic on canvas, 18x24") Mar 2012

Years ago, I was awarded a fellowship for a summer of study in Spanish literature at Brigham Young University.  The trails in the nearby Provo Canyon led to this waterfall, where I was able to crawl to feel the rush of the pounding waters on my back and face.  It was a moment of exhilaration that, years later(!), would inspired this painting.  -Erico

"Newhill" (acrylic on canvas, 16x20") June 2012

"Strung" (acrylic on canvas, 12x12") Sep 2012

"Snap, Crackle, Tops" (acrylic on canvas, 18x24")  Sep 2012

Patch
"Patch" (acrylic on canvas, 24x24") June 2012
Why does it seem that selecting wallpaper is such a tedious process?  What does one hope to accomplish by covering a portion of wall that doesn't want to be covered?  What follows is a story of a patch in search of a wall.

I painted a pattern that looked like wallpaper.  It left me bored and uninspired.  After weeks of staring at this unattractive canvas, it was time to remove the wallpaper to create something else.  But once I began to paint the green border, the solid green suddenly looked like the wall behind the wallpaper...and gave purpose for the covering.  But why would this wall need wallpaper?  It looked just fine!  Who would have noticed, if not me, that the wall was in need of cracks?  The cracks were created, but the wallpaper needed reinforcing strips of tape to keep it in place and keep it from peeling.  Mission accomplished; wallpaper in place; wall covered.  Or so I thought!  So then....why did someone stick their fist through the wallpaper, creating the huge hole and subsequent, overriding cracks, making the use of wallpaper a total waste of time?!?!  -Erico
Abstracting Reality

"Now...Sing!" (acrylic on canvas, 24x36") May 2012
According to R. van Vliet, abstracting from reality allows one to depart from reality by removing the depth and shapes of what is seen.  We change the colors and reduce the entire composition into a number of lines and shapes to create a new reality.  So... I imagine a choir.  I imagine tan and white faces.  I imagine blue choir robes and golden music folders.  Now... Sing!  -Erico    
Sprinkles of Hope


"Sprinkles of Hope" (acrylic on gesso board, 12x12") April, 2012
Working on a new surface proved to be of great benefit.  Using a harder surface, such as gesso board, allowed me to create a sense of movement while keeping the darkness of night by using purples and blues in the background.  Wanting to continue the sense of movement to the hills and the stars, white was the obvious color choice.  "Sprinkles of Hope" was created on Palm Sunday, 2012.  This was the beginning of a week of hope for the world!  -Erico


"Pueblo" (acrylic on canvas, 12x14") Sep 2012
I have always been inspired by the colors of the southwest.  The adobe reds, the creamy browns, the turquoises and greens, the bright yellows and oranges....all have made me smile and challenged my ability to mix and blend.  "Pueblo" was created by adding layers and layers of color onto a purple/green/gray background, particularly the sandy yellow paths that connect the humble homes of this small community.  All of this under a cloudy sky that manages to showcase its not-so-hidden stars.  -Erico

Evolution


"Evolve" (acrylic on canvas, 8x8") Sep 2011
Layering of colors led to the evolution of this idea from randomly painted lines (as seen below), resulting in a flower-like composition.  Several of these were created adding variety to the color palette.  -Erico

"Simply Gray" (acrylic on canvas, 12x12") Dec 2011
This is the origin of the "Evolve" series.  I found the simplicity of these paintings to be as interesting as the fully "evolved" series they inspired.  With that in mind, I created a series of these simple paintings in blue, yellow, gray.  A friend commented that the simplicity of this design would transfer easily into an area rug.  "Exquisite" was one of the adjectives used to describe this very simple painting.  -Erico

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Bursts of Color

"Burst"  (acrylic on canvas, 12x12") May 2012

"Burst of Blue" (acrylic on canvas, 12x12") Sep 2012

Variations on Sun/Moon 2012


"Isla"  (acrylic on canvas, 12x14") Sep 2012
A variation on the Sun/Moon series, I wanted to explore my tropical roots to create something that reminded me of Puerto Rico, "La Isla del Encanto."  -Erico


"Montanas Nevadas"  (acrylic on canvas, 16x18") Sep 2012
It occurred to me during my very first gallery event in Oct 2011 that I had not considered creating a midnight moon in black and white.  Snow-capped mountains seemed to be the most logical response to this variation on the Sun/Moon series.  -Erico

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sun/Moon Series 2012

"Golden Moon"  (acrylic on canvas, 18x24")  May 2012
Another of my favorites within the Sun & Moon series developed one late Sunday evening in May when the moon was full and the sky had hints of gold that I had never before seen.  I decided to embellish those colors a bit (!), using the golden highlights as the jump off point, allowing the grays of the clouds and waves to fill in the rest.  -Erico


"Golden Waters" (acrylic on canvas, 12x12")  Sep 2012
"....while in the still of the night, 
the tides subsided...
...and the moon was engulfed by the shady waters."  -Erico

Tuesday, November 20, 2012





"Purple Moon" (acrylic on canvas, 12x12") Nov 2011

Sun & Moon Series 2011


   "Sun/Moon" (acrylic on canvas, 8x8")  Oct 2011

"Moon Dance" (acrylic on canvas, 8x8") Oct 2011
"Luna Verde"   (acrylic on canvas, 8x8")   Nov 2011
My obsession with the sun and the moon is evident in this series and in several other paintings.  I'm not sure what the tall tree-like figures represent, but they make me smile whenever I can create them.  The various color schemes were suggested by family and friends, often leading to some funky color combinations.  I must admit that these are among my favorite paintings, partially because they were created at the beginning of my artistic endeavors, but also because they have a quality that is "other-worldly"--something I always enjoy.  -Erico

"Moonlit Greenery"  (acrylic on canvas, 16x20")  July 2012
Growing beyond the simplicity of the cactus-like figures, the calmness, the serenity of this place calls to me and draws me in. -Erico
"Acid"  (acrylic on canvas, 18x22" Feb 2012
When this idea came to mind, I wanted to play on a pre-stretched canvas with four basic colors:  red, black, tan, and brown.  I wasn't sure how stark and cold and "other-worldly" this would appear to others, but it was created for my development.  I was playing and exploring options!  While it was an experiment, I was surprisingly pleased with the results.  In contrast to its corrosive nature, it seemed appropriate to go "green" for this piece by re-using window trim that had been removed from my loft to create my own frame... leaving its nicks and nail holes untouched.  I painted it in a bold red.  The overall effect was rather striking!  -Erico