Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Learning to play...

It isn't much of a stretch to know that time is needed when one is trying to learn or develop new skills.  I needed time to play.  I found the time, using a photoshop program, to create these images from photos of my painting entitled "Eye of the Storm."  -Erico

"Eye of the Storm Kaleidoscope 1"  Dec 2014

"Eye of the Storm Kaleidoscope 2" Dec 2014

Here is the original.
"Eye of the Storm"  (acrylic on canvas, 36x36") November 2012

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Feeling stuck...
"Purgatory" (acrylic on wood, 17x17") Nov 2014
Sometimes it's hard to put into words some of the sadness or sorrow that is felt around the world.  Sometimes it's just as hard to put into words the inner turmoil one feels.  It certainly feels like being stuck between a rock and a hard place.... purgatory.  -Erico

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I'm keeping watch...

Keeping Watch Over Pueblo (acrylic on wood, 17x17") Sep 2014
I love the look of paint on wood!  I enjoy the ability to blend and texturize the piece.  I created a piece called "Pueblo" a few years ago, which hangs in a home in Arizona...and I wanted to recreate that piece when I saw this panel of 17x17" wood.  I'm so pleased with how it turned out.  Here's "Keeping Watch Over Pueblo."  -Erico

Monday, September 1, 2014

It was time....

"The Road is Long..." (acrylic on wood, 17x17")  Sep 1, 2014
I've understood writers block.  I've understood stagnancy in music and theatre.  I've never quite understood why it's so difficult to get something on canvas when I know that I really want to do just that.  The past couple of weeks have been riddled with frustration and bitterness and, sad to say, a sense of doom.  Maybe it's just my body telling me that summer is ending and that the leaves are about to fall.  Maybe it's more than that.  But it shouldn't stop me from painting; in fact, it should inspire me to paint more... in order to get out those aggressions.  I'm open.  I'm trying.  Paths are strewn with blockage and the leaves still fall.  Let's make it a colorful one.  -Erico

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Storm's a-comin'...

"Storm's A-comin'" (acrylic on wood, 17x17") Aug 30, 2014
Is summer really ending?  Already?!  It seems the older I get, the more difficult it is to deal with the changing of seasons.  It's the end of August.  I know we'll have some good weather ahead of us, but this summer seems to have passed so quickly.  I still haven't figured out a way to embrace our winters.  I survive them, but I don't embrace them.  And the storm's a-comin'. -Erico

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Windows abound...

For some reason, windows still fascinate me.  Maybe it's the view that fascinates me.  Maybe it's the idea of being sheltered.  Or the design.  Or the idea that there's something OUT THERE for me.  Here's my latest window...  -Erico

"Window Purple" (acrylic, 24x24") August 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014

Donations abound...

Lately, I find myself being asked often to donate pieces of art to benefit my church community and charitable organizations in the greater Milwaukee area.  I was approached by America SCORES Milwaukee, an organization that provides out-of-school opportunities for children, including athletics and arts, to consider creating an original piece of art for an October fundraising event.  The Inspired Art project takes poems written by America SCORES Milwaukee youth and asks local and regional artists to create one of a kind pieces inspired by their words.  Each piece of original artwork is photographed and compiled into a graphic collection of SCORES art and imagery with selected pieces brought to auction in a gallery-night themed cocktail event.  Inspired Art truly brings the words of youth to life.  It took a while to choose the right poem for me, but here it is.

Edwin, Age 10

I wish I was a star
To be high in the sky
Shining down on you
As you say goodnight

"Good Night"  (acrylic, 24x24")  July 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

SVA Small Works 2014...

Here are my contributions to the Sheboygan Visual Artists' Small Works for this year.  I committed to painting ten of our 8x10" canvases...and they are done!  Here's a sampling.  -Erico


Thursday, May 29, 2014


"Pentecostés"  (acrylic, 36"x48")  May 2014
Seven weeks have passed since the celebration of Easter.  At my church, I have sung for the lives of three members who have now left us.  As often as I sing a funeral, it never really sinks in that these individuals are gone from this world until long after I've missed them for a while.  Maybe that's a coping mechanism.  Maybe that's a sign of hope.  I'm glad to have been a part of their lives.  I'm glad they were a part of mine.  Their spirits live on... in us... around us... with us.

I've missed painting over the past couple of months.  I'm glad to share this in their names.  It's Pentecost.  -Erico

Monday, March 31, 2014

Commissioned gift...

While teaching some guitar songs to a new church choir member, he spoke to me about his trouble finding appropriate gifts for his wife's birthdays in the past.  He wanted to do something different this year and asked me if I could create a small piece for her, something colorful that included one of her favorite Spanish quotes.  This is the result.  She'll get it on Wednesday, April 2.  -Erico

"Agua que no has de beber..." (acrylic on canvas, 12x12") March 31, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Making It Speak:  Poets & Artists in Cahoots!

Seventeen artists from the Sheboygan Visual Artists and sixteen poets from the Mead Library Poetry Circle took on the challenge of creating new works inspired by each others' art and poetry.  The artists received envelopes (randomly assigned) with three poems from one poet.  The artist was to choose one of the poems for inspiration of a new work of art.  The poets received envelopes with three art images from one artist each (also randomly assigned).  The poet was to choose one of the artworks for inspiration of a new poem.

Most of us had never met the members of the other group.  It was an exercise in creativity and a challenge of inspiration.

From the envelope randomly assigned to her, "Tree of One" was chosen by Lisa Vihos to inspire her poem of the same name.

"Tree of One"  (acrylic on canvas, 12"x24") 2013

By chance, this was a perfect match in that the envelope I received contained three poems by Lisa Vihos.  I chose her poem entitled "Catching Poems" to create "Flights of Fancy Wisdom of Words" seen below.

"Flights of Fancy Wisdom of Words" (mixed media on canvas, 20"x24") March 2014
For some, the experience was quite the challenge.  Others found immediate inspiration to create a corresponding piece.  The end result is quite an exceptional side-by-side exhibit of poetry and art which opens with a Final Friday reception on Friday, March 28, at EBCO in Sheboygan.  The event will include a reading of the new poetry by members of the Mead Library Poetry Circle.    -Erico  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Casa Romero Renewal Center...Silent Auction Item

I find I'm being asked to contribute more and more to silent auctions for various community organizations.  It's certainly an honor, but it is definitely a challenge at times.  And sometimes I ask myself, "Why did I say yes to this?"  But it forces me to dig deep, to think about what I am surrounded with and what others are lacking.  And I find inspiration in those thoughts.... and I paint.  -Erico

"Tree in Agua Marine"  (acrylic on canvas, 18x24") March 21, 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Welcome to Inspiration Studios!  Art Gallery space complete!

Thom Ertl's assemblage art adorns the gallery space for the month of March.

The blackbox is ready.  Lights are in place.  Bring on the performances.

...and both look amazing!  March 1st was the birthday of INSPIRATION STUDIOS in West Allis.  Many hands helped to convert the beautiful building into a gallery for emerging and established artists and a performance space for theatre companies from near and far.  Calls have been coming in, emails have been received seeking rental information.  West Allis will be proud to have this venue in the midst of the downtown area.  I look forward to many exhibits and theatre productions.  -Erico

Monday, January 20, 2014

Plena Luna...

"Plena Luna" (acrylic, 14x24") Jan 2014
This piece was created as a donation item for the silent auction held at the annual gala of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin.  The annual gala draws hundreds of area entreprenuers and community leaders to celebrate the past year's achievements by Hispanic owned or operated businesses.  The event was held Saturday, Jan 18, at Potowatomi Casino in Milwaukee.