Saturday, November 13, 2021

Watercolor Fun! 

"Watercolor Fun" (watercolor, 8x10")

Chicago always poses some interesting opportunities for me.  Sitting in my hotel room on a cold, dark night, I decided to pull out watercolor paints and begin to play.  Random ideas of distorted faces and shapes became the influences for these five paintings.  It was whimsical fun.  -Erico

Monday, August 16, 2021

 Minimalism?

"Moonlit Hearts of Palm" (acrylic, 16x20")

Creating a piece that exists in one's mind and doesn't really connect to reality... is something I strive to achieve rather often.  This piece will be exhibited at the Art*Bar with the Martini Girls in a show titled "Not So Much."  I enjoy these challenges to create from within, to put the images of my mind's eye onto a canvas.  This piece was fun to create.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

 Commissioned work...

"Bomba!"  (acrylic, 36x36")


MKEDowntown commissioned me to paint live at Red Arrow Park on Saturday, July 17. The intent of their grant is to support more art creation and exposure in the downtown area. It was a perfect day to paint outside. Many people stopped to ask questions and to comment on my progress. Calling upon my Puerto Rican roots, the dancer is performing a Bomba dance, influenced by the drums and movements of African slaves brought to the island in the 1500s. Traditionally done in white dress, some dances have bursts of color. My hope was to play with movement. Struggling to do just that, I restarted this piece three times before settling on the image above. As a result, what should have been a one-day painting activity, ended up taking me into the next day.  Hopefully I achieved a bit of cultural representation. It was a pleasure to create this piece which will be auctioned off during a fundraiser of the Milwaukee Downtown BID to raise funds for a local homeless shelter.  -Erico



Friday, July 2, 2021

Heartbreak... 

"Noeh...Going Home" (acrylic, 12x24")

Sometimes the sadness takes over.  Sometimes the agony is so strong that it can destroy a person.  This tragic loss of an innocent child at the tender age of 3 just broke my heart.  I was brought to tears when I read that the first-born of a long-time acquaintance was found lifeless one March morning.  Rightfully so, his parents are still reeling from the loss.  My heart goes out to them.  I saw a photo of the dad, Luis, tossing his little boy in the air.  It was posted by the mom, Michelle, as part of her tribute to her wonderful husband and father of Noeh.  It broke me!  I was compelled to paint that image... with all its interpretations.  It is a celebratory piece, full of life and anguish, playfulness and regret, joy and sorrow.  My heart cries for this broken family.  Here's to Luis and Michelle Rivera who continue to celebrate the life of their boy, along with his two little sisters.  May Noeh's memory never fade.  He is in a new home.  💔  -Erico


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

A Tribute...

"Short Drunken Players" (acrylic, 20x30")

This was a tribute to Evvie Smith+, Rosie Peterson, and JudyLee Tarbox+ who were faithful members of Village Playhouse.  Working from a photo that was sent to me about two years ago by Rosie, I worked on this piece for two years and finally finished it in April.  It was quite the challenge, especially trying to figure out how to represent the lovely, lively faces of these spirited women.  The painting now lives with Rosie in her new home in Lake Delton, Wisconsin.  -Erico

Monday, June 28, 2021

 "Water, water everywhere... and ne'er a drop to drink!"

"Moonlit Sails" (acrylics, 20x20")

I recall seeing a play in high school where two men were stuck in a boat.  I recall the line quoted above.  This was almost 50 years ago!  My memory of the past is something else!  But then I can't necessarily remember what I had for dinner last night.  It's part of life.  It's part of growing older.  I am drawn to water.  I love watching boats, especially sailboats.  I love jet skis and kayaks.  I think of water skiing and wonder why it never worked for me.  But mostly, I wish I knew how to swim.  -Erico

 Defeat? But why?

"Defeated" (acrylic, 16x20")

Sometimes... just sometimes... this is the feeling that overcomes us.  I am profoundly moved at times by the spirit that prevents us from giving in to the sense of defeat.  Life is precious.  Life is so short.  I learn that every day.  I don't want to feel defeated.  I don't want to shy away from the feelings either, because maybe then I'm just ignoring something that my body and nature and the world is trying to say.  When defeat comes my way, I hope to fight back... always!  -Erico