I am so thrilled to introduce my latest creation, “flight”, and announce that it is now showing at Sutter Street Artist Gallery inside Anita Rochelle’s Boutique on Sutter Street in Historic Folsom!

So much to unpack here… first things first; this painting is enormous!  72 inches wide by 60 inches tall and 2.5 inches thick to be exact… that’s 6 feet by 5 feet!!!  And, yes, two and half inches of edge!  This piece was created to make an impact, whether in a gallery or in a home with a large space needing a captivating original artwork to fill it.  It’s impossible to gauge the magnitude from the cover picture above… here it is hanging in the shop.

I encourage all who can stop in to have a look in person to do so.  As with any fine art, you have to physically experience it, from the same exact vantage that I occupied when it was created.  Digital pictures do no justice and neither reveal the nuance of color nor the energy of brush strokes.  If you do stop in, say hello to Anita and many props to all who support local shopping!  This year is make or break for so many like Anita and I know they would appreciate every bit of support our community has to offer.

I actually bought this canvas, and two others just like it, with the intention of including the finished works in the gallery of Anita’s shop.  I visited her before the holidays and we discussed her plans for doing some “refreshing” of the boutique in the new year; on her guidance that large format art works are all the rage right now I immediately went out and got three huge canvases and had them delivered by LTL truck to my studio (er, garage=).  A few conversations later, and with some hard work over several weekends, the first of three is now available for sale in Historic Folsom!  This was a goal I set out for myself 10 months ago when I decided to go public by launching my website and Facebook page… So exhilarating to achieve!  I have to thank all of you who have supported me thus far, especially those who have taken an original painting home with them… love you all!  (for if you hadn’t, I’d have no space for the new work! 😉

Which brings me to the topic of work… what technique am I going to attempt on these monsters?!  To answer this question I did some soul searching coupled with some research and study…

What have I really enjoyed creating in my past work? and not just the end product, but also what have I enjoyed about the process?  and not just the process of applying paint, but also of conceptualizing, and story telling, yet obfuscating through abstraction.

What am I technically capable of?  What elements of prior experience can I apply and use to grow my skill by doing something new, bold, and uniquely my style.

I wanted to create something meaningful and moving, but I want every onlooker to have their own experience and interpretation.  Something real…  like a still-life, or landscape, or figurative images; but also none of these, all at once.  I really enjoyed my attempt at cubism when creating socially distant because the process provided structure for painting “something”, yet allowed latitude to portray that something from multiple points of view, resulting in an abstraction of reality.

But I didn’t want to “attempt” the style of another or some other movement… I wanted to take what I liked about it and put my own flare into it… to make something my own, my style.  Ultimately, I performed an exercise to write down a word or phrase about each of the seven Elements of Art and use the result as my guiding principles for creating a series of three related but unique pieces.  I ran through the seven elements and jotted down my thoughts…

  1. Line – “Overlapping Contours of Reality”
  2. Form – “Flat”
  3. Shape – “Is Derived”
  4. Color –
  5. Space – “Consumed”
  6. Texture –
  7. Value – “Balanced”

Notice that Color and Texture have nothing noted… I simply couldn’t decide on any limiting factors that would constrain each of these in the work.  What this meant to me is that I had the freedom to explore color and texture in each piece to my heart’s content, so long as I abide by the other guiding principles across all three.

Armed with a concept I set out on my first composition.  I got something sketched out and put it on the canvas.  I decided on a color palette and put down the base coat.  I then needed to fill in with paint, a lot of paint!  I would add a color to various areas and then stand back to see what color and spots would be next.  I repeated this process over and over in what I would label “painting the problem”.  Do I need color here? shade there? Do I need to paint over something that isn’t working, or add something that is missing?  The series of pics below are the moments between steps when I would look for the loudest problem and decide what to do next.  Finally, at some point, everything starts to pull together where I feel that all the space is relevant and plays it’s role in the overall experience.  And with that, it is done.

Of course, lighting and positioning was different for each pic depending on the time of day (or night) I was working so there may be more transitioning between each pic than just my added layer of color… see if you can find the differences between each step…

I have so much more detail to share about this series I am working on… The second and third paintings are both started, but not yet complete, so keep an eye out in the near future for updates on them!  Leave a comment below and let me know what you think of flight.  Thank you for stopping by!


~ Eric


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