First, thank you for appreciating my work, and for taking the time to read this. When I was barely a toddler, my family and I frequented the outdoors. We went camping and hiking all around Oregon, and Washington. When I was four years old, we trekked up to Paradise Park on Mt. Hood and enjoyed the sweeping views of wildflowers skirting the edges of the mountain. Even as a child, I was immovably stunned by the places we visited. I had always been an artist, and with this gift, I marveled at even the smallest things nature showcased.
I would stare at color variations in flower petals, and the different colors I saw in snow on mountains. I noticed that, despite what I was taught, flowers weren’t exactly pink, and snow wasn’t exactly white. In pink petals, I saw reds, yellows, oranges and purples. In snow, I saw blues, pinks, reds and yellows. I imagined what I saw, and translated it into constant creations. As I grew older, I was suddenly expected to focus my attention on school, work, and a career path. I buried myself with responsibilities, and underneath it all, I lost my appreciation for nature, and with it my inspiration for art.
I stopped drawing and painting almost completely for 10 years. As I worked my way through college at the University of Oregon, I was satisfied with my career path. Yet, there was always something in the back of my mind. Something I couldn’t place, that I felt I was lacking. After graduation, during the recession, I told myself my career path had to work out, that all my hard work had to pay off. But it simply didn’t.
It was in this time, that I found myself craving positivity. Remembering the adventures and creations of my childhood, I started hiking and camping again. One day, as I was hiking Black Butte, I turned to see the view from the trail. I fully expected to be stunned, to be in awe of the wondrous landscape before me. Instead, I felt nothing. I reached, but felt nothing. It terrified me to not feel what I saw, and to not be deeply moved by it, as I had before. It was troubling, that my emotional capacity was deeper as a child, than as an adult, and I set out, determined, to change that.
I started painting again because I felt a deep disconnect from the world, and I wanted to reestablish my connection. I realized how easy it was for wonder, awe, and passion to simply wither. All it took were tiny, wrong choices, one after the next, to make me forget the feelings I had for art, and the great outdoors. Though I'm happy to say I am reunited with what I lost, not everyone has been so lucky.
It’s now my goal to paint sweeping landscapes, using unexpected colors, to inspire others to reconnect with these incredible places. My hope is, that my art will make people feel what I do, when I look at the great wild. Using bright, intense color choices, my goal is to overwhelm, shock and surprise, as nature often does, as well as brighten up spaces and lives.
My choice of using a palette knife in my work, allows me to paint freely and openly, and to mimic the textures in nature. To anyone who views my work, I hope my art will serve as a reminder to not lose a sense of wonder, to get out and explore, and to start rebuilding relationships with yourselves, nature and each other.
Love art. Love Oils by Eryn.