James lives and maintains a studio in Philadelphia and recent exhibitions include his one person outing, Quartet at LGTripp Gallery and the group exhibition Surface As Signifier held at the Marlin Gallery at Camden County College.
Here the painter gives us a look at the development of his piece, Slow Morning completed in 2012, along with a couple of informative, inspirational shots that influenced his process.
From the artist's statement:
I make nature-based abstractions with special attention given to layering and surface variety. The imagery is a dialogue between organic and geometric. I use natural colors, carefully chosen color relationships with nature-influenced light.
I want to see the physicality of the process but still retain a mystery as to how the painting transpired. The surface is worked, reworked, and scraped down.
My paintings are abstractions in the sense that at some point in the painting process I’m abstracting from nature, whether consciously at the beginning or through some experience or memory I bring into the studio during the evolution of the painting. Sometimes the painting reminds me of something, a particular mood or memory of a place and it won’t go away -- that becomes the subject of the painting for me.
My goal is to make relevant contemporary paintings while paying close attention to art history, to find something new within the tradition of abstract painting. I am drawn to the simple forms of monuments and monoliths but also to their deep connection to life and death. My paintings aren’t about particular monuments or monoliths but I do want them to function on a similar, basic human level emotionally. They are reflective of the contemporary human experience.
Slow Morning, 2012, oil on canvas, 54 x 56 in.
James Erikson in his studio, Philadelphia, PA, 2012
Also check out Erikson's Studio Visit post here.
Follow the link for installation views of Erikson's solo show Quartet at LGTripp Gallery in Philadelphia.
*All images ©James Erikson.