Eric Van Nielsen – April 2015

IMG_4205

“From an early age, I misunderstood that the ability to draw well directly correlated to artist expression, and this artistic expression would eventually lead to success in all its forms for an artist.  The encouragement I received from a young age reinforced this understanding.  Yet drawing well does not make one an artist.  Nor does it define you.

At 15, I took a trip with my family to Greece where we visited the Greek Children’s Museum in Athens.  Simple paintings of people, animals, bikes and trees lined the walls, but painted with incredibly vibrant color.  I was amazed how their young passion seemed palpable through the interplay of color within each piece; it was startlingly refreshing to see and feel their emotion so purely conveyed.  Despite having seen famous works of art at museums and in books, it was at that moment my understanding of what an artist was fundamentally changed. I knew that at that time, I could not call myself an artist.

I have long-imagined (and admired) paintings that left behind representational work in exchange for raw expression, primarily through color.  I only recently, finally committed myself to that artistic path.  The freedom of only utilizing color, painted forms and texture has been liberating for me, and a welcome challenge.  Color is the language of emotion, and I learn more of that language as I learn more about myself with each painting ”

The work featured in our reCreate Gallery will be an example of Eric’s current focus on improving the environmental impact of his work and studio. Each piece, aside from the artistic intent, marks the next step in improving his environmental footprint while remaining true to artistic aesthetics and traditional painting methods that are important to him.  You can see his work at The Resource Exchange throughout the month of April. Eric studied at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.  He has exhibited nationally in Philadelphia, California, and Texas.  He lives and works in the Philadelphia area. You can see more of Eric’s work on his website.