Erin W. Berrett

Artist Statement

The paradox of the term “still life” inspires me. There’s a fundamental tension between the still and the life, isn’t there? That’s what I try to capture when I paint. To me, objects are never completely motionless, or emotionless for that matter. They tremble.  They vibrate. And those vibrations are produced not only by the construction of the object, but by the external forces exerted on it — the angle of the light, for instance, and the perspective of the viewer.

I push myself to be as abstract as possible in the details while still achieving the perception of reality. To do this, I’m meticulous in placing the object and getting exactly the right light. Then, when I begin to paint, I never blend. Instead, I place thousands of precise strokes side-by-side, swaths of color that are then translated by the observer. Two inches of canvas viewed from a few inches away might have a hundred strokes that seem to form nothing, but when the piece is considered as a whole, hopefully the effect is highly representational.

What’s a good painting to me?  It’s hard to know, but I’ll tell you this: when the object comes alive, and the environment, the viewer and I all participate to make that happen – that’s success to me.

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