Statement On Painting



      The situation we as humans find ourselves in stems from the duality of our ever changing and evolving nature. By existing in a constant state of flux we are bound to have episodes of our past more animalistic inclination--our "evil" doppelgangers that have a hard time focusing on the greater good or higher intellectual endeavors.



     As a human being I choose to participate in the practice of art. I define art as the expression of all personal life experiences and a purposeful voice for one's time and culture. For myself, this includes digesting that information and projecting some kind of narrative that helps make sense of it.

     I am most interested in asking questions and inspiring a dialogue relating to who we are and what defines our impact on each other and our surrounding planet. I tend to focus on the darker aspects of life--the things that cause the most complexity and problematic behavior.


     As a practicing artist, I've fallen prey to painting--it's infinite challenge infatuates me. Painting is a way to bring precedence and singularity to an image through the ritual of mark making.  It is the hand-made property of the medium that reveals its forethought and deliberation. 


       Part of my process involves the creation of narrative or allegorical scenes that embrace the complexity of humanity and its reach. These works are based in a surrogate realism; this means the source material is broken down and elements are changed based on concept and design. The setting for the work compliments or sets up a duality between the events of the foreground and the space of the background.


       When painting a model, it is important to capture the essence of their likeness in order to bring authenticity to the subject matter.  Often models will play a role and portray a feeling or state of mind that they are familiar with much like an actor/actress.  They are not given too much direction so as to allow for improvisation and expressed interpretation.  This gives room for a collaborative effort. Sometimes the models are interacting with various objects which are usually familiar commodities or appliances used poetically as symbols and extensions of the body.  I choose objects that are timeless or represent our contemporary world.


      The research for my work comes from a multitude of places, experiences and interest.  I regularly keep an on going library of images scenarios and incomplete narratives.  Then typically I will piece some of these ideas together into a “complete narrative”.


      As far as techniques are concerned, I have adopted various painting influences from Baroque to Pre-Raphaelite to numerous twentieth century painters.  Although I generally paint from a combination of photographic source and life painting, I do not project or graph.  I work with the concern for under painting, alla prima, color, descriptive painterly application and over-glazing.  These five concerns of painting are heavily conceptualized through composition and theme.



© 2016 Eric Ridge