Visual Artist Bio
Erika is using her current work to explore the boundaries between painting, texture, and sculpture, and the tension between structure and fluidity using additive and reductive techniques in acrylic medium on panel. Select pieces were recently featured at The Art of Hope art auction in support of the art therapy program at the Hopewell Eating Disorder Support Centre in Ottawa, in both 2021 and 2020.
Her body of paintings, Chromaticism, was exhibited at First & Last in Toronto in 2018, and is currently on display at One Sky Gallery in Sudbury. Erika completed studies in abstract painting with Rob Nicholls, and encaustic painting with Cortney Stephenson at OCAD University, where she is currently completing her Certificate in Art and Design Studio Skills.
A lifelong visual artist, Erika is a graduate of the Creative Arts focus program at the Queen Elizabeth Collegiate Vocational Institute in Kingston, under the guidance of Karen Peperkorn. She maintains her practice at her painting studio in the Stockyards District in Toronto.
Past work in painting, drawing, encaustic, and mixed media.
The painting process in my current body of work, Emergence , explores the boundaries between painting, texture, and sculpture, and the tension between structure and fluidity.
These pieces evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic, during which structures—like our homes—have functioned as both protective fortresses and as incubators or birthplaces for healing and renewal.
I developed a new way of creating these paintings by first building thick, textured walled structures on sealed panel. I formed these structures one layer at a time, out of tinted heavy-bodied medium, creating what I describe as an organic "fortress" with a deep, inviting cavity. I then carefully refilled the hollow cavity within the walls with wet medium, which merged with the dry structure. While the confection-like centre was still wet, I then sculpted and re-sculpted it through both reductive and additive processes until a beautiful new form emerged from within the structure.
This painting process involves an intimate, intuitive, and sensuous shaping of the medium. The finished pieces evoke that process, and suggest fluidity, evolution, flow, emergence, and renewal.