Shari Erickson paints the landscape and nature of her beloved rainy, misty, mossy Pacific Northwest, primarily in acrylic and watercolor, both studio and en plein air. She lives in rural Oregon in the western Cascade foothills surrounded by forests and fields and lots of wildlife. Her inspiration is the Creation itself and her motivation is to share her God-given artistic gift with others in a way... that is, hopefully, pleasing to our Lord. Her clients include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy, The National Wildlife Federation, and The Audubon Society.
"I love birds. I just do. And moss. And water with it's endless possibilities. I also love the challenge of capturing the light and texture of our natural world in paint. I like my paintings to be first about the object they are depicting, and second, about the paint itself. I just adore that cadmium orange and cerulean blue combine to make the perfect warm gray for a mourning dove's feathers. I am very intrigued by the abstract qualities underlying the textures of real life, endless layers of interest.Though I have been inspired to paint subjects from all corners of the Earth, my greatest influence has always been the beautiful Pacific Northwest. It is my heart's desire that my art might encourage a closer look at the source of my inspiration - our incredible universe - which has been given to us to nurture and protect and sustain us as we enjoy our place within it."
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: Brants are a species of saltwater habitats, migrating up the coastline to the Arctic tundra to breed and back down to shelter the winter in bays and estuaries, feeding on their favorite eel grass. I've painted this one in a regal pose at sunset.
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: With their intricate fine line patterned feathers, Gadwalls have a reputation amongst waterfowl artists for being hard to paint. I found that to be true! This painting is a study in neutrals, and the effects of light on feathers and water.
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: High desert country rocky places is where you'll see Chukars. Getting close to them is not easy! They prefer the most rugged places which are challenging to reach with paint supplies! They were introduced to North America from Asia.
Sage Grouse in Snow
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: Sage Grouse live in the arid regions of the west and are completely dependent on Sage for their food and shelter. The males have a very interesting and distinctive mating dance they do to attract females, fanning out their tails much like a turkey and inflating their neck sacs with air to make a weird popping noise.
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: Scaup are diving ducks, swift swimmers, and agile fliers, but they require a long takeoff by running across the water surface. I especially like their light eyes, which give them a perpetually startled expression.
Silver Gray Squirrel
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: It seems to me that people either love or hate squirrels! I love them! They are clever and so beautiful. I've painted this one surveying his realm, from a stately old oak with mossy branches. This species is dependent upon oak groves for their food and shelter.
Upstream From Downstream
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: Upstream from Downstream is a play on words that could also be a sort of allegory. Initially, I named it literally - a view looking upriver, but it has come to have a deeper meaning for me. It's about living life in a forward way, striving to forge ahead. There is sure to be beauty around every bend, but sometimes the current is strong and demands effort. This scene I painted is an actual experience I had watching a little Dipper bird carrying nesting material up that log. The nest was tucked into a secret place in the stream bank.
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: This painting is a celebration of Oregon's Willamette Valley grasslands. The Western Meadowlark sings his beautiful lilting melody as he surveys his territory. The butterfly is an endangered Fender's Blue. The flowers are Kincaid's Lupine, also extremely rare. The butterfly caterpillars only feed on this lupine. Efforts to restore habitat for the lupine, and thus for the butterfly as well, have resulted in growing numbers of both. They can be found at Baskett Slough and William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuges in the Willamette Valley.