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: This little grove of birches caught my eye on a misty autumn afternoon. The yellow in the leaves glowed like sunshine on a cloudy day. It was satisfying to layer lots of juicy paint to build up the leaves. There are subtle tones in the yellow, cool lemon, warm golden - almost impossible to show in a photograph of the art, which means this painting is best seen in person!
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: This acrylic painting is a place in my imagination, a result of my emotional attachment to spectacular Pacific Northwest rainy mossy forested streams. Varied thrushes symbolize this place in my heart. I've used a recurring theme of `V' shapes to construct my landscape, to give it a framework of sorts, and a certain flow for the eye to wander around in. There are many many similar, but real places like this one that was born in my daydreams.
Cinnamon Teal Hen
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: In most ducks, the drakes are very flashy. I think the hens just as beautiful in a soft understated way. I tried to capture that essence in this acrylic painting.
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: Scenes like this are a common sight in the Pacific Northwest. For this acrylic painting, I wanted to focus in on the dappled sunlight and all the many textures, and the way the water has carved a little hollow out of the bank, making a kind of natural amphitheater that intensifies the trickling sound of the water and the music of birds signing.
Diamonds In the Stream
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: I love waterfalls, even the mini ones, or maybe, especially the mini ones! Small but mighty, they carve out the stream bed with just as much authority as their bigger brethren. This little falls shooting over the edge of a flat rock was quite noisy, but full of beautiful sunlight cutting through it's moving curtain of water, throwing sparkles all around. Capturing that beauty in an acrylic painting is magical.
Eagle Creek Pool
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: There is a wonderful little place near where I live - Eagle Fern Park (Oregon). Eagle Creek meanders through it. In some places it flows swiftly and in other places it forms pools where you can see the rocks at the bottom which remind me of golden jewels. I am blessed to have such beauty surround me that I can put in my acrylic paintings.
Fairyland Forest Winter
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: My special forest home in winter. It becomes even more magical sparkling with fresh snow. This acrylic painting complements "Fairyland Forest Summer".
Family of Four Enjoying the View
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: This little painting depicts Mt Hood from Hood River Meadows in Oregon. What an interesting day of painting we had! Most of my painting companions decided to set up their easels on the roadside while two of us ventured into the scrubby sub-alpine woodlands bordering the meadow and parked ourselves amongst the huckleberry, which is everywhere.
Twice I let out a yelp which echoed across the meadow. The first when I upended my paint box right into the shrubbery and again when a sleek little chipmunk suddenly plopped into my lap! It can be startling to have critters seemingly drop out of nowhere onto one's person, I can tell you that! Later that afternoon my painting companion ditched me and left me out in the woods to join the others out on the road to do her second painting of the day. So there I sat, trying to capture this vast scene, enjoying the beauty all around and thinking how perfect a day, including an impromptu a cappella concert by my painter friends on the road. I am glad that my friend joined the others because I'm pretty sure she got the singing started and her voice is a real treat to hear. My favorite was "Edelweiss".
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: This was painted at dawn. I met with some artist friends in the chilly early hours. We enjoyed coffee and companionship while we painted this beautiful scene. This viewpoint is in Sandy, Oregon.
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: Every Pacific Northwest birder is very familiar with these cute little finches, twittering and flashing their outer white tail feathers as they flutter around like windblown leaves. I had to paint this little bird to share with others.
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: Oregon's high desert country is such a contrast to my usual west of the Cascade Mountains mossy habitat. It is like a different planet! I enjoy the sights and sounds and scents of this vast and rugged landscape. I love taking my acrylic paint to other areas of my state!
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: Vineyards and the art of making wine is fascinating to me, though I don't drink wine. I think it tastes awful! This was painted on location from a viewpoint where I sat under a huge oak tree.
Mt. Hood Meadow Path
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: The bugs on this day almost drove me insane! It's hard to concentrate when biting gnats are attacking you from every angle. The spectacular mountain and flowery meadow kept me there just long enough to capture it in paint.
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.
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: While working on location painting this scene, a young family of four came along and parked themselves on my subject matter. They had a nice picnic, all the while smiling at me from time to time as I continued to look in their direction. I do believe they never noticed that I was painting, and therefore must've thought I enjoyed staring at them!
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: I painted this scene on location - en plein air. A robin did actually pop in and land there for a few seconds, though I added him into the painting later back in the studio, which was a challenge because he is incredibly small!
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: Sleek and built for flight, terns are a delight to see in person and painted on canvas. This one is resting, but even on the ground, it's pointed wings and streamlined shape tell of it's true element and how it is designed to ride the air.
Salmon River Log
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: While I was painting this scene on location, my 25-year-old pack chair decided to call it quits. I ended up on the river rocks which weren't nearly as cushy!
Salmon River Sunlight
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: This was painted on a beautiful shimmering summer day. The light changed constantly so it was quite a challenge. When I paint outside on location, my senses become heightened - sights, sounds, scents. Even sunlight takes on a more palpable dimension.
Fine Art by artist Shari Erickson - Description: It's no secret that I love birds and associate them with places and experiences in my life. For me, the song of the Oregon Coast is seagulls calling accompanied by the booming sound of waves crashing on rocks. I can almost hear them cry out from this acrylic painting.