Erin Waser

“Men formed their pictures of the world outside from the unchallenged pictures in their heads.”

-Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion.


In my art I seek a new interpretation of otherwise common objects through a series of scale and color transformations. I first look to find the essence of my subject, often through photography, by examining the makeup or detail within its construction. I am most inspired by nature, architecture, and mundane objects I encounter everyday and while traveling.  Often times I start with a photograph I have taken, other times I recall a surface or moment in time. I then reinterpret the subject through painting, drawing or design to create a new definition. The mediums I use combined with the influence of nature's power, its color and carelessness, inspire and empower my ability to see beyond the first impression and to find a richer meaning. In turn, I hope viewers may pause to seek their own unexpected interpretations of my pieces.


I am especially interested in the tactility, luminosity and subtleties of oil paintings as they relate to colors and surfaces found in nature.  I am most influenced by artists whose work reflect the use of a very deliberate technique, such as Gerhard Richter’s interpretations of images and attention to surface, Rothko’s stained canvases, and Mary Judge’s use of pattern with limited palettes exploring multiple surfaces.  My paintings rely on careful attention to contrasts, predominately through the use of color and texture, to create a dynamic balance between foreground and background.  I hope to draw my viewer into my surfaces, and hold their attention as they reflect on the subtleties, unexpected details, and see beyond the whole.


current work: “pixelization series”


-A pixel, a simple element, made complex through its relationship to the whole.


In today's world of high-definition digital media it is easy to overlook the fact that the images we are inundated with daily are made up of thousands of little dots. Invisible to the naked eye, without intentional alterations to the image, each digital pixel is part of a greater whole.  Removing or altering a pixel, changes the context of the whole.  Recently, I have been working on a series of paintings, which examine the consequences of manipulating pixels; I define my process as “Pixelization”.  Focusing on the simple pixel as my subject I am able to explore how the individual pixels interact to create a field of color and texture. A technique of additions and subtractions of physical pixels allow for uncertain and unexpected outcomes, often either reinforcing or redirecting the painting's path. A layering, shedding, and re-layering of materials creates a history and story within each painting, questioning the relationship of subject and background as objects become clear and fade away again. The final outcome results in an illusion of screened, fluid surfaces and objects interacting through the simplicities of color, texture, light and mark making.  For each individual painting, the viewer is left to navigate the dialogue between the foreground and background.  Displayed as a series, the paintings find their cohesion through the objects formed as a result of the pixelizing.  Ironically, where pixelization is often used in digital media to obscure an image, here it is utilized to make the viewer more aware of the details, at times even becoming the focal object of the paintings.