In the first few years of my career, after leaving Concordia University, all of my studios were empty white spaces. I painted abstract paintings influenced by colourists such as Guido Molinari, Howard Hodgkin and Richard Diebenkorn.
In 2004 I was given a space to work in a house that I was looking after. For the first time I was working in a domestic space filled with plants, pottery and textiles. There was a table in front of a large window with a view of a pasture running down to the St. Lawrence River. I began to experiment with the historically rich motif of the still life in front of a window made familiar by Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard. This was the impetus for my Open Window series which I have continued to revisit as I have moved to different studios and different windows.
These images with saturated colourful relationships and intuitive compositions are always inspired by a real still life and then abstracted. Working with a small number of objects allows me to create personified subjects existing as entities, relating to each other. These groupings are pared down, simplified and somewhat playful.
I often use food as a subject due to its perishable nature and intense cultural importance. Fruits and vegetables have lovely organic shapes and colours which makes them a natural choice to work with.
I paint urgently. Working from life, I paint what I see, but it is processed through my emotional attachment to the subject matter. All of my work evolves directly from my environment and the objects that I find in it. Appearing ordinary and dealing with subject matter like food, or the domestic sphere my work chronicles daily life and elevates these subjects to be worthy of consideration as art.
Gallery of Erika's artwork on exhibit until July 12th, 2015
10 ARTISTS ~ ShagRug Collective closes Sunday November 30th at 5 pm The shag rug collective came together spontaneously through the generosity of Erica Olsen and Simon Andrew who invited some interested artists to participate in biweekly gatherings in Erica’s studio. The dominant yellow shag rug on the floor of Erica’s former studio became an obvious […]
Deborah Brown • Margaret Hughes • Robin Moon • Erika Olson • Lyn Rapin • Rose Stewart • Sharon Thompson • Lina Van Helvert • Jo Wren • Ron Wilkinson October 25th to November 30th, 2014 The shag rug collective came together spontaneously through the generosity of Erica Olsen and Simon Andrew who invited some interested […]