Artist of Note | Erin Spencer

Taking shape

Erin Spencer, As Though it Were One Day, oil, 14 x 33.

Erin Spencer, As Though it Were One Day, oil, 14 x 33.

This story was featured in the March 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art March 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Erin Spencer’s landscape paintings are quiet and contemplative, pared down to the basic shapes and colors of a place without the distraction of anything human or man-made. “The landscape has a story to tell, and I feel connected to it wherever I am,” Spencer says. “The experiences I have there take on their own significance, and I want to document that little memory and put it down in color.”

While Spencer took a few high-school art classes and kept a sketchbook for a time, she never thought she would pursue art as a full-time career. But after finishing college, she began teaching herself how to paint in oils. “It wasn’t familiar to me at the time, but I always wanted to do it because it was ‘the noble art,’” she says. The textures andvibrant colors of oils allow her to directly translate the things that draw her to specific places.

Spencer began by painting from photos she took during a missionary trip to the Netherlands. She was drawn to painting the sky and its clouds. “It is a huge challenge to master painting clouds,” she says. “I definitely don’t feel like I’ve arrived at [mastering] it yet, but they are always there for you to paint.” Spencer describes her style of painting as impressionistic and painterly. She starts with a few simple shapes and builds the painting from there, avoiding specific details. “To me it feels more emotional focusing on those shapes and colors because I’m translating my memories of the relationships between them,” she says. —Mackenzie McCreary

Spencer is represented by Heirloom Art & Co., Provo, UT; www.foursquareart.com; and www.erinspencerart.com.

This story was featured in the March 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art March 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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