“Seeing the Light” an interview with Erika Perloff

1)    What inspired you to do art?  As long as I can remember, I have noticed the way light moves over and changes the things it touches. When I was very small I followed sunbeams like a cat and curled up in them to read or draw. My father would point out the quality of light when the late sun swept over the San Francisco Bay, or when the fog rolled in over the coastal hills. I have been chasing the light ever since, trying to hold it still so the beauty can last.

2)  You paint mostly landscapes.  Why?  My brother and I grew up outdoors, thanks to our parents, who embraced the California landscape with unbridled enthusiasm. Weekends were spent walking the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais. Summers were spent in the Sierra s exploring the granite peaks and wildflowers. Our home was surrounded by lush gardens that my mother grew.  My love for these landscapes grew under my skin and eventually became part of me. I knew I would always live more outdoors than in.  If I lived in a city I would paint cityscapes but I paint what is around me because there are paintings everywhere I look.

3) What aspects of your professional life have affected your work as an artist? Would you elaborate?  My style and appreciation for natural scenes is rooted in a deep connection to the land. My training as a biologist and work in the fields as a naturalist, park ranger and outdoor educator,  have  allowed me to infuse in my paintings a deep understanding of the landscape. When I am painting clouds I am thinking about what the wind is doing and whether they will bring rain.  When I paint foliage I am conscious of the species of tree and why it grows there.  Many of my works depict natural places threatened with development, or places where the civilized world meets the natural world.

4) What are your interests?  Over the years I developed a love for gardening, and am passionate about creating habitats, places for learning about nature and oases of beauty where there was nothing before. I also support environmental organizations through sales and donations of my art.

5) How do you fill your days?  I paint, and teach art to children and adults, and also work on the business end of being an artist. I feel that my job now is to witness the beauty of the world, and to share it though my paintings. When painting, I am completely at peace and alive. My paintings are very personal but when someone takes one home, I feel they have taken the wonder of nature into their lives to hold, as well as a chance to “see the light.”

To see her paintings and learn more about Erika click here: http://erikaperloff.com/

~ by tomandleslie on August 31, 2012.

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