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Artist Interview: Eric Sandefur

Lickable art?  Well, not quite, but you may be tempted.  During the month of February, Artwork Network is showcasing a collection of vibrant abstracts from Colorado artist Eric Sandefur.  Devoid of political or social driven messages, these candy-colored creations aim only to induce a little happiness.  We asked him a few questions about his artwork – and why it’s so lickable.

“Groover” by Eric Sandefur

Why do you work with oils?

Eric Sandefur: The two biggest reasons I like working with oils is because of the slow drying time and the thick body.  I need to have slow drying paint so it will allow me to apply thick layers then cut into those layers.  If the paint was dry I would not be able to cut into the layers and the colors would not mix correctly on the canvas.  Because of the thick layers I can cut into them providing tons of structure.

How has your work evolved over time?

Eric Sandefur: I started with Pastels.  I moved into oils so I could create bigger pieces.  When first starting with oils I used brushes and hated it.  I spent all my time cleaning the brushes.  Motivated by easy clean up and maintenance I went to pallet knives and color shapers.  I currently have three different techniques I use when painting with oils.  All of which use only pallet knives and color shapers.  Two of the techniques are byproducts of my cut in technique that is displayed in the February show.

A close up from one of Eric Sandefur’s paintings

Where do you get the inspiration for your artwork?

Eric Sandefur: Color mainly.  Most of my paintings are an experiment in color combinations and what I can bring to life on the canvas.  My paintings are not politically or socially driven.  They are simply and hopefully something for the viewer to sit back and enjoy the color and structure.

What is your favorite reaction someone has had to your work? What was the most deflating?

Eric Sandefur: A little girl came up and licked a piece.  With my cut in work, it is very common for people to come up real close to a piece and investigate.  They want to touch it real bad and sometimes do! (I don’t mind).  Never has a piece provoked a tongue swiping.
Deflating would be jurors and galleries writing or telling me my work was not good enough to get in the show.  I realize this a part of the business, but as someone recently entering the art world my ego needs to be validated.

After people see your art, what do you want them to walk away with?

Eric Sandefur: Happiness.

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