Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff Art Blog

Tips, Tricks, Thoughts, and inspiration from across the art spectrum.

Featured Artist: Erin Berrett, Contemporary Realism Oil Painter

Oil Painting by Erin Berrett, Nostalgic painting of a Bernina sewing machine with spools of thread.

Ampersand Gessobord artist Erin Berrett is a contemporary realism oil painter best known for her still-lifes. Some of her favorites are meaningful commissions that have sweet or fun and quirky backstories. Ampersand checked in with Berrett and asked her to share some of her most memorable commissions and the stories behind the paintings.

Nostalgic painting of a Bernina sewing machine with spools of thread.Nostalgic painting of a Bernina sewing machine with spools of thread.
Bernina, 24" x 18", Oil on Ampersand Gessobord

"This was a mother’s sewing machine. One daughter has the sewing machine, the other daughter has the painting. Both are well-loved."


Painted collection of little girl's shoes all in a line.Painted collection of little girl's shoes all in a line.
…and Everything Nice, 6" x 18", Oil on Ampersand Gessobord

"A mother mailed me a giant box full of her daughter’s shoes. She let me choose my favorites for this fun, playful composition."


Painting of a smal house of cards.Painting of a smal house of cards.
House of Cards, 30" x 30", Oil on Ampersand Gessobord

"This large commission hangs above a shuffleboard table in Sun Valley, along with 30" dominos and poker chips. It’s a pretty cool game room!"


Painting of an antique citrus juicer with lemon halves, and a toaster.Painting of an antique citrus juicer with lemon halves, and a toaster.
Hard-pressed, 36" x 36", Oil on Ampersand Gessobord

"These items belonged to this family’s grandmother. They still use her toaster and juicer daily. Such a nice way to preserve her memory."


Painting of a stack of fiction books.Painting of a stack of fiction books.
Unbroken, 24" x 24", Oil on Ampersand Gessobord

"A wife surprised her husband in my studio, under the pretense of running an errand before his birthday dinner. He was so surprised! Each book has a special meaning to him. I loved this commission, and the thoughtfulness that went into it, so much."


Painted row of 4 multi-colored, connected children's wagons.Painted row of 4 multi-colored, connected children's wagons.
Twins, 6" x 12", Oil on Ampersand Gessobord

"This adorable family has 2 sets of twins. When they were all under 4 this was their transportation around the neighborhood. Pure childhood joy! (The family had me paint it again, 60", for their kitchen.)"


Painting of 4 uncorked champagne bottles.Painting of 4 uncorked champagne bottles.
New Year, 10" x 8", Oil on Ampersand Gessobord

"These champagne splits were from a couple that was celebrating their friend’s 40th birthday party. Cheers to that!"


Painting of a stack of books with a fly fishing reel sitting on top.Painting of a stack of books with a fly fishing reel sitting on top.
Rather Be Fishing, 16" x 16", Oil on Ampersand Gessobord

"This is a family portrait… a Mom book, a book for each daughter, and a fishing reel for the Dad (because he prefers fishing over reading!)."


Painting of brown baby shoes.Painting of brown baby shoes.
First Steps, 16" x 16", Oil on Ampersand Gessobord

"Their first child’s baby shoes. The little boy had an adorable tendency to stand on his toes like this. That extra gesture made me feel warm and fuzzy."


Painting of a stack of cookbooks.Painting of a stack of cookbooks.
Sea Salt Sweet, 12" x 12", Oil on Ampersand Gessobord

"These are a pastry chef’s favorite cookbooks. She brought me dozens of beautiful books to choose from… it was a tough decision. (I couldn’t actually decide, so it turned into a whole series of cookbook paintings!)"


Erin W. Berrett

Erin W. Berrett is a Salt Lake City painter and graduate of the University of Utah (BFA, 1998).

"I push myself to be abstract in the details while still achieving the perception of reality. When I paint, I never blend. Instead, I layer thousands of marks side-by-side, swaths of color that are then translated by the observer. Two inches of panel viewed from a few inches away might have a hundred brushstrokes that seem to form nothing, but when the piece is considered as a whole, the effect is highly representational."

To see more of Erin's work, visit her website and Instagram.

This blog post originally came from the Ampersand Blog and is reproduced with permission.


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