Artist Inspiration: Scott Erickson, Live Painter

“…Bringing the making of art into public places”

That’s the vision of my uber talented friend Scott Erickson. He’s a live painter. That doesn’t mean that he’s living and breathing (although obviously both are true) but that he paints publicly, while others sit, listen, sing, watch. Scott is the artist-in-residence at Ecclesia church in Houston as well as a traveling artist, creating art during sermons, worship services, concerts, conferences. He’s just amazingly talented (oh and an awesome karaoke singer… but that’s for another time). As an artist myself, I can’t imagine allowing hundreds or even thousands of people to watch me go through my creative process every time I create an illustration or book cover or whatever. It makes me nervous just thinking about it!

I met Scott probably about 6 years ago. I remember him having a few extra days in Nashville and us taking an afternoon to work on our own individual painting projects in my back yard. So fun. Around that time he was touring with a musician, painting live during each concert and then selling the finished work at the end of the show. He painted whatever stirred him about the songs, the place or whatever was on his heart and it was always amazing. If I were at the show I guarantee I wouldn’t be able to take my eyes of him creating. Why is that?

“It is the process that draws us in. And being an artist, I can say that the process is the best part of the art experience. Very few people ever get to see it though because we are a culture of finished products. We see finished art pieces hanging in galleries. We buy polished music records which have been worked and worked on until they are considered worthy to be packaged and sold at the local music store. Sure you may see a “making of” program on TV or on the special features menu option on your DVD, but most people never get to be on the creative process of making art.”

Man oh man do I love Scott’s paintings. They are bold, graphic, moving, funny. I was looking at Scott’s website today and was amazed many different things he paints these days. Beautiful pastel washed canvases, bold graphic patterns, Vespas, portraits for the TV show Lost (I’m not kidding). I’m still partial to his beautiful portraits of African children (many of while were sold to benefit organizations like World Vision, to provide for orphans and tell their stories), but as I designer I can’t help but love his newer graphic paintings. I’m already making a mental list of all the prints I want to buy and hang up all over my very tiny apartment and office. These two top my list:

So while I’m wadding up my doodles and deleting rejected photoshop files that aren’t “worthy” of being seen by my clients much less the public, Scott is bravely showing the world every step of his painting process, mistakes, imprefections, beauty and freedom, all within the time constraints for a sermon, concert or talk. And doing so brilliantly I might add. High fives to you, friend.

Check out Scott’s websites here and here. Wanna buy a print or painting? Check out his store here. Seriously. Do it.

All paintings © Scott Erickson

And because I know Scott would enjoy this as much as I do… a lil Friday funny for you all.

3 thoughts on “Artist Inspiration: Scott Erickson, Live Painter

  1. hey!!! i just hung out with Scott at a few conferences! that is awesome. i’m glad we know some of the same incredible people. and i’m with you, his work is beautiful and makes me be a bit more introspective – which i need. hope you are great!

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