Review Me: Erin Starr: Passion and Empathy
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Monday, September 20, 2021

Erin Starr: Passion and Empathy

Erin, we are very grateful to talk to you and get familiar with your art career and creation via this interview. Tell us about your artstic background story and if there was a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your path as a visual artist?

I began drawing as a young child and exploring my creative interest. I think art is not only part of one’s creative ability, but it is within the heart and mind. Art has always been a part of who I am. I decided in High School I would pursue an art degree in college. It was during this time when I was particularly inspired with the traveling exhibit The Courtauld Collection in the late 1980’s, a collection of impressionist work. After reading the novel “Lust for Life” by Irving Stone, about Vincent Van Gogh, I understood art is a combination of creative ability and talent, and the feelings that are driving us to create. In college, my instructor Bette Sellers furthered my interest and confidence to continue with art. This inspiration, passion, and dedication are with me every day to create something new, explore, and grow as an artist.

Exactly! Art not only portrays the beauties, disproportions, and mystery of the world but also evokes feelings and thoughts. Was there ever a moment of doubt to question your art career entirely? If yes, what was your feeling at that moment, and how have you overcome the situation?

Art is always full of ups and downs, an endless journey of exploration. While creating is meaningful to myself, this personal dedication can be easily disappointing with the competitive art world. Facing galleries, exhibits, and rejection can either push me to do more or make me pause and rethink what I am doing and experiment with new techniques. I have never had the feeling to give up or quit. Painting has always been too important for me to let that happen. And the dedication has paid off with the appreciation from collectors and art shows I have so far accomplished, and all the ones I wish to come.

I appreciate your efforts and not being disappointed. I think it's because of your passion and the way you look at your art. Now, we are willing to know about your daily artistic life. What is your daily routine when working in your studio?

I begin my day in the studio in the morning. I have also always had my studio space at my home. Being in my home space has always been comforting to me to be able to walk away and return as often throughout the day as I need to. Sometimes I have to walk away from my work to see it more clearly, but I am then eager to get back to it. I generally always have music playing while I paint.

Take us through your process of making your artworks. How do you begin, where is your work endpoint, etc.? How do you move from an idea to an artwork? Where does an artwork begin for you? While I began my art career using primarily oil paint, and later acrylic, today I am constantly incorporating new and different mediums and exploring how they work together. I like to begin my painting with a wash of acrylic, but then layer the paint with ink that creates depth. I also use iridescent paint or ink that changes with the light as reflections do. With a pallet knife or a large brush, I like to create broad strokes of color that move across the canvas and flow like water. I sometimes incorporate other mediums like bronze powder or mica flakes. Because like the water I love the way the colors of rocks and minerals flow next to each other. I sometimes finish with oil color on part of the canvas because of the rich and semi-transparent color it can create.

Great job! Some artists tend to make their collections and artwork famous for a particular idea. They prefer to talk about a single concept and show different aspects of an approach. Is there a central concept connecting all your works together or each series or artwork is unique?

My work has changed over the years and moved into a more abstract direction. I spent years painting the female body, but also I explored flowers and landscapes. What was a foundation of all my work was the texture and movement of the paint. I have recently been drawn to the reflections and movements of water or the abstract colors of land forms. The textures, the layers, and the loosely flowing movements in which the paint can be applied have inspired these works. Also, as our environment becomes increasingly important to our future, I feel it is important to give people something to think about or to feel when they see my work. In my series “Peaceful Reflections” I use color and light to transcend into layers of reflections, contemplating life and our desire for tranquility. We need to preserve our natural environments to create a more peaceful world.

Inspiring is the most significant step in presenting a creative artwork. How do you get inspired? How do you seek and use inspiration for your works?

Nature is clearly the inspiration behind my work right now. But not as we see it, but as it makes us feel. I think that to feel nature’s beauty is to protect nature’s beauty. And protecting our natural environments is a message I wish to convey in my at this time. Erin, is there an artwork or series that you would like to be remembered for? And if yes, what is it? My current series is the most important series I have done so far. I particularly like the painting“waters reflection” because it was challenging, and it forced me to work it over and over until it felt complete. It has all the layers and depth I wanted to give the feeling of the water not just a visual of the water. Also, the painting titled, “sea of blue” draws attention to the soothing colors of the sea. It is not obvious that it is the sea, but is open for interpretation and feeling.

Now it's time to ask about your future endeavors because our readers are waiting to see more of you. Any upcoming works or future projects that you would like to share with our readers?

My latest exhibit was with MvVo, at the World Trade Center in NYC. My paintings were chosen by a prestigious selection committee to be displayed on gigantic screens in the Oculus during the month of May 2021. During 2021 I have or had exhibited with the Cape Cod Cultural Art Center in MA, the Visionary Project NY, The NYC Artwalk, James May Gallery, Artsy, SIY Gallery in San Francisco, Art Fluent, The Assessable Art Fair, and Spectrum Art Gallery in Connecticut. During 2021 my work has been published in the “Art Collectors Choice - The Middle East Edition”, “Artistonish” Magazine, and “Observica Magazine”, and Studio Visit Magazine. I am currently working on a large solo show for Ghent, Belgium coming in January of 2022.

Some artists or artworks were key influences in an artist’s art career in different eras. What are your art influences? Who are your favorite contemporary or historical artists and why?

I have several artists that have been important inspirations and for different reasons. Georgia O’Keefe is an inspiration to me because as a woman she found her place in the art scene in NYC. She remained an independent woman and created work her entire life with dedication and passion. I also love to gaze at the work of Vincent Van Gogh, to walk the same places in France where he painted. To feel his passion while looking at the fields and the light and the colors that he captured. He had a deep and tormented soul that transformed through his work into absolute beauty. I have also liked the work of William De Kooning his expressionist women and gestural strokes. I like the work of current artist Wangechi Mutu, she is a living artist, whose paintings of women inspire me.

So, if you could meet one of your ideal artists from the past, who would it be and what will you ask about?

I would like to meet Vincent Van Gogh while he worked on a painting in the south of France. I would like to ask him at what moment in his career did he feel the most peaceful, and during which painting did he feel satisfied? I’d like to watch him create in silence with the nature around us.

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