Eric’s education as an artist is a rather unusual one. Much of his training is the result of Mentor/Student tutoring in individual art forms. In some cases, the relationship has been closer to the old Master/Apprentice training model often associated with highly-focused, classic education. As a result of this intense instruction in multiple disciplines, Eric mastered drawing in graphite, charcoal, and pastels at an early age. By the time he was 13, he was on his way to mastering watercolor, oil, acrylics and gouache.
At 17, Eric was looking for a new medium. He had talked often about sculpting, but it was not offered in a school setting he could afford. Eric remembers: “I just got sick of throwing pots in a pottery class in High School and asked my teacher if I could do a bust for my assignment instead of a pot. He agreed. Thus began my sculpture career!” He went on to work in a bronze foundry as an apprentice for a year, making the leap from his initial and only ceramic bust, a WWII pilot, into bronze. Eric’s first bronze, a half-life of a great religious leader, was selected for one of the few prizes in an international art competition when he was 19.
Eric feels equally strong in all of the mediums of art. He has a deep love for art, and great respect for the power it can wield. Eric’s great pleasure is giving “life” and material substance to the great visions, tender loves and gentle dreams, whether they are his own or others.
Eric is often asked if he has plans to go to a University for additional training. “Well, I tried that for a while,” he responded. “I recognize that this talent is a gift, and I’m very grateful for it. I believe that talents can not be taught. Skills can be taught, but not talents. Talent can only be refined through discipline, dedication, focus, hard work, and recognition and rejection of mediocrity. Mediocrity seems to be the established standard in many colleges, if you take time to look at the works of students and tenured professors selected for display in the on-campus galleries. This is why I have a hard time with going to school (college). I believe that knowledge can be taught, ignorance diminished, and skills learned, but talents cannot be imparted. I believe that I’m responsible for my making a success with my talents, not others. No school will make me a success.
This is a business as well as a passion to me. I am constantly looking for ways to better myself and will for the rest of my life. Therefore I, and not others, will select from the roster of those whose talents and skills are greater than mine, and will seek to study under them.”