Erin Westenskow Berrett

Gallery Affiliations: J. Willott Gallery, Williams Fine Art

Region: West

City / State: Salt Lake City, UT

The paradox of the term “still life” inspires me. There’s a fundamental tension between the still and the life, and that’s what I try to capture when I paint. To me, objects are never completely motionless, or emotionless for that matter, but seem to tremble and vibrate. The vibrations are produced not only by the construction of the object, but by the external forces exerted on it—the angle of the light, for instance, and the perspective of the viewer. I push myself to be as abstract as possible in the details but to still achieve the perception of reality. To do this, I’m meticulous in placing the object and getting exactly the right light. Then, when I paint, I never blend. Instead, I place thousands of precise strokes side-by-side, swaths of color that are then translated by the observer. Two inches of canvas viewed from a few inches away might have a hundred strokes that seem to form nothing, but when the piece is considered from a distance, the effect is highly representational.