Living in the breathtaking mountains of Colorado, Eric Candee gathers inspiration from his surroundings. Eric has been a full-time artist for the last 15 years, concentrating mostly on sculpture. His interest in art started at a much younger age, though, when he experimented with watercolors and other media. His father, who was an environmental artist, had a big influence on the direction Eric took in art, and it prompted the young artist to express his ideas about the macrocosm through his art. Eric's appreciation for the environment continued to grow throughout his early years. When his father introduced Eric to the works of Edward Abbey, noted author and environmental activist, the exposure pushed him to consider more strongly the fate of our planet. It was through reading Desert Solitude that Eric began to better understand where humans are in relation to the Earth and where we are heading. For Eric, it became important to convey the preciousness of the environment and the relationship between industry and nature in his sculptures. Two other noteworthy artists who inspired him were the profound sculptor and environmentalist, Andy Goldworthy and the enigmatic jewelry designer, James Olsen.
Sculpture was what initially caught Eric's attention, and he created large mixed media pieces that could be hung on the wall for display. He used metals, rocks, woods and other natural elements in his thought-provoking pieces that looked simple and elegant but were extremely complex both in technique and meaning. Through his work, he explored nature combined with that which was man made. Over time, Eric began to realize that he wanted to embrace different media. His desire was to present his work in a new context, producing art that kept his message alive but was created in a calmer, more quiet way. The result was something that could be made on canvas, a much lighter and more delicate creation.
For Eric, it was important to show shadows and subtleties by layering and working with an acrylic medium on the canvas. In this new and exciting technique that he created, he develops texture by building and combining the pigmented medium in strata and then abrading areas to reveal specific layers underneath. In a way, he has found a method that allows him to show what would be virtually imperceptible using two-dimensional instruments such as charcoal or pencil.
Eric believes that art can touch and inspire people. He strongly feels that we are emerging into an important time in history, a pivotal point on which a significant event may unfold. How we choose to treat our environment and what we do now will greatly affect the next generation. Eric makes every effort to provide a positive role model and attempts to inspire others to appreciate what we have. His hope is that through his art he can excite and encourage others to explore their own passions and creative juices. He feels we all have the ability to express our inner creativity through different media. For Eric, being in and appreciating the environment is a reminder that we are all connected and should strive to have greater compassion for each other and the planet.
From the artist on his new series:
Eric Candee is a mixed media artist living in CO, who creates environmental art and symbolic objects. A life-long passion for the rivers, forests and deserts of the West inspires his artistic focus on natural themes. “Through the Trees” is a new series that reflects the sublime beauty of Colorado’s aspen forests. Earth friendly and sustainable materials are used to create these highly realistic “ aspen trees” in an abstracted format. A combination of many layers, “Through the Trees” embraces the feeling of an aspen grove with a contemporary and architectural presentation that echoes society’s connection to nature. Eric’s individual blend of symbolic media with an emphasis on natural elements is dedicated to the beauty and peace of Colorado’s wild places. Believe in Art!
More new work:
Some of Eric's older sculptures: