“I touch the Earth with my heart and paint the Spirit of the Land.”
Sadly, Reif Erickson passed away on March 26, 2015.
Reif Erickson was a regional artist with works in public, corporate and private collections throughout the Pacific Coast and Japan. He attributed the success of his 38-year career to painting with pastels “on location,” or what he called Fresh Air painting. Through careful observation and technical expertise, he created masterful landscapes, or “Earthscapes,” of his travels in California and abroad.
“My original inspiration has always been nature, and its calming effect. 24 years after I started painting, I was diagnosed as being bi-polar, so on some level I was self-medicating with my art most of my life.”
Erickson’s paintings are more than pigment and paper; his Earthscapes take you beyond what is seen. Paintings which distill the essence of sound, sand, wind, and sun invite you to take the journey with Erickson and touch the Earth again.
Erickson’s origins as painter began when his father, a black and white photography enthusiast, gave him a Yashicamat camera at the Seattle Worlds Fair. While visiting, Erickson was inspired by the architecture. At age 28 he returned to college to study art at Gonzaga University and completed a BA in 1981. Next he studied with Sergei Bongart (1918-1985) who inspired him to seriously paint outside.
He relocated to Sacramento in 1983 and to Auburn, in the Sierra foothills, in 1999. In 1990 he opened a studio in Sacramento on J Street, complete with limo delivery service to the studio on on Second Saturdays. He has been represented by galleries for most of his career, and has enjoyed teaching pastel landscape for the last 5 years at his home studio.