By Copper Williams
When Erin Elizabeth, lifelong Stocktonian and local artist, picks up her brush and preps her canvas, she’s not just getting ready to paint. She’s setting off on another adventure with an open mind, a palette of vibrant colors, and a world of opportunity at her fingertips. Stroke by stroke, any notion of control over her work diminishes. As she explains, “Each painting has its own personality and message that surprises me every time. The lesson is to let go of expectations and let the paint do its thing. It’s a constant practice of surrender and trust.”
This remarkable way of thinking and genuine acceptance for her work has led Erin to create a plethora of unique acrylics aligning her portfolio. From the amazing abstracts of her previous and current years, to the goddess paintings she holds dear, Erin has taken her town by storm, showcasing her incredible affinity for art and the lessons she’s learned far from home. It has also opened a new chapter in her life, through the University Park World Peace Rose Garden (UPWPRG) in Stockton, of which she is now the house artist.
Erin’s creative passions began at a very young age. From piano lessons with her mother, to hours hunched over paint-by-number designs, her artistic outlets were strong. During high school, Erin only took one art course, but it left a permanent impact. “I wouldn’t talk to anyone,” she recalls. “Just in the zone, and loving every minute of it. My art teacher and I both cried a little bit at the end of the year when I graduated. That’s always stayed with me.”
It took leaving California for Erin to truly begin a shift toward her calling. After tackling college and a few careers, the Stockton native studied closely with a few key artists whom solidified her love. “Traveling the world was the best education I could have asked for. I was curious. I wanted to see how the world worked, how people lived. I was [looking] for a purpose outside of myself, and I thought traveling the globe I’d eventually find it. I learned my purpose was within me the whole time.”
The artist returned to Stockton, her very first canvas, and there opportunities bloomed. After discussing a peony painting with world renowned artist Eric Zener, he advised Erin to continue working with flowers. She turned to close friend Meredith Baker for a chance to paint the roses Sandy and Kevin Huber, Meredith’s parents, were maintaining as part of their prep for the UPWPRG project, debuting April 21st.
“Several quickly-sold rose paintings later, teamed with a strong demand for more similar paintings via social media, Sandy and I decided to team up and support each other. A portion of each rose painting sale goes to the UPWPRG, and I believe so much in the message of the project. Our collaboration was meant to be.”
Between her Abstract Alchemy classes, showcasing her works with the UPWPRG, Art Expressions of San Joaquin, and several other galleries, it’s no surprise that Erin is constantly enthralled with her calling. And a little advice for those looking to follow theirs? “Take a leap, it’s worth it. Life is too short to hold back. Honor yourself, your light, your gift…and see what happens.”
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