Since we can’t hang out with our Harwood Studio Artists in person right now, we asked them to share a little bit about their art practice and how things have changed for them since the stay-at-home order went into effect. Here is our interview with Eric Romero. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Eric Romero, La Manzana, 12×12 oil on wood, 2019
How is your life, your practice, and your art the same or different now than it was at the beginning of the year?
ER: There is a definite silver lining to this pandemic for me, I am able to spend more time with my wife and daughter. Living under quarantine has taught me to relax,stop and focus on the truly important things, like holding my daughter and watching the sun rise every day and making my wife smile with my goofy dances. This time that I have spent with my family is truly one of the happiest moments of my life.
How has Covid-19 challenged or changed your art practice?
ER: Due to the pandemic I have had two painting sales cancelled and one postponed. Within a couple weeks my print and commission sales completely vanished. As an artist nothing is guaranteed, so this was nothing new. I have to say that the stress of providing for my family based on my ability to create has greatly subsided. It has been a healing process to take a break from the commercial side of the business and focus on the cerebral and emotional creative aspect.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
ER: For me, creative inspiration does not have one inlet. The catalyst for inspiration comes from a variety of sources in my work. I always try to form a bond of familiarity with my audience and express abstract ideas that exceed my ability to communicate verbally. As a child my mom would say that whenever I was having a hard time in life I would be drawing. This helped me to put on paper what I could not with words. I find a sense of clarity through art that helps the inspirational process.
What are you working on right now?
ER: I just finished a small retablo “Sana Sana”. I couldn’t resist especially now to make a small still life of the New Mexican cure all, of Vick’s, 7up, a votive candle and reciting Sana Sana. As a child my mom would always say that to me and it really does help. My baby recently was sick and it brought me to tears when I got to say it to her.
Eric Romero, Sana Sana, 12×10 oil on board, 2020
What memorable response(s) have you had to your work?
ER: Participating in the Harwood open studios over the years I have had some interesting and memorable responses to my work. One of my all time favorites was a kid who walked in, ate three cookies while staring at one of my pieces and said. “You are pretty good, can I have some more cookies?” On a more personal note, I do find a great deal of honor and gratitude when people have such a strong emotional response that they have teared up. It has happened a couple of times and I am eternally grateful for being able to experience that.
What are you trying to communicate with your art?
ER: The majority of my work deals with empowerment through storytelling within the composition. I love philosophy and symbology and try to create a narrative that is powerful to the viewer. Something that they can see in themselves and have pride in.
What is your dream project? If there were no restrictions on time or money, what would you create?
ER: 100×100 canvas I can work on until I die. Just one painting without having to worry about finances and just focus on working and learning through that one painting. No one ever has to see it, it would be life’s work.
Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven’t yet?
ER: I have always wanted to try performance experimental art. I want to have a one man show reciting word for word the feature film “The Big Lebowski” in the nude on top of the Sandias on the vernal equinox to an audience of woodland creatures.
Eric Romero, Burque Transplant, 36×24 oil on canvas, 2019
What are you currently interested in?
ER: I am interested in beating fellow artist Zahra Marwan in a bicep building contest. From what I hear she has major gains and continues to taunt me on social media.
What excites and / or delights you in your art practice right now?
ER: Right now, seeing other artists work is incredibly exciting and inspiring. What people have done internationally and especially locally speaks to the beauty and resilience of human existence. Perhaps now more than ever people are creating art for art’s sake, and I think that is incredibly beautiful.
How can people learn more, support, and or purchase your work?
About Eric Romero:
Born and raised under the New Mexican sun, Romero draws inspiration from the Land of Enchantment. His allegorical figurative paintings echo the Old Masters in technique and methodology. Catholicism, mythology and New Mexican social landscape have influenced his oil paintings to tell a rich story of history, culture and mysticism. Working in the medium of oil, he tirelessly and painstakingly pays close attention to detail within the paintings often paints hidden symbology within the composition. Self-taught in Baroque and Renaissance technique, his paintings have a feeling of mannerism combining bold color with metaphorical imagery.
Eric Romero, Family Studio Shot
Eric Romero, Fe Sin Fronteras, 36×28 oil on canvas, 2020
Eric Romero, Ignem Orando, 40×30 oil on canvas
Eric Romero, Still Life #1
Eric Romero, Ode to Salsa, 16×20 oil on canvas, 2019
Eric Romero, See, Hear, Speak (1/3), 10×10 oil on canvas, 2020
Eric Romero, See, Hear, Speak (2/3), 10×10 oil on canvas, 2020
Eric Romero, See, Hear, Speak (3/3), 10×10 oil on canvas, 2020