*a few words
Oh hey there internet user. I am Eric Carbrey.
Above is a picture of me standing at the door of my studio.
Eric Carbrey is a painter from Kansas, yes right in the heart of the country some are capable of producing awesome art. One of his first run ins with art was a few years back. September or October 1991. How does he know such an exact time period? He was nine years old and his older brother went up to him with a drawing that he said he drew of Mario from the video game Super Mario World. Eric’s first thought was wow, quickly followed by I bet can draw better than that. And so he tried and tried, only to find out weeks later that his brother had traced the September 1991 cover of Nintendo Power magazine to obtain his “drawing.” Even though Eric found out that his brother had bamboozled him he was hooked. Eric’s relationship with art has grown a bit more complex since that time and his interest in the visual has only strengthened. Eric is fairly sure that he could still out draw his brother, and he is also fairly sure that his brother is out of practice, besides Eric’s game of choice is now Tetris.
Eric creates geometric art that feels as if the shapes are growing into their current frozen positions. He tries to create complexity with simplicity, and at the same time simplicity with complexity.
“I enjoy being challenged by my work. I experience great delight in the physical demands of painting, and the processes of creating. I experience great pleasure walking into a lumber yard and deciding which one of the pieces of wood will end up as a work of art. The demands of color choice and consideration of how the pigments will play with and against each other, are all an enjoyable parts of the creation process.”
Shape and space, it is these elements that create an alliance between calm and chaos in his paintings. The calm comes from the use of solid flat color and intentional deliberate lines and bold simple shapes that create a marriage with chaos and disorder that can be found in the sheer amount of lines, the number of shapes and the complexity of the layers that create depth within the painting. Its rhythm and rhyme, up and down, a flow in and out of itself. The union of calm and chaos create harmony.
“It is my hope that these paintings construct a rich evocative visual experience. My work combines color and shape, with compositional structure and illusion of space formulating works that are both pleasing and challenging to the eye.”
A few Eric facts:
Eric’s favorite color is teal. Not bright in your face teal but the kind of teal that is mellow bluish sea foam teal, deep teal, brown is also up there on his favorites list, least favorite color is gold or neon anything.
Eric has a wife, a son, and 3 dogs.
Eric went to art school and graduated with a degree in studio arts and a geology minor.
Eric enjoys gardening, reading, and hearing a good joke.
Eric dislikes writing art bios in the third person. But he does it anyways.
Interesting fact about current work:
Each painting takes around 20 hours of actual painting time and over a week to complete due to drying times in between layering
All paintings were done with paint obtained from a recycling center. Special thanks to Robin Carbrey for all the help in acquiring the paint from the recycling center. No new paint was used in the making of these paintings. The paint used had been abandoned by its previous owners because the color was not “right” or it had been sitting on a shelf in their garage for the past several years and its original owners grew tired of looking at it so they relinquished ownership of the paint. That is where Eric stepped in and instead of having the paint go through the industrial process of recycling he took the paint and put it to work.
My art follows a few rules. Rules not to constrict but to set free. Think of it as a magnifying glass concentrating the sun’s energy to set the world on fire.
The set of rules followed is called the Formula, and the Formula is as follows:
My paintings are neither portraits or landscapes that is why I paint on squares.
There must be 9 colors. The only exception is when there is 8 or when there is 10.
All paint will be flat. No shading, no fade.
The lines and shapes should be crisp.
There must be three visible layers to each painting, never 2, rarely 4
Top layer is laid down first, subsequent layers are constructed under the top layer.
Sub layer will consist of:
Two coats of gesso
Layer one will consist of:
One flat color that will become the outline of the main shape on the top of the painting.
Layer two will consist of:
A main shape aka top shape. Top shape can take the form of any of the following.
-Curved line aka U shape
-Curved Line with cut
-Block shape aka Soviet shape
Layer two: coloring process
1st color- shape top color, main color of main shape
2nd color-shape side color aka shape crooked ladder color
3rd color- will be painted filling in the outside of Main Shape and will become either the outline or main color of layer 3 aka mid level
optional 4th color- if cut exists, or top of extra shape exists then a 4th color will be present on the main shape layer two known as top shape
Remembering that the outline color of main shape is the flat color of layer one
What was laid down for layer one, bottom coat, is now outline for the main shape.
Top shape is laid out first and must consist of 3 colors the only exception is when there are four colors.
Layer three aka mid layer, will lay directly under main shape or top shape, visible layer 2 from the top, will consist of:
one color that is the outside of shape color of layer 2
one other color that will be the fill color
one color that will be outside of mid layer shape layout and will become bottom shape color for layer 4 or bottom layer
Design options for layer three mid layer:
curved shape layer
curved shape layer with style
box lines aka getting close to plaid
lines group by line group
one ended ovals at tilt
double hollow oval with connecting lines, aka extra-terrestrial shape
line shape with squares color inside
lines with lines everywhere
the two color layer three, mid shape, exceptions are single color bands aka horizontal striping, and line bands with angle tilt and single color line with single color lines under forming another layer with same rules applying to both layers, therefor considered one layer
Layer four, bottom layer, visible layer 3, last layer to be painted, no outline on any shape no exception, will consist of:
2 to 5 colors
very bottom color is color that is outside color of layer two, now used as the ground floor of the painting and built upon for layer 4 or the third visible layer aka bottom layer, Design options for layer four bottom layer:
solid lines at a slant
boxes of color with slant sides
3-D boxes with 4 colors. note outline color on third layer, 2nd visible layer become outline for box 3-D shapes.
approximately inch rectangle on a ridged grid
rays, rays must consist of a minimum of 2 colors with ray outline being outline color of second visible layer, several forms of rays and ray edging exists including but not limited to: ray go round, ray with thick ray with thin, ray then thick ray then thin
a pattern should emerge in layer 4, 3rd visible layer, aka bottom layer.
On to the paintings. I create geometric art that feels as if the shapes have grown into their position. I create off intuition and create something that the viewer of my art can get lost in. In some paintings I try to create space, some to take it away, some I try to create complexity with simplicity, and in others simplicity with complexity. I want to paint painterly spectacles, places that your eyes and mind can get lost in. I work to remove clutter from my work, making it “clean”. Painting to me is more of a craft of letting go while striving to obtain perfection. I enjoy being challenged by my work. I experience great delight in the physical demands of painting, and the processes of creating. I experience great pleasure walking into a lumber yard and deciding which one of these pieces of wood will end up as a work of art. The demands of color choice and consideration of how the pigments will play with and against each other. Then there is shape and space, these elements create an alliance between calm and chaos in my paintings. The calm comes from the use of solid flat color and intentional deliberate lines and shapes creating a marriage with the chaos and disorder that can be found in the sheer amount of lines, the number of shapes and the complexity of the layers that create depth within the painting. Its rhythm and rhyme, up and down, a flow in and out of itself. The union of calm and chaos create harmony. It is my hope that these paintings construct a rich evocative visual experience. My work combines color and shape, with compositional structure and illusion of space formulating works that are both pleasing and challenging to the eye.
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