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Artist Paul Erlandson

About My Art

My work is about tiny slivers of time or things hidden in corners of the universe. By lavishing love on these small and time-bound details, I aim to elevate and honor them.

My paintings are realistic renderings of the material world, but I hope to illuminate the invisible, spiritual world beyond. I am interested in multiple dichotomies: affliction and glory; the sacred and the profane; bondage and freedom; smooth and rough. Some paintings are about the beauty found in beaten or decaying objects. Others are about the pain endured in the pursuit of aesthetic perfection. Beauty, glory, majesty … nothing comes cheaply.

I make medium to large-scale work and use small brushes to achieve the desired level of detail. I work exclusively in oils which allows me time to blend and adjust the fine details. This painstaking process means I complete only about a dozen paintings each year.

Although I sometimes create portraits for the simple pleasure of capturing a face or body in paint, I prefer to include some element of mystery, conflict, or paradox in my paintings. The simple portrait may present the subject’s best look – an image they would be glad to share on social media, or hang in their home. But I experience more excitement when one or more of these other elements is present, yielding an image that expresses something more profound about the world and our lives.

​“It is this silent swerving from accuracy by an inch that is the uncanny element in everything.” – G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

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