Summit Artist Residency

Abel Summit Artist Residency 2015

Last week I was invited out for a Summit Artist Residency at Powder Mountain in Eden, Utah.  This was my first Artist Residence program and I was looking forward to getting out of my comfort zone and pushing a little further into the unknown. Here’s some thoughts I went into it with…

Artist Statement:

The act of creating art has taken up a significant amount of the waking hours in my life.  Searching for a balance and a way to combine my true creative passions, interests and directions, with a way to be able to make a living, has always been THE challenge. Frustration, excitement, inspiration and self doubt are emotions that I battle with everyday in the studio. There has always been a compromise in the end.  It’s rarely that I get to truly create art from pure instinct without some sort of end goal such as showing, selling or licensing my work. I believe monetary goals stifle the creative spirit, creative process and creative progress.

During my Summit Artist Residence, I will be creating 4-6 pieces of work, on cradled wood panels made from sustainably harvested forests in the Pacific Northwest.

The first goal is to create a cohesive series of nonrepresentational work inspired by the surroundings around Eden/Powder Mountain as well as ideas and inspirations I’ve never had the chance to explore.  These wood panels will act as a base to the work. The completed pieces may include other materials and objects attached.

The second goal is to reach outside of my comfort zone and make art without a preconceived sketch or idea of the final product.  I currently spend a lot of time sketching out ideas and compositions and usually have a pretty solid vision and colored rendering of what a piece will look like in the end.  During the residency I will be working intuitively and spontaneously using nothing but the panel to start the process and guide me through to the end.      

- Erik Abel, Summit Artist Residence,  January 2015

Upon arrival and after being shown around, I was struck with the idea of GROWTH.  Everything the Summit crew is doing and planning for seems to exude this concept.  The trees and plants in the valley seemed to be thinking the same. It was unseasonably warm.  I was in a t-shirt painting outside the first day and Spring was in the air.  So I decided to loosely base my art for the week around plant based forms like pine trees and various others.  That was it.  The first 2 pieces just flowed, no sketches or scribbles.  The last 2 pieces I cheated and messed around with some small thumbnail sketches.  It’s hard to break habit.

Here is the work I created on 4, 24″x24″ wood panels, in chronological order, with some detail shots at the end:

Abel Summit Artist Residency 2015

Abel Summit Artist Residency 2015

Abel Summit Artist Residency 2015

Abel Summit Artist Residency 2015

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I got to explore some different texture techniques and detail work as well as just loosen up with the brush and not worry too much about covering all my base layers., which adds some great little peeks at the foundation.  It’s nice to not have goals while creating a piece of art.  My normal studio time is very valuable. I always feel like the time spent painting must be for a reason, like a commercial project or a piece for an upcoming gallery show.  I hate wasting time.  Last week made me realize that having fun without pressure and experimenting with different techniques is anything but a waste, it’s definitely necessary to push my work to the next level.  Even if I only come out of it with one new technique I want to use in a future painting, it’s all worth it.  It’s a tiny door into a whole new world of exploration.

Here’s some more shots of these in the making:

Abel Summit Artist Residency 2015

Abel Summit Artist Residency 2015

Abel Summit Artist Residency 2015

Abel Summit Artist Residency 2015

One thing I was really pumped about, was to see what my buddy and fellow artist, Griffin Loop would be able to come up with.  (He just finished a 60 foot long, all steal paper airplane sculpture as well as has sculptures hanging in the center of Wynwood Walls in Miami… check out his Instagram @griffinloop)  We ended up raiding a nearby barn and finding some old wood and rusted corrugated sheet metal and here’s what we made… and 8ft tall metal framed beast:

Erik Abel X Griffin Loop Collaboration

Erik Abel X Griffin Loop Collaboration

Erik Abel X Griffin Loop Collaboration

Erik Abel X Griffin Loop Collaboration

Erik Abel X Griffin Loop Collaboration

Erik Abel X Griffin Loop Collaboration

Ideas hashed, boundaries pushed, visions materialized… this was a fun and challenging creation. The eyes have been peeled back a bit and I want to make more. Hats off to Mr. Loop.

Thanks to the Summit crew for taking me in for the week.  You folks have a great thing going.  So much passion, inspiration and good vibes… and insanely delicious food!!  Special thanks to Marshall B. for documenting the week (most of these pics are from him) and all the support thoughout.  I am grateful.  Cheers.

Abel Summit AR

Studio Ape got a new lid!

Studio Ape got a new lid

Meet our Studio Ape.  You wanna know who packs your orders?  Studio Ape.  Who cleans brushes and mixes paint?  Studio Ape.  Who works deals with the galleries and shops?  Studio Ape.  You get the picture.  For his 90 hours of work last week, we rewarded him with a shiny new hat.  He wanted the red one, by simply pointing and grunting.  We think it’s because the illustration reminds him of the symmetry and cycles of nature with it’s simplified wave design by Erik Abel.

We’re testing the waters with limited quantities of these two premium hats.  So pick up one while you can!

Features:

• Full color, sublimated illustration

• Breezy steezy mesh back, snap back

• “…LIVE TO SURF TO LIVE…” seam tape

• Embossed leather ABEL signature patch

• Custom woven inner label

• One size fits most all

Available right now in the Store HERE>

Abel Hats

 

Abel Hat - Blue/Black

Artwork for the 2014 Reef Hawaiian Pro

2014 Reef Pro art by Erik Abel

I’m stoked Reef asked me to create the artwork for the 2014 Reef Hawaiian Pro, the first event of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

You may recall the artwork I did for the 2011 Reef Hawaiian Pro.

We’ll be headed out to the North Shore for the event November 12-23 and I’ll be live painting on the beach.  The painting is going to be raffled off with proceeds going towards our upcoming Abel Arts Collective project with local Oahu Non-profits, Pangea Seed and Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.

Looking foreword to some big warm tubes…

2014 Reef Hawaiian Pro Artwork

2014 Reef Hawaiian Pro Artwork

2014 Reef Hawaiian Pro Artwork

 

New Art at Wyland Gallery Haleiwa, North Shore

Erik Abel Original Art

My “North Shore Collection” of new paintings is now hanging at the Wyland Gallery in Haleiwa.

Take a look at the new pieces HERE 

Call or stop by the gallery for pricing if interested.

Wyland Gallery Haleiwa
Northshore Marketplace
66-250H Kamehameha Hwy.
Haleiwa, HI 96712
Phone: 808.637.8729

Launching Abel Design Co. at Westedge Design Fair

Abel Design Co. Water Clock

Yes, the day of reckoning is finally here.  After much blood, sweat, and tears (Tears are all from the wife of course) we’re proud to announce the launch of our newest endeavor, Abel Design Company.  In the never ending quest for challenge and expression in my art, I’ve decided to dive into the world of product design, home decor, and sculptural art.  While a departure from the wave scenes and surf art you are used to, this new realm let’s me branch out into other areas of inspiration and push the boundaries of my creativity.

Please join us at West Edge Design Fair, October 16-19th in Santa Monica, CA for the official launch of Abel Design Co. and to check out all the stuff that’s been giving me anxiety attacks for the last several months.  This game ain’t easy.

Go LIKE the Abel Design Co. Facebook Page for sneak peeks and follow the voyage.Abel Design Co.

Art Show Sept 6th, Carpinteria, CA

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I’ll have some new paintings and mixed media drawings hanging up at Island Brewing Company in Carpinteria for the month of September.   It’s a cozy little joint near the beach with delicious beer and not much else.  So if your are in the area Saturday Sept 6th, come treat your tastebuds to a few brews and your sightbuds to a few views.  I’m be lurking around with a few prints for sale and maybe a few other goodies.

Island Brewing Company
5049 Sixth Street
(Linden at the Railroad Tracks)
Carpinteria, California 93013

Come clank my glass and say hi.

Vagabonde Surf Art Festival, France

Vagabonde Surf Art Festival

Bonjour!  I’m happy to announce I’ll be participating in the Vagabonde Surf Art Festival in Bordeaux, France July 3-6th at the Helle De Chartrons.  Along with having nine new pieces of art showing, I’ll be attending the show and live painting on a pair of breasts… hey, it’s France right?  Actually, it’s a plaster cast of a pair of breasts for the Keep-A-Breast Foundation, but it should still be fun, and it’s for a good cause… saving boobies.

For the show, I created a series of nine triangle paintings and was fortunate enough to have master woodworker, John Birchim (www.jayawave.com) create some of the most beautiful reclaimed wood frames I’ve ever seen.  These puppies look sharp!  60° Sharp actually.

Get all the info here:  www.festivalvagabonde.com

If you live in the Bordeaux area or know somebody who does, help spread the word.  Hope to see some of you there!

Here’s a few samples of what will be hanging out in France…

Erik Abel Triangle Surf Art

“Moon Reef” © Erik Abel 2014
30.5″x26″ Acrylic, marker, colored pencil on wood
Frame: Reclaimed Gaviota Coast Redwood by John Birchim

Erik Abel Triangle Surf Art

“Oceanic Triangle 03″ © Erik Abel 2014
21.5″x18.5″ Acrylic, marker, colored pencil on wood
Frame: Reclaimed Black Walnut by John Birchim

VIDEO: Nicaragua Mural Project

The final video for the Abel Arts Collective‘s first project is complete!  Check it out…

The Nicaragua Mural Project was the premier for Abel Arts Collective which took place in Gigante, Nicaragua. In collaboration withProjectWOO.org who has been building schools and community centers across Central America since 2006. In collaboration with the Gigante Youth Group and Health Committee, the AAC designed and painted a two wall mural in the village’s new Community Health Center.

Special thanks to Project Woo, all our project donors, and Tony Cruz and Brett Kirkpatrick for creating this video.

For more information about this project check out: abelartscollective.org

VIDEO: Erik Abel talks selfishness, process and his new art collective.

A big thanks to these cool cats for spending some time in the studio with me and putting this little video together….

Produced by Brett Kirkpatrick, Directed by Aron Ives

Let the Kids Draw Part 2

Don Masse, an elementary school teacher, used my art in another one of his art projects with his class.  This time he used my painting “Naptune’s Crown of Coral” as reference.  So humbling. Thanks again Don.

Check it out on his blog HERE.

And HERE’s a link to the previous project the class did with my art.

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See more art from the kids HERE.