Featured Artist Erik Abel

Oregon-based artist Erik Abel presents mixed media paintings on wood that graphically illustrate the beauty of the coastal landscape. Learn more about this artist by visiting his website.

 

“Tropigold” Acrylic and Colored Pencil on Wood Panel, 24” x 24” by artist Erik Abel. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Tropigold” Acrylic and Colored Pencil on Wood Panel, 24” x 24”

 

Being a full-time artist was something I knew I was going to be from a very young age. There just wasn’t any other option. And I was lucky enough to have family and friends that encouraged it. Years of hard work, late nights, and paint splattered clothes has turned my art and my life into one giant tangled mess. There’s no escape.

 

“Bonsai Bliss” Acrylic and Colored Pencil on Wood Panel, 12” x 24” by artist Erik Abel. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Bonsai Bliss” Acrylic and Colored Pencil on Wood Panel, 12” x 24”

 

Growing up as a surfer in Southern California, the ocean and nature are big inspirations in my life. The sea is my refuge. I’ve traveled across the globe seeking perfect waves. The side effect of that is getting to experience and be influenced by different cultures, art, and new environments.

 

“Blue Crabby” Digital on Paper, 24" x 18" by artist Erik Abel. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Blue Crabby” Digital on Paper, 24″ x 18″

 

That stuff just seeps into my brain, and if I’m lucky, seeps back out when I’m in the studio. My sketchbooks from times traveling are some of the most valuable things I own. Pages and pages filled with art epiphanies and different directions that would take a dozen lifetimes to explore.

 

“Horizon 4” Acrylic and Colored Pencil on Wood Panel, 14” x 14” by artist Erik Abel. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Horizon 4” Acrylic and Colored Pencil on Wood Panel, 14” x 14”

 

One of the goals for my art is having the courage to continue growing and changing as an artist. Boundaries need to constantly be pushed—otherwise the art begins to die. I don’t care for dead art and I don’t think many others do as well.

 

“Horizon 5” Acrylic and Colored Pencil on Wood Panel, 18” x 18” by artist Erik Abel. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Horizon 5” Acrylic and Colored Pencil on Wood Panel, 18” x 18”

 

One of my biggest fears is that I’ll be stuck painting the same thing in five, ten or even twenty years from now. Please smack me if I do.

 

“Pelicano” Digital on Paper, 8” x 10” by artist Erik Abel. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Pelicano” Digital on Paper, 8” x 10”

 

When I was nineteen, a good friend encouraged me to get a computer and learn the Adobe design programs. That opened up a whole new realm for my art.

 

“Sea Funk 6” Acrylic and Colored Pencil on Wood Panel, 24” x 24” by artist Erik Abel. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Sea Funk 6” Acrylic and Colored Pencil on Wood Panel, 24” x 24”

 

Not only could I now edit my art to look professional, I could make money with my talents by doing commercial design work for various industries and companies, which is still the bread and butter for my art business. I’ve been lucky enough to attract clients like REI, Patagonia, Billabong, Reef, Pottery Barn, Sector 9 Skateboards, Blue Moon Brewing Company and more.

 

“Cloud Cover Ups 12” Acrylic and Colored Pencil on Wood Panel, 18” x 24” by artist Erik Abel. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Cloud Cover Ups 12” Acrylic and Colored Pencil on Wood Panel, 18” x 24”

 

As much as I dread looking at a screen for hours on end, graphic design has had a huge effect on the style of my paintings and my paintings have definitely had an effect on my design. I need that cross-pollination to keep the creativity healthy and interesting.

 

Artist Erik Abel in his studio. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

Artist Erik Abel in his studio

 

Several years ago I realized that being an artist was a selfish endeavour, so I started working with ocean related non-profit companies. I use my talents to give back in hopes of being able to impact and protect the communities and environments that make surfing and all ocean activities possible. In 2016, Save the Waves Coalition named me their first Artist Ambassador.

 

“Sol Set” Acrylic and Colored Pencil on Wood Panel, 24” x 24”by artist Erik Abel. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Sol Set” Acrylic and Colored Pencil on Wood Panel, 24” x 24”

 

I first moved to Oregon in 1999 and I fell in love with it. The beauty here is hard to beat. I now live and work from my home studio in a small, salty town on the Oregon coast with my wife/business manager/wonder woman Nellie and our new little son Arch.

 

Artist Erik Abel invites you to follow him on Instagram and Facebook.

 

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