My tribute mural to world class surfer legend “Bethany Hamilton” with only one arm
Erica Huber lives and works in Haarlem.
By the age of fourteen I knew I wanted to be an artist. My notebooks were full of drawings. I could never draw enough.
After graduating from high school in art and art history, I took drawing and sculpture lessons with the Haarlem-based master portrait painter Bart Holt.
This inspired me to travel to Florence, Italy to immerse myself in its’ history and extraordinary art. During my stay I apprenticed myself to a traditional Florentine woodworking studio.
On my return to the Netherlands in 1986, I studied painting and drawing at KABK The Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, graduating in 1991.
For several years, I continued to develop my personal style of painting, accepting portrait and painting commissions, working from my Amsterdam studio in the ‘Gerrit van der Veen ateliers’. It was an inspiring environment where the Dutch artist/musician, Herman Brood, had also been working.
In 1992, I joined the artist assembly, Kunst Zij Ons Doel (KZOD) in Haarlem and moved my studio to Haarlem. During this period whilst continuing to accept private commissions, I taught drawing, painting and water colour at the cultural institutions of Casca in Heemstede, Stichting Kulturele Raad in Hillegom and Volks Universiteit Haarlem. Together with becoming a mother of three it was a busy and exhilarating time.
I feel I have a gift for painting portraits. I love to dive in and discover my subject. This helps me to best portray their individuality and uniqueness, whether in pencil, oil or water colour.
Equally, I have experienced great fulfillment in painting the portraits of a loved person who has passed away. Photographs and a good description about them, help bring them alive for me and capture their essence on canvas/paper.
The way my art evolved
Interiors with people in them:
Maybe due to living in an unsafe area like Schilderswijk in the Hague I was always intrigued by feeling safe and secure. So I loved to paint people in their shielded homes or interiors. I was especially fascinated by how the light source gave colour, tingling its way through spaces.
In 2005 I began wave surfing. After years of painting interiors I found so much pleasure in being outdoors and collecting beach driftwood. Holding and smelling these sand-rounded, fish-nibbled, moonstruck, sunsoaked of pieces wood makes me feel more energized and centered and I started to work with it in my art.
This special kind of wood seems to be carrying the essence of the cosmic flow. They seem to have travelled beyond my ever knowing where they are from. They have so abundantly emerged in the energy of the sun, moon, wind, storms, fish and sea/ocean organisms. Working with them, takes me to another level of being. I also like to combine painting and driftwood.
Trees and landscapes:
When in 2011 I was invited to come and make an exhibition in the Haarlem Central Library in 2 months, I spontaneously decided it would be about trees.
I rushed off to buy 5 big canvases format 1.8 x 1.4m and started working on the first one on our living room floor. With my small children stumbling around it. Only then I realized I didn’t have nearly enough space in my tiny studio for these large size of canvases…
It was the moment where I really felt how much I was actually drawn back to the environment of my childhood Bloemendaal, with it’s extraordinarily beautiful, natural forest landscapes. It’s spontaneity, synergy and abundant colour have inspired me profoundly. Miraculously a very spacious studio presented itself in Amsterdam.
Together with spending so much time in the ocean I feel spiritually connected to nature, its’ cycles and rhythms.
Waves and seasights;
As a keen surfer, my most recent paintings are inspired by my fascination for waves and the powerful energy within them. The translucent, pure, unpredictable ocean has had a strong attraction to me ever since I was young, growing up near the beach. Meanwhile I hope that my tribute and love statements to nature can be of help to global environmental issues.
When I work on my paintings I tend not to have a planned theme or subject in mind. I love to simply go with what inspires and let my intuition lead me. The realization of how or why usually comes afterwards.
I hope you enjoy your visit to my website.