The Artist

Welcome to Expressions of Creation, the art works of William Erlenbach AKA Bill…yes, please call me Bill.

I approach art as a reflection of the human experience. I am drawn to subjects with an air of moody romanticism that grows out of personal experiences and reflections on life. My landscapes normally from places I have experienced and either photographed or painted on site ‘en plein air.’ For it to be a ‘good’ painting, the scene has to stir something inside of me, something hard to explain, but potent. My figurative work is often moody as well, the subject rarely looking at the viewer, drawing the viewer into an emotionally voyeuristic relationship with the subject.  I also do some wild life painting, though I prefer working with my own reference photos when needed and my personal library of wild life photos is somewhat limited.

Currently I paint almost exclusively in oils with the occasional studio work done with acrylics when the mood strikes or time constraints of a commission require it. I like the softness of oils and the natural feel that come from using linseed (flax) oil and safflower (sunflower) oil. There is something primal and sensual in it. I am also frequently reminded that I do not paint with colours, rather I work with pigments that represent and approximate colours. I find that oils allow me to finesse the pigments to give me the colours I want.

Some would considered me a self taught artist, but making that claim would be somewhat arrogant. I prefer to think of myself as informally trained through observing other artists, studying their works and muses. I owe a debt of gratitude to the many artists have shared their knowledge and experience through books, magazine articles and the web. I have been particularly impressed by artists such as AY Jackson of the “Group of Seven,” Robert Bateman, Jacob Collins, Warren Chang, as well as old masters like Titan and Caravaggio. Of course, I make no claim to paint like them or have anywhere near their mastery of medium and subject. 

Growing up in Smithers, British Columbia, I was bound to have an immense appreciation for the natural world, particularly mountains. The many years I spent in the greater Vancouver area exposed me to a marine landscape that is also part of my soul. A short stint in southern Saskatchewan followed by a number of years in Alberta gave me an appreciation for the prairies and yes, for dramatic skies. I am currently living in Kamloops, British Columbia. The future may well hold many paintings of this beautiful region, perhaps some western themed art as well.