Saturday, April 15, 2006

Artist Profile: Eric Westbrook

Just two weeks left to see the paintings of Eric Westbrook, professional illustrator and director of Dumbarton Concert Gallery in Washington, DC.

April 7 through April 29, 2006.
“Urban Nature”
Arts Club of Washington
2017 I Street NW. Washington DC
202-331-7282 x23

Art and the City
Artist Profile: Eric Westbrook

by: Jim Magner
At first glance it’s another pretty painting of an idyllic setting: a rustic building, a brook under a bridge or a set of cement stairs down into the woods. Look again and you see the comings and goings of all things natural and the nature of man. The story here is the harsh yet exhilarating rush of the transitory. Nature is fighting to survive and demanding a place in our engineered lives. In works like Tumble Down and Intersection, cement structures crumble and return to sand as we build new instruments of a civilization hurtling toward something.
Eric Westbrook digs to the core of existence. Things in nature die and are replaced; the things we build also decay and are replaced. Yet there is a comfort in his work. These are welcoming places—familiar. Like old family photographs. And if they make us unsure of our superiority over nature’s determination, that’s a good thing.

About 10 years ago, he began to paint his personal visions of life. “Some places just hit a chord.” He is captured by visual surprises in out of the way nooks or jarringly familiar urban sidewalks. He starts with sketches and photographs, but most is done from memory in the studio which adds to the enhanced reality with intense dream-like impact. But a work of art is ultimately about shapes, lights and darks, warms and cools and color harmonies. Eric Westbrook goes beyond visual storytelling and is not held captive by the objects depicted—he lets the paint be paint.

Eric is a successful professional illustrator. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Graphic Communication. All of his work is acrylic on canvas, illustration as well as his paintings and this has led to a mastery of the media. He has done work for clients in many fields and is a director of the Dumbarton Concert Gallery where he exhibits regularly.

You can see and purchase from an extensive collection of his most recent works at his one-man show entitled “Urban Nature” at the Arts Club of Washington, 2017 I Street NW. Washington DC from April 7 through April 29, 2006. The opening reception is Friday, April 7 from 6:30-9:00. 202-331-7282 x23, or see

Jim Magner is a Capitol Hill artist and writer.

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