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Eric Stoner

Notes on Artistic Process

I graduated with my BFA in Drawing and Painting from the Laguna College of Art and Design in the late 1990s. After four years of immersive study at a representational school of art, I was eager to dive into new mediums and ideas that indulged my abstract sensibilities. I quickly found that collaging channelled my kaleidoscopic imagination in ways drawing and painting never could. The potential to create complex worlds by layering images in a tactile, almost sculptural way was highly engaging and enjoyable. It opened creative pathways previously unimagined and has become the medium by which I express myself most effectively.

Over the past 20 years, my work has evolved into a series of portals through which I observe significant chapters of my life. By composing personal memorabilia into narrative imagery, I’ve developed a meditative way to reflect on experiences, struggles, and relationships with family, friends, mentors, and significant others. Each work depicts casts of characters playing out archetypal themes that speak of the structure of human experience. Life, death, love, loss, chaos, and order are all represented. Their stories are set against surreal landscapes inspired by my deep appreciation for the beauty and complexity of the natural world.

The materials I use are derived from a variety of sources, some of which date back to my childhood. They include my own archive of original photographs and artwork, friends’ and mentor’s artwork, old journal pages and letters, vintage album covers, art catalogs, antique photographs, postcards, jigsaw puzzles, magazine clippings, and more.

In addition, I fabricate elements with wood and various sculpting materials to add more texture and dimension. Once my materials are arranged on wood panels, I slowly and precisely hammer the pieces into place using countless finishing nails and tacks. This technique allows me to deconstruct and rearrange segments as the concepts evolve over the months and years that I spend working on them.

What I hope to convey through my art is the dramatic, often comedic interplay between a spirit of romanticism and the triumphs and calamities that ensue when navigating an uncertain future. The combined body of work is a true representation of my unique cosmological outlook, facilitating the means to examine the origin, evolution, and eventual fate of the universe as I observe and relate to it. While it has taken me more than a decade to present this collection of nine collages, the process of creating them has been beyond fulfilling. I hope they communicate my appreciation for the highs, lows, and everything in between that comes from pursuing a creative life.