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All Things Ampersand

Featured Artist: Erin Berrett

Featured Artist: Erin Berrett

Gessobord artist Erin Berrett is a contemporary realism oil painter best known for her still-lifes. Some of our favorites are meaningful commissions that have sweet or fun and quirky backstories. We checked in with Berrett to share with us some of her most memorable commissions and the stories behind the paintings.

(above) Bernina, 24×18 oil on Gessobord

This was a mother’s sewing machine. One daughter has the sewing machine, the other daughter has the painting. Both are well-loved.

…and Everything Nice, 18×6 oil on Gessobord

A mother mailed me a giant box full of her daughter’s shoes. She let me choose my favorites for this fun, playful composition.

House of Cards, 30×30 oil on Gessobord

This large commission hangs above a shuffleboard table in Sun Valley, along with 30” dominos and poker chips. It’s a pretty cool game room!

Hard-pressed, 36×36 oil on Gessobord

These items belonged to this family’s grandmother. They still use her toaster and juicer daily. Such a nice way to preserve her memory.

Unbroken, 24×24 oil on Gessobord

A wife surprised her husband in my studio, under the pretense of running an errand before his birthday dinner. He was so surprised! Each book has a special meaning to him. I loved this commission, and the thoughtfulness that went into it, so much.

Twins, 12×6 oil on Gessobord

This adorable family has 2 sets of twins. When they were all under 4 this was their transportation around the neighborhood. Pure childhood joy! (The family had me paint it again, 60”, for their kitchen.)

New Year, 8×10 oil on Gessobord

These champagne splits were from a couple that were celebrating their friend’s 40th birthday party. Cheers to that!

Rather Be Fishing, 16×16 oil on Gessobord

This is a family portrait… a Mom book, a book for each daughter and a fishing reel for the Dad (because he prefers fishing over reading!).

First Steps, 16×16 oil on Gessobord

Their first child’s baby shoes. The little boy had an adorable tendency to stand on his toes like this. That extra gesture made me feel warm and fuzzy.

Sea Salt Sweet, 12×12 oil on Gessobord

These are a pastry chef’s favorite cookbooks. She brought me dozens of beautiful books to choose from… it was a tough decision. (I couldn’t actually decide, so it turned into a whole series of cookbook paintings!)

Erin W. Berrett is a Salt Lake City painter and graduate of the University of Utah (BFA, 1998). “I push myself to be abstract in the details while still achieving the perception of reality. When I paint, I never blend. Instead, I layer thousands of marks side-by-side, swaths of color that are then translated by the observer. Two inches of panel viewed from a few inches away might have a hundred brushstrokes that seem to form nothing, but when the piece is considered as a whole, the effect is highly representational.”

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