Erin Cadena | Oil and Cold Wax Painter


Artist Erin Cadena got her start at painting with exploring the realm of plein air painting, and has moved away from that direction to loosen up the limits that went along with plein air painting. She incorporates oil and cold wax into most of her paintings, to create loose impressions of scenery or pure abstractions. She creates her artwork by connecting to the universe's energy and channeling her emotion onto the canvas surface, resulting in rich layered imagery. She is always curious and continues to explore different media in effort to channel different expressions.


My childhood consisted of many changes, including frequent moves from one town to another, and an ever changing array of family members. Nothing seemed solid or consistent. I remember feeling confused and lost much of the time   As a result I spent a lot of time in my own imagination, reading and listening to music. I also found solace in nature. These friends kept me whole, and guided me through tough times.  Living in areas Like Bend Or,  Missoula MT and the Pacific corridor,  I had many opportunities to spend time outdoors and  experience a number of diverse environments:  mountains, streams, lakes, forest, desert, and coastal areas.  Nature has had a very big impact on me, being a constant source of beauty, comfort  and inspiration. It has a language of it’s own, one which anyone can understand. It provides me a way of connecting to and exploring my emotions, and the greater themes in life.

A few years ago, circumstances provided me with a pivotal moment, and I found it necessary to choose a new direction in life.   Being a lover of natural beauty, and having a very strong desire to express myself, it seemed only natural that I become an artist. Since then I have channeled all of all my resources and energies towards my lifelong dream of being a successful working artist. I bring my whole life as reference along with a strong desire to explore and learn as much as possible.  Music, written words and inspiration from the physical world are an integral part of my creative process.  They center my focus and describe the heart of the project.   When I paint, I am lifted up to another place, one beyond limitation and circumstance. I believe the creation of art goes far beyond personal desire and effort.  At its best, art is what flows through us. I am grateful for the opportunity to give that intangible force a voice.

Most days you will find me painting in my home studio. I work predominantly with oils, but I love exploring new mediums and styles.  Part of my painting process includes spending time outdoors. Nature’s beauty never fails to hit my reset button and to provide me with new perspectives. This time keeps my mind fresh and open. For an artist, I think this is essential.

I create because it makes me feel alive, present, connected and essential.   My dream is to  bring into being beautiful works of art. My wish is that in doing so, I will find the thread that connects me to others who have seen something the same way, or shared the same feeling. That another person  might feel seen and heard, or that they may recognize something deeper within themselves.  The process of creating has many stages and layers; this final connecting point is what gives it all personal meaning for me.


Artist Statement

My goal as an artist is to bring everything into the light; the full expanse of human experience. I see the world through the lens of art, deeply moved by the exquisiteness I see in the shapes and shifts of color and light. The experience of life unfolding. Art serves as an interface between what I see and feel, and sometimes cannot express with words. Life is dramatic, emotional, stunning, tender and intelligent. Life serves as a catalyst for contemplation and exploration. Painting allows me the space to internally process what is often a confusing and complicated world. It simplifies and brings clarity, helping me to look beyond my limitations. When I am struggling under the weight of grief or despair, a moment of beauty and awe eclipses it all. I am overcome with gratitude for life and the opportunity to be here, to feel, to live. It is moments like these I am compelled to explore and extrapolate upon. I choose my subject matter for its ability to create this feeling and take me to the desired area of contemplation. The process generally begins with nature and involves either painting on location, or gathering reference material to take back to my studio.  When painting I am working towards the moment when I am able to surpass my own defenses, which allows me to work more intuitively and spontaneously. There is a magic in tapping into that universal force that compels me to create, and guides my hand when I allow it to work through me.

"The mediator of the inexpressible is the work of art." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe"

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