Month: May 2013


Modern Abstract Expressionist Landscape Paintings by Erin Fickert-Rowland | Elysian Studios

This new collection of original oil paintings have each been painted in one session, in the Abstract Expressionist style.  They are all landscapes, to some degree, whether imagined or inspired by a real experience.  Each composition has a horizon line- a place where it seems the ground touches the sky.  I have been experimenting with different palette colors and different methods of applying paint.

Each original painting is for sale, unless otherwise noted, and is also available on prints and note cards.  Enjoy!


©2013 Erin Fickert-Rowland,oil on 10 in x 10 in canvas

This Modern Abstract painting was inspired by the “Kizuna” Bamboo Installation Art at Denver Botanical Gardens in 2012. It is a very unique abstract garden landscape. Stacks of golden bamboo bend and dance before a squared blue sky. A cautious planter of green grass peeks out beneath all of the action! This unique painting features thick, richly textured paint, a vibrant palette and a whimsical mood.

Original available on Etsy

Prints and Note Cards at Fine Art America

Crop Fields

©2013 Erin Fickert-Rowland,oil on 10 in x 10 in canvas

A sunny and bright aerial view of colorful summer crop fields is depicted in this Modern Abstract landscape painting. Paint has been applied using different techniques from impasto brushstrokes to smooth sweeps of the palette knife to create a lushly textured surface. A distant bluebird sky and puffy white clouds can be seen on the horizon.

Original available on Etsy

Prints and Note Cards on Fine Art America

Memories of Mesas

©2013 Erin Fickert-Rowland,oil on 10 in x 10 in canvas

 “Memories of Mesas” is a Modern Abstract painting created with thick, impasto paint in vibrant ochre, sepia, umber, lavender, teal and pale pink. Active brushstrokes and bold sweeps of the palette knife create a richly textured surface that resembles rocky mesas overlooking a Southwestern canyon under a dusky purple sky.

Original available on Etsy

Prints and Note Cards at Fine Art America 

“The Sheer Heat of It”

©2013 Erin Fickert-Rowland,oil on 10 in x 10 in canvas

Hot, and smoldering this Abstract Expressionist painting is sure to warm any space!  Fiery colors of crimson, flame orange, burnt sienna, carbon black and golden yellow ignite the canvas and interact with thickly textured paint to create a vibrant abstract expressionist image.

*Original SOLD*

Prints and Note Cards at Fine Art America

Impression of  a Sunset

©2013 Erin Fickert-Rowland,oil on 10 in x 10 in canvas

“Impression of a Sunset,” captures a quiet moment viewing a spectacular display of nature. Hot pink, purple and red clouds cover the blazing orange and yellow sun as it slowly dips into the magenta sea. Thick, impasto paint in bold brushstrokes create a powerful, emotional mood.

Original available on Etsy

Prints and Note Cards at Fine Art America

More paintings coming soon! 

My first show in the Denver area is opening at Zip 37 Gallery on June 7, 2013 (less than 3 weeks away!)

Stay tuned!


Spinning Records: Three New Modern Still Life Paintings by Erin Fickert-Rowland | Elysian Studios

Recently, I have been spending more time with music: finding new artists to listen to, watching documentaries about music history and starting a new collection of vinyl records (read more here).  I found a rare vinyl 45 record of Jack White’s “Fly Farm Blues” and started thinking about how this physical copy of a music recording relates to other objects that are important to me.

How can I compose these objects to share my feelings about music?

These are three new paintings which explore that idea:

“Spin It Like a Top”

©2013 Erin Fickert-Rowland,oil on canvas

A wooden toy top sits next to the record in this painting.  Both vintage objects provide enjoyable entertainment when they begin to spin.  Energy is required to propel both objects in to motion.  I have repeated circles throughout the composition and layered lines and multiple tones of bright colors to convey a feeling of energy and motion.

“Key To the Heart”

©2013 Erin Fickert-Rowland, oil on canvas

Collecting art is equally enjoyable as collecting music.  I acquired this ceramic heart sculpture by a Colorado artist last summer, and I love the way the graphic shape of the heart works with the repeated circles in this composition.  The key has been removed from the lock, and energetic music notes are freely dancing.  Whether we are playing instruments, singing, dancing, or just listening, music allows us to unlock our emotions.  Love, anger, fear, jealousy, and happiness can all be expressed and experienced through music.

“Eat It for Breakfast”

©2013 Erin Fickert-Rowland, oil on canvas

Every day I start my morning with coffee.  As soon as that first steaming cup has been poured, I turn on the radio and tune in to my favorite local jazz station (KUVO).  Music is the first thing I consume, and it stays with me throughout the day.  You might say I “eat it for breakfast!”  I created a very graphic composition which contrasts the circle of the record with the “X” shape made by the fork and knife.  The record is meant to look like the plate, and it’s about to be cut by the fork and knife!  Both the record and vintage silver fork and knife have shining surfaces that reflect and gleam.  Bright hues of blue and yellow, with just a pop of red, have been layered to create a richly colored image.

All three of these paintings are original oil on 8 inch x 8 inch gallery wrapped canvas.  

These painting were part of my show 

“Across the Spectrum”

at Zip 37 Gallery in Denver, June 7-23, 2013.

They are now available for sale online in my Etsy shop.


Caught on Instagram: A Rekindled Love for Vinyl Records | Elysian Studios

I have always loved music.

Perhaps “been obsessed with” is a better term.

I think it’s because I have always spent so much time pursuing solitary, contemplative creative activities, like painting and drawing.

Music has been my constant companion since I was a child.  


I started out with a kiddie Fisher-Price record player and a nice set of Mickey Mouse records.  Eventually I borrowed my parents Beach Boys and Kool and the Gang albums (and, I admit, Kenny Rogers too).  Then I remember getting my own copies of the Footloose, Purple Rain, and Flashdance records (though my parents never let me see the movies).  I knew every word to every song.  I could still sing along to almost all of them if they were played on the radio.

I started my musical life with the LP Album.

I’ve seen the invention of the 8-Track Tape, the Cassette Tape, the Compact Disc, and the MP3 (Just for fun, click these links to Wikipedia just to see the format our music has taken over the years- the MP3 doesn’t even have a photo!)

Suddenly, I felt a disconnect with my large collection of intangible music…


I’ve been watching music documentaries, like It Might Get Loud

and Blue Note.  They got me thinking:

Why did I give up my treasured record albums with their big art covers, soft feel of worn cardboard edges and shiny slick plastic, and slightly scratchy sound when you knew the needle took hold of its groove?

I went to the thrift store the next day,

and found the start of my new collection (above)!

But that wasn’t enough…I needed fresh vinyl!


I found a local record shop.  They have a massive amount of vinyl records, vintage and new.  They have turntable listening stations.  They have an exclusive section of Third Man Records (above).  They sell refurbished vintage turntables (below) which are much better than a random one you find at the thrift store (first photo).


We brought our new records and player home, and we’ve been listening….

To new music…

(Jack White’s “Blunderbuss”)


…nostalgic music…

(Kenny Roger’s “Greatest Hits”)


…classic music.

(The Beatles “Abbey Road”)


The sound of vinyl is rich. You can pick out the layers of instruments and vocals in the music.  You intentionally play a specific artist’s record, and you are inclined to be quiet and listen.  You have to walk gently around the player, so as not to make the needle skip.

Music has taken on a new meaning to me.

It’s seeping into my work.

Preliminary drawings are stacking on top of each other:


I’ve painted a new series of small study paintings.

This is a glimpse of one of them during the first layers:


How has music influenced you?

Did you have vinyl record albums as a kid?

Do you have special memories of them?

Do you have a collection now?

Stay tuned! I will be posting images of my new paintings shortly!