Born in New Orleans and currently living in South Carolina, Eddie Schrieffer’s work is visually diverse and references a wide range of influences. Be it slightly sinister yet intriguing portraits, relaxed beachscapes, or spiritual, allegorical paintings, Eddie’s work reflects the experience of falling headlong into inspiration, with Eddie painting whatever captures his imagination at any given moment. In fact, you might say that without the artist’s signature, it would be difficult to identify an ‘Eddie Schrieffer’ painting from the style or subject matter of a piece. Yet, in its spirit of constant experimentation and sense of spontaneity, there is something about Eddie’s work that draws you in. This, along with his artistic flair and eccentricity, is why we have chosen him as this week’s Artist You Need To Know.
Vango: How would you describe your work?
Eddie: My work is visually diverse, and there are very few painting styles that don’t inspire me in someway or another. My paintings range from abstract and cubist, to impressionistic and realistic. Most recently, I’ve been inspired by quirky and retro TV shows to tell a story through my paintings. The lighting and cinematography of these shows inspire me to paint dramatic moments in time, and I create unique, intriguing characters that are open to interpretation.
Dr Sub-Atomic, inspired by Breaking Bad
V: What prompts you to paint in so many different styles?
E: I haven’t yet found a style that can hold my interest for a long period of time. Also, I love feeling free to dabble in different styles and subject matters, and to paint whatever is inspiring me at any given moment.
V: What was your first encounter with art?
E: When I was younger, my father painted oil paintings for a season and encouraged me to paint alongside him. We shared oil paints, and brushes, but I had my own tabletop easel. I was hooked, and took as many classes I could through Junior High and High School. Getting a Bachelors of Fine Art from the University of South Carolina after that seemed like a natural step!
V: What are some of the techniques you use?
E: I use many different techniques. It is the painting that tells me what technique would accomplish my goals. For fine art, I use traditional underpainting methods, slowly building layers until the final highlights are added. Other pieces are painted directly to the canvas, without underpainting or blending. These are the more impressionistic paintings. Figurative or illustration style paintings are tight renderings with small brushes and subtle blends, while most abstracts are done with acrylic paint as they are fast drying and allow for many overlays, hard edges and textures.
Matt’s Cabin in progress
V: Who are some of the biggest inspirations in your art?
E: Early on, It was the old masters. Now, it’s Renoir, Monet, Degas, Turner, Picasso, Basquiat, Warhol, and a multitude of the Instagram artists of today!
V: Do you listen to music while you’re in the studio? If yes, what are some of the artists you listen to?
E: I do listen to music in the studio at certain stages of most paintings. During the conception and sketching of the work, I prefer quiet time in my studio. Music can be a distraction for me during the early stages of a painting. Concentration, train of thought and problem-solving is all done without music. My musical taste runs from the 50s to the early 90s, and includes most genres within that time period. Music apps like Pandora allow me to select a genre of music that feels right for the current painting.
V: Out of all your works, do you have a personal favorite?
E: I think my favorite painting so far is one housed in the permanent collection of the Spartanburg Art Museum (SAM). It is a large, vertical seascape with strong oranges, sepia and other rather unorthodox seascape colors. A close second would be the painting entitled Cold War as it’s a very realistic painting that captures a relatively unknown time in Alaska’s history.
V: What is something you like to do when you’re not creating?
E: When I’m not painting, I try to balance studio time with an activity. Recently I have taken up the sport of frisbee disc golf. But family will always come first.
More of Eddie’s Art…