Eric Armusik
Visual Artist / Painter
Hamburg, Pennsylvania, USA

Eric Armusik Self Portrait on Fire

Self Portrait on Fire
© Eric Armusik
10 x 12”
Oil on Birch
2015


Mediums:  Oil paint,  charcoal
Style:  Classical Figurative Painting / Realism / Representational Art

Favorite Quote:  "God will not have his work made manifest by cowards."  Emerson

Favorite Books:   

(Essay) Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson
How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie
Rape of the Masters by Roger Kimball

Favorite Movies:   Braveheart, Gladiator, Godfather, Shawshank Redemption, Cashback, Local Color, Heat, 300, The Fountain




Father Time

Father Time
© Eric Armusik
18 x 24”
Oil on Birch
2016


Eric Armusik, (b. 1973) paints classical figurative art that reflects the spirit and passionate storytelling of the old masters.  His paintings are a declaration to the dramatic power of representational art. The origin of his inspiration does not lie in academia, but rather his childhood, surrounded by the vivid paintings he saw in Gothic cathedrals as a child.

In 1991, Eric attended Pennsylvania State University, where he earned a B. F. A. in painting, with a minor in an art history focusing on Baroque art. He is recognized by the Art Renewal Center as an Associate Living Master. Currently, he’s an Artist Ambassador for Jerry’s Artarama and regularly demos and reviews their art materials. 

In September 2016, Eric began his largest project to date. He’ll be painting 40 large 4ft x 5ft panels of Dante’s Inferno with the assistance of renowned Dante Scholar, Christopher Kleinhenz.  A book of the paintings, along with in-depth narratives by Professor Kleinhenz, will be published once the series is completed.

Eric's work has been exhibited in the Salmagundi Art Club and the National Arts Club in New York and his artwork has been featured in such publications as The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Eric is married to novelist, Rebekah Armusik, and they have three beautiful children.


Dante's Inferno

Dante's Inferno
© Eric Armusik


First experience creating.

I didn't pick up a paintbrush until I was 20 years old.  I had my first oil painting class as a junior in college and I fell in love with it immediately.  I never had any formal training until that time.  I had been drawing all my life but finally getting the chance to paint radically and quickly changed my life.



Music and art

I listen to a wide variety of music but here are some of the more common ones:
Katatonia, Anathema, Alice in Chains,  Amorphis, Trees of Eternity, Paradise Lost, The Fountain Soundtrack, Olafer Arnalds, Arvo Part, Klaus Schulze, Tricky, Massive Attack, Hybrid, Classical composers like Samuel Barber, Camille Saint-Saens, Vivaldi, Henryk Mikolaj Górecki , Rachmaninov, Al di Meola, Jazz, etc.


If you have a job besides being an artist, can you tell us about it?

I've worked all my life to be here.  I'm very happy to be an artist living off the fruits of my hard work.


What are you trying to convey to viewers through your art?

I'm dedicated to reminding people of our humanity and emotional frailty - it's my greatest desire to stir empathy in my viewer. I fear that as a society we've become somewhat anesthetized to all the suffering in the world because we've become so accustomed to seeing it portrayed as entertainment. But the moment's I capture are quiet and they demand reflection and introspection - you can't ignore them or turn off their message or power. The stories may be old but the values and principles are eternal.


Creative process:

Inspiration can come from anywhere for me.  Most times it begins with seeing the right person for a painting.  This could be a professional model or one of the many strangers I've hired to pose for my paintings.  I am a lover of history and art history so I have a huge list of paintings I'd like to tackle.  When I see the right person my mind goes into work mode.  I might ponder the idea for a few hours or several days and then I talk it over with the only person I trust creatively, my wife, Rebekah.  From there, the idea is usually elevated well beyond what I've initially considered.  I then hire models to pose for some sketches and some reference shots and I begin to sketch in charcoal.  I either build or purchase wood or Alumacomp panels to paint on.  They are the most smooth and are the only surfaces appropriate for the type of technique I use.   I begin work on the painting with a very rough grisaille.  I build up layers of contrast, still keeping the surface very rough in technique.  I want to get a "feeling" of the finished piece before I invest in the details.  Once that is achieved I paint the surface vigorously to a very high polished detail.  I put on many layers of glazes to emphasize contrast, color and intensity.  Once my final layers of fine detail are painted I put on a retouch varnish.  The end result is a museum quality panel.


Another Picasso Lesson

The Guitarist
© Eric Armusik
18 x 24”
Oil on Birch
2014


Inspirations

I'm driven by love, the absolute need to create and the pursuit of beauty.  I have the pleasure of being married to my soulmate for almost 20 years and have 3 amazing children. This wonderful gift drives me completely because I understand the beauty of sacrifice and unconditional love.


SELECT EXHIBITIONS:

Tragic Love Empty Spaces Gallery, Putnam, CT
Stations of the Cross, St. Mark's Cathedral, Seattle, WA
Stations of the Cross - The Body in Prayer, Holy Family Cathedral, Pasadena, CA
“48 Hour Marathon Portrait” 27 paintings sold in 30 days, ericarmusik.com
“Fire Sale” May 20-June 20.  19 paintings sold in 30 days, ericarmusik.com
My Place in History, Progressive Galleries, Lancaster, PA
They Had to Look, Mulberry Art Gallery, Lancaster, PA
Group Exhibition, Sacred Art Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
Eighth Annual Figurative Drawing and Painting Competition and Exhibition., Lore Degenstein Gallery, Susquehanna University, PA
Small World Postcard Exhibition & Auction, Magpie Springs, South Australia
Richeson75 Figurative International Competition, Richeson Art Gallery, Kimberly, WI
12th International Art Renewal Center Salon, Finalist
Figurativas Painting Competition, Museum of Modern Art, Barcelona, Spain, Finalist
Painting 2015: Realist and Impressionist, The Collection Beaux-Arts Réaliste, Canada
National Self Portrait Competition, Jerry’s Artarama, Online
11th International Art Renewal Center Salon, Finalist
Fast Lane Art Competition, Berks Arts Council, Reading, PA
Introspection Artevaggio Gallery, Duluth, GA
10th International Art Renewal Center Salon, Finalist: Imaginative Realism Category
2 x 20 Regional Artists Everyone Should Know, St. Vincent Gallery, Latrobe, PA
Exhibition of New Saints, Italian Embassy, Washington D.C.
St. Jacques Berthieu, Newly Canonized Saints Exhibition, Rome, Italy
Catholic Art, Saint Vincent Gallery, Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, PA
97th Annual Exhibition, Allied Arists of America, NY
6th International Art Renewal Center Salon, Chairman’s Choice Award Winner
Featured Artist Series, Reading Symphony Orchestra, Sovereign Center, Reading, PA
2008 Realism Biennial, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, IN
Realism X, Upstream People Gallery, Omaha, NE
31st Annual Juried Show, Goggleworks, Reading, PA
33rd Annual Adam Styka Art Exhibit, Polish Heritage Society, Philadelphia, PA
Cocktails and Collecting, Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA
Ellarslie Open XXV, Trenton City Museum, Trenton, NJ
Painted Violins, organized by the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra, four regional venues
Winter Group Show, Reading Area Community College, Reading, PA
Winter Juried Exhibition, Institute of the Arts, Wyomissing, PA
29th Annual Juried Show, Goggleworks, Reading, PA - Jurors: Scott Noel and Leslie Kaufman
American Artist Professional League 78th Grand National, Salmagundi Art Club, New York, NY
29th Juried Show, Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA. Juror: Audrey Flack--artist
Immaculata University Art Show, Immaculata University, Philadelphia, PA
34th Annual Juried Art Exhibition, Suzanne H. Arnold Art Gallery,  Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA -Juror: Dan Talley – Director, Sharadin Gallery, Kutztown University
All Media Juried Show, Plastic Club, Philadelphia, PA
American Artist Professional League 77th Grand National, Salmagundi Art Club,  New York, NY
Art of the State, State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PAm - Juror: Dr. Kathryn Calley Galitz, Metropolitan Museum of Art
28th Annual Juried Show, Reading Public Museum, Reading, PA - Juror: Elyse Gonzales, Institute of Contemporary Art/University of Pennsylvania
Self Portraits, Northwest Cultural Gallery, Rolling Meadows, IL - Juror: William Thomas Chambers-artist
American Artist Professional League 76th Grand National Exhibition, Salmagundi Art Club, New York, NY
Artist Equity Exhibition, Phillips Museum of Art, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA Juror: Nancy Miller Batty Curator, Widner University Art Gallery
Figure and Context Juried Exhibition, Afif Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Tri-State Artists Equity 55th Anniversary Juried Exhibition—To Be An Artist, Berman Museum of Art, Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA - Juror: Brian H. Peterson, Curator, James A. Michener Art Museum
2nd Annual Painting Exhibition, Cheltenham Art Center, Philadelphia, PA - Juror: Patterson Sims, Director, Montclair Art Museum
Group Show, MCS Gallery, Easton, PA
Berks Art Alliance 26th Annual Juried Exhibition, Reading Public Museum, Reading, PA
Biennale Internazionale dell’Arte Contemporanea, Florence, Italy
Healing Art, Manhattan Arts, New York, NY
28th Juried Show, Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA - Juror: Hugh M. Davies, Director, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
International Art Competition, National Academy of Fine Arts, Pocos de Caldas, Brazil
Berks Art Alliance 25th Annual Juried Exhibition, Reading Public Museum, Reading, PA - Juror: Thomas Hinson, Cleveland Museum of Art
Mid-Atlantic Juried Show, Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts, New Castle, PA



The Omen
© Eric Armusik
36 x 48”
Oil on Birch
2014


Have you sold any of your artworks?

I've sold hundreds of pieces of art, paintings, and drawings through word of mouth and the internet


How do you promote your art on the internet?

Newsletters, social media, email, word of mouth



Influences

Caravaggio, Bougureau, Artemisia Gentileschi



Please recommend another artist you admire:

Bill Stamos.   He has to be one of the most talented artists I've had the pleasure of knowing.  The things he can do with paint, his use of light and dark, color and glazes are inspirational.



Tell us something interesting in your life

Studied Italian Baroque art in Italy for a semester of college.  The experience changed my life.  I've shown my work in Italy twice since then and have sold my paintings around the world.  I've been a finalist in the Art Renewal Center Salon 4x and won the Chairman's Choice award in 2010.


Jesus Face

Jesus Face
© Eric Armusik


Do you have an embarrassing moment in your life?

I've had several.  The most important thing is that I bounced back from them.



If you could live your life over again, would there be anything you would do differently?

Married my wife the day I met her.



Future Plans

To go farther than anyone has in my genre of painting.



Advice for emerging artists

Never stop working toward your artistic goals.  Life will throw the kitchen sink at you to get you to quit or to stop believing in what you want.  In the end, it all comes down to your passion, talent and drive.  All three of those qualities must be nurtured and constantly exercised in order for you to compete and to be the very best.




The Crucifixion 
© Eric Armusik
48 x 96"
Oil on birch
2015


Eric Armusik
Classical Figurative Painter
Website:  ericarmusik.com
Blogs:
http://www.ericarmusik.com/representational-artists-blog/
http://www.ericarmusik.com/dantes-inferno/
Twitter: twitter.com/armusik
Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/EricArmusik/
Google+:   https://plus.google.com/+EricArmusik
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/armusik/
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/ericarmusik/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ericarmusik
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/armusik







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  1. Thank you for sharing Eric Armusik's biography, a truly Great Artist of this era.

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