Marrying the critters of the Natural History Museum with the inhabitants of a butterfly conservatory, artist Lisa Ericson creates hyperrealistic paintings that give an element of majesty to the smallest, daintiest creatures in the animal kingdom. The artist is meticulous in the detail of her work, applying the tiniest strokes to create pieces with natural splendor and laser-like accuracy, reminiscent of the compelling realism of the Dutch Masters.
Ericson’s Mouserflies are good-natured, wide-eyed innocents, living in the aloofness of their otherworldly biology. Her use of acrylic paint is jaw-droppingly precise, creating the perfect illusion of soft nutmeg-colored fur, glossy pupils, and buttery-soft patterned wings.
An accumulation of several steps, including shrewd applications of dark and light paints to create dimension and shadows, is part of Ericson's process. A background of a black velvety void creates a sacred atmosphere for the paintings, heightening their museum-like attributes.
Ericson shared some of the details of her development process with The Creators Project: "My first series, nicknamed the Mouserflies, is a series of rodents (mice, chipmunks, etc.) with large and colorful butterfly wings growing from their backs. The mouserflies in my paintings exist in a hidden world deep in forests, but the human world sometimes crosses over into their realm in the form of objects or trash that we’ve left behind. This crossover can take the form of an old can that a mouserfly might make a nest in, or a thread or bottle cap that they collect."
She shares, "My second series of Sanctuary Fish came about as I began to read about the widespread bleaching of coral reefs due to rising ocean temperatures. I began painting fish whose tails had mutated into small, mobile, coral sanctuaries for other fish who have been displaced from their former habitats. I painted this series to draw attention to both the beauty of the coral reefs as we now know them and the diversity of sea life they support, as well as their current distressing plight."