Eric Bealer : Biography
Eric is mainly a self-taught artist who was born and raised in Central Pennsylvania. He spent 13 years showing and selling his work in the New England are before moving to the town of Haines, in Southeast Alaska, in 1989. Desiring a more remote location, he and his wife have since moved, and they now live outside the small fishing village of Pelican on Chichagof Island.
Having worked with watercolors and then metal etchings, Eric feels he has truly found himself in wood engraving. “Living in the Rainforest and working with wood is a very positive experience for me,” he says. “My work is inspired by the world around me. I start with a small idea, something I have seen or experienced, and let it grow from there.”
Wood engraving is a technical and time-consuming process, and Eric often finds that he has far more ideas and feelings than can be cut into a single block. “Nature is so full of beautiful details. Far more than we can hold in our eyes and mind at one time. All those details combine to create the whole.” Eric tries to create a special feeling in each print. “If I can speak to you a feeling, then that is all you need.”
About Wood Engraving:
Wood engraving is and old art form that was used to illustrate books and newspapers in the 1800’s. The wood used is end-grain, similar to a butcher block, and was traditionally Turkish Boxwood. Now, Maple is more common.
Small hand engraving tools are used to cut away the surface of the block. Like a negative image, all the white is cut away. Ink is then rolled on the surface of the block and it is put through a hand-operated press to produce each individual print. To be an original print, the block must be designed, executed and printed by the artist. Prints are done in editions, signed and numbered. The block is then cancelled.