Visit the St. Mary’s County Arts Council Gallery & Gift Shop during the month of March 2023 to see our newest in-house art exhibit, featuring the work of local artist Eric Clark Jackson!
In 2014 Eric began creating wildlife illustrations using wax and dye resist methods. The very first illustrations were of fish caught in the Chesapeake Bay followed by waterfowl drawings. Jackson also became involved with public installations, including a project in 2021 of a large series of native butterfly species depicted on a series of flags in Leonardtown, Maryland.
Eric’s work establishes a connection to the water through memory and experience and a desire to know it more deeply. He has always been impressed (and slightly envious!) of naturalists who are able to easily identify a bird or sea creature by a quick glimpse or call. “That encyclopedic knowledge is something I’ve never been able to pull from, but by studying and meticulously recreating each species, I am able to get to know its identifying characteristics”.
Mr. Jackson’s inspiration stems from his encounters with Chesapeake and mid-Atlantic fauna as well as aquatic life and waterfowl while he explores the local waterways. Eric relates that Maryland is sometimes known as “America in Miniature” due to the varied terrain, wildlife, and extensive coastlines. Whenever he experiences a struggle for ideas, he has found that the best option has always been to simply go outside and explore!
What mainly sets Eric’s work apart from other wildlife artists is the fact that his illustrations are created through a full-immersion, batik process. This means that colors are applied in layers across the entire piece, as opposed to working piecemeal across a canvas like a traditional painting or colored pencil illustration.
There are always unexpected outcomes in colors and textures with the batik process; embracing imperfections and unexpected surprises keeps Jackson grounded in his practice. It also pushes him to explore and improve his craft.
Eric Clark Jackson holds a master’s degree in teaching and spent 10 years as a public school art teacher. Still passionate about education, he offers batik classes for students and adults, either online or on location (details at www.bayfibersstudio.com/classes) and is scheduled to return to the Southern Maryland Folklife Summer Workshop 2023 event as a guest instructor.
Eric’s artwork is available through his website www.bayfibersstudio.com and also at the St. Mary’s County Arts Council Gallery & Gift Shop during the limited run of this month-long exhibit.
Learn more about our featured artist at the links below:
Upcoming local workshops:
Southern Maryland Folklife Center/ Summer Workshops May 20 & 21, 2023, details TBA at: https://www.somdfolklife.org/