Eric Zener is an amazing, self-taught painter. He was born in 1966 in Astoria, Oregon, but was raised along the California coast in Encinitas. Interestingly, after college Zener traveled the world for two years, bartering his paintings for room and board. In 1991, Zener moved to San Francisco, where his mother was previously a violinist for the San Francisco Symphony. His paintings have been showcased worldwide and have won numerous awards. His art has also been widely featured in publications such as Harper’s Magazine, Travel and Leisure, Traditional Homes, and American Art Collector.
Zener’s works are so detailed and vibrant that they appear to be photographs until you take a close-up look. Then, the paintings are boldly painted using heavy paint and brushy strokes, almost like an impressionistic piece. The style is intriguing. He calls this style of painting “Contemporary Renaissance.”
I had the privilege of visiting his exhibition at the Hespe Gallery in San Francisco recently, and I was in awe of his new exhibit, “Tree Series.” Take a look at some of his striking pieces from the exhibit:
This last piece is a bit of a departure for him. He had just finished it before the show. It was oil on canvas, with an 1/8″ of space then a layer of glass. The glass was reversed painted with the fire, giving incredible depth and aliveness to the piece. You can learn more about Eric Zener and see samples of his work here.