Indiana landscapes inspire show

Eric Forstmann’s painting “Life in a Blue Place” is an example of the work he will showcase in Carmel.

Eric Forstmann’s painting “Life in a Blue Place” is an example of the work he will showcase in Carmel.

By Debra Sigel

Eric Forstmann’s art aspires to capture a moment in time, just like a camera captures a scene of great beauty.

Coats-Wright Art and Design in the Indiana Design Center is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition featuring this nationally acclaimed painter’s work.

Originally from Warren, Conn., Forstmann traveled to Evansville, Ind., for a showing of his work and became enchanted with the Indiana landscape.

He later came back and traveled the state, taking in the environment from the northern dunes to the Ohio River. He explored the industrial wastelands, rivers, lakes, hills and forgotten small towns of the Indiana countryside.

“You know, when you go to a place for the first time, you enjoy and have the freshness of things that have stuck with you.” Forstmann said, describing why Indiana first cast a spell on him.

He described his Hoosier journey as a new and exciting experience, and said the state was fresh and inviting.

Forstmann said he took that experience and used it to create a series of paintings that capture the sprawling Indiana horizon with a stark absence of human activity.

Forstmann wasn’t afraid to suffer for his art.

“The willingness to tie down your easel in the wind, to get your arms and face sunburned, to brave ticks, mosquitoes, deer flies, inquisitive passersby and personal baggage can make  (painting landscapes) repellant to some,” he said. “Yet, when you come back with something that represents both subject and struggle well, there is a value added. The effort can give a painting soul.”

And for an artist who has been compared to Edward Hopper and Robert Rauchenberg, Forstmann prefers to remain humble and simply focus on his work – that being the job of painting the chaos of nature onto canvas.

“Landscape work has also taught me to really look and to think about the long term, both in art and life,” he said. “At the same time, it constantly reminds me of how quickly things change and how you should take advantage of things when they are before you.”

“Indiana Meander,” an exhibition of the work of Eric Forstmann ● 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 7 ● Coats-Wright Art and Design ● 200 S. Range Line Rd., Suite 122  ● For more information call 569-5980.