Artist Erika Manning grew up in Maine and promptly left as soon as she graduated high school, professing she would never return. At this writing, she has been here for twenty-five years.
“I kind of flirt with wanting to travel and live somewhere else. However, the pull of this amazing place has kept me here,” Manning laughs. “I guess home is where one finds oneself consistently for twenty-five years.”
Manning was fortunate to be raised by a family that is a wonderfully wacky clan of artists and craftspeople. When she was quite young, she thought it was completely normal to have an enameling kiln in the kitchen and spend the day making batik and tie-die t-shirts.
“We made potato and linoleum prints and all sorts of great collages out of sea glass, milkweed pods, and rusty metal. I knew all sorts of ways to work with perspective before I was ten. We used to tape huge pieces of paper to the hallway walls and paint murals,” Manning explains. “All those experiences allowed me to start to think outside the box as far as what constitutes art and one’s creative practice. “
Manning considers herself a mixed media type of artist and fairly comfortable with many different mediums and techniques. Right now, she is focusing on painting using oils, and in doing so, stepping out of her comfort zone and learning new ways to manipulate the paint.
“The process of creating the work is the most wonderful yet the most frustrating thing,” Manning explains. “Every time I’m in the studio, I meet myself right where I am that day, which is sometimes fabulous and sometimes…well, not so fabulous.”
So now what happens for this lovely lady?
Manning explains in one simple sentence…
“I am taking a deeper dive into my process and exploring new work that is slowly birthing itself.”