As a child, Erica Horton made art like most children do – as a form of play or a means to express things children have no words for.
Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
Horton solved that problem simply by continuing to make art regardless of fear or expectations.
“My father and brother were artists. They could capture anything realistically,” she said. “It took a long time for me to accept my own style as I compared myself to them, but once I stopped comparing myself to others, I became free and my own style emerged.”
Horton’s style is flowing and free; swirls and repetitive patterns representing mystery and metaphors for her moods or feelings. Her latest piece, “Forest of Dreams,” is her spin on Little Red Riding Hood and shows a lone hooded figure in a forest of red trees with a silhouette of a wolf hidden among them.
“Blue Moon,” a mixed-media piece, came to fruition after she dreamed she was painting the piece; a full moon flanked by the twirling branches of two trees whose trunks meet at the bottom and curl upward almost into the shape of a heart. To Horton, it is all about heart and true emotions. “I put a lot of myself into my art, and sharing it sometimes feels like sharing a page out of my diary,” she said.
Horton’s father was a minister, and she grew up all over Washington state. She attended Seattle Pacific University for a year and then moved to the Spokane area to study nursing at Spokane Community College. She graduated in 2007 and began working in the field. For the past five years, she has been working the night shift at Lakeland Village, a state-operated facility in Medical Lake. She has never stopped making art.
She is a member of Avenue West Gallery. With a full-time job and a 5-year-old daughter, she is taking it slow and enjoying the process; playing and expressing herself in watercolor, ink, and acrylic paint.
“The whole process centers me; it is my form of meditation. It allows me to really focus and think things through clearly,” she said. “I find great joy in making things beautiful and in making a picture come together. Creating is one of my greatest passions and pleasures in life. My art is like a lifelong friend.”