I often draw inspiration from textures and patterns found in nature. In my day-to-day work, I use primarily mixed media collage and painting; I enjoy the dimensionality behind working with found materials, layering, and other tactile techniques to experiment with how they interact with each other. There is something that feels natural in letting the media control the direction my work goes in. Often starting with an abstract, gestural background, I draw from the marks found within to bring out a harmonious subject. I believe in showing the artist behind the artwork; this reflects in my work as allowing pigments to disperse naturally and scribbling to block in color, rather than using precise brushstrokes. The detail level in each piece varies as I intentionally work to retain a translucence between the subject and background. Whenever I can, I love to embrace projects that envelope me in scale and allow for exploration in technique. Art and education go hand in hand and there are many things to learn concerning relevant issues in our world. Through my work, I aim to draw attention to such subjects including conservation, environmental awareness, and protection.
Some of Michigan's bright and beautiful native summer-blooming florals grow to phenomenal heights visually drawing attention to the importance, and benefits of these species. Re-incorporating native species into lawns, field land, and urban settings can help reduce air pollution, conserve water, and provide a habitat for native wildlife.
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea) is widely known as an herbal remedy for the common cold. Sky Blue Aster (Symphyotrichum Oolentangiense) provides nectar to butterflies and bees. Goldenrod (Solidago) is used as an herbal remedy for wounds and is drought-tolerant. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia Hirta) provides seeds to birds such as chickadees, sparrows, cardinals, and goldfinches. Butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a host plant for monarch caterpillars and attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees while being deer resistant. Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium) is known to be a remedy for head colds, toothaches, and a sleep aid.
This long stretch of boardwalk is in the heart of the historic Old Town Neighborhood. This boardwalk is a popular area for people to walk, jog, bike and fish.
Erica Bradshaw is a mixed-media author and illustrator from Kalamazoo Michigan. Growing up with a backyard of nearly twenty acres, Erica's nature-based work reflects a whimsical, child-like wonder that they encourage others to embrace. A passion for learning no matter your age is what inspires natural science illustration to marry with picture book illustration. Detail and accuracy merge with texture and wonderous, conceptual visuals.
Receiving a bachelor's degree from Kendall College of Art and Design in 2021, Erica is focused on building their career by making art that educates and inspires conversation. Since graduation, Erica’s work has reached collectors around the world, featured in juried shows across Michigan, and throughout various murals, public art installations, and commissions. They recently wrote, illustrated, and published their second children's book: Alphabet of Amphibians; an Illustrated Field Guide.