The paradox of the term “still life” inspires me. There’s a fundamental tension between the still and the life, and that’s what I try to capture when I paint. To me, objects are never completely motionless, or emotionless for that matter, but seem to tremble and vibrate. The vibrations are produced not only by the construction of the object, but by the external forces exerted on it — the angle of the light, for instance, and the perspective of the viewer. I push myself to be as abstract as possible in the details but still achieve the perception of reality. To do this, I’m meticulous in placing the object and getting exactly the right light. Then, when I begin to paint, I never blend. Instead, I place thousands of precise strokes side-by-side, swaths of color that are then translated by the observer. Two inches of canvas viewed from a few inches away might have a hundred strokes that seem to form nothing, but when the piece is considered as a whole, hopefully the effect is highly representational. I know it’s working when the object, the environment, the viewer and I all participate together in the final result.Erin Berrett began painting at a very early age and has never stopped, earning a B.F.A. from the University of Utah, studying abroad and working extensively under the tutelage of Paul Davis and Connie Borup.Since then, her paintings have been regularly displayed in galleries and shows in the U.S. and internationally, winning praise from numerous critics and publications. One journalist wrote that her “treatment of everyday objects transcends their utilitarian elements.” Berrett herself insists that talent alone does not suffice. She regularly logs forty hour workweeks in her studio, accompanied by her faithful dog Pam.