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Erika Vaden with  Rain 48 X 72, at Palette Home, Richmond VA


Eternal 48 X 60

I was born in Rockford Illinois.  I lived there during the school year but spent my summers in California and Arizona. I was an interior design major at Colorado State University for three years before moving with my family to Hilton Head Island.  I graduated from College of Charleston in 1992 and began a career as a decorative artist.  I painted all over the east coast before settling in Richmond in 2001 where I now live with my Husband and Daughter.

As early as I can remember, I was drawn to anything creative and had my art pieces entered in various art shows growing up which made me somewhat competitive. Once I finished school, I set out to prove that I could make it as an artist and started painting as a career specializing in classical techniques such as Trompe l’ oeil, ornamental, and various faux finishes. My greatest inspiration was the English painter Graham Rust.

I have always had a dream though of being an abstract canvas artist. I could see myself doing it.  I read once that it is almost impossible to become an abstract painter without first mastering the skills required of a realist painter.  Once I felt accomplished, I began my shift. This was not easy for me.

Having relied for years on recognizable form to tell my story in art, I was now working solely with color.  I had to figure out how bring it to life on canvas.  I would finish a painting and my husband would ask, “What is it?”  Therein lies the question. It is just appreciation of how simple color placement can move a person.  How creating texture and movement on a canvas can make someone stop and stare.  It speaks to the soul and to that which is within us. This is what I love most.

Apart from painting, I enjoy interior design, running, great restaurants, peace and quiet, and my home at Smith Mountain Lake.


Here After 20 X 70


The Blue 23 X 29

 Please contact us if you would like more information about Erika Vaden, Fall 2016  collection of artwork showing at Palette. We encourage clients to take pieces out on approval. Plus, we ship and insure.



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