“I paint with and use Natural Pigment’s products because they are absolutely the best quality products available to artists today. Each product is crafted by hand with the goal of purity and excellence.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Eric Alexander Santoli (b.1991) grew up in Northern New Jersey, in a household with antique furniture and paintings. Many of these paintings were painted by Dutch artists on his Mother’s side of the family. He was encouraged to draw at a young age and started painting at age 14. Art and athletics were the primary focuses of his adolescence. Santoli graduated in 2014 with a BFA from the University of Pennsylvania and a certificate in painting and drawing from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Many of his college days were spent in the libraries, reading books about classical art techniques. While studying at Penn, he also took several art history and creative writing courses.
Santoli won a scholarship in his final year of school to attend the Portrait Society of America’s conference in Philadelphia; it was at this event that he first met George O’Hanlon and Tatiana Zaytseva. Since graduating, Santoli is teaching in Northern New Jersey as an adjunct Professor at Bergen Community College. Traveling continues to inspire his work and a 2018 trip to Madrid and the Museo Sorolla greatly inspired him to pursue painting more en plein air. Santoli is an avid motorcycle rider and proudly rides a Triumph Bonneville T100. His goals are to continue teaching, traveling, writing, reading, riding and of course, making paintings.
As an artist, I believe my goal is to give my viewers a feeling that they can’t get through any other means. My goal isn’t to paint copies or mimic photography. I like painting works that capture a certain feeling of fleeting moments directly from nature. I paint a lot en plein air, and I have a love for portraiture (especially animals). I am deeply fascinated by artists and techniques of the 19th century who have inspired me, many of whom painted alla prima. I like painting thickly and quickly and I want people to view my work in person and see each brushstroke. I personally love going to museums and seeing artists’ brushstrokes because it feels like I have a direct connection with the moment that they created the painting. As a person who studies eastern philosophy, I see painting as a way to practice meditation. By appreciating each moment and always working on my craft as a painter I am continuing to find new ways to be curious about painting.
ERIC SANTOLI ON NATURAL PIGMENTS PRODUCTS
I paint with and use Natural Pigment’s products because they are absolutely the best quality products available to artists today. Each product is crafted by hand with the goal of purity and excellence. As a purist in my art, I find it’s becoming more and more difficult to find products that are truly authentic in their creation. Natural Pigment’s Rublev oil paints are pigment and oil and nothing more. It’s a simple decision to choose quality over other choices that use fillers and superfluous additives. The other aspect which led me to use Natural Pigments is the fact that they produce colors such as genuine vermillion which are difficult to find.
I am also deeply interested in historical pigments and always find tons of pertinent information on Natural Pigment’s website, which includes an amazing forum of information. It’s not just about the amazing products, but I am genuinely proud to use Natural Pigment’s paint because it means that I’m using products that have a direct lineage to the oldest art practices in history.
There’s an old saying that says, "An expert doesn’t blame their tools". To me, that means that part of being an expert is having the experience and skills to select excellent tools. I am very honored to use Natural Pigment’s products and encourage everyone to do the same.
Eric Santoli Self-Portrait
Santiago Rum, 14 x 12 in., oil on panel, 2020
Murphy, 10 x 8 in., watercolor, 2018
My Triumph Bonneville T100, 7 x 10 in., watercolor, 2020