Commission Story: Edinburgh

Eric Brooks is deeply immersed in the art scene of Reno, Nevada and his home is a reflection of that commitment to the arts. The walls that surround his life are filled with paintings large and small that each tells a story about a connection he felt to the work. Some of the artists I know as well, but others tell the story of Eric’s travels and the artists he has met along the way.

This winter Eric asked me to add another piece to his collection: an aerial landscape of Edinburgh, Scotland.

He sent me a screenshot of what part of the city he wanted in the painting, we agreed on a size, and I started painting.

Eric wanted to commemorate Edinburgh in particular because he says Edinburgh is where his life changed and took a new direction. He loves the city and would move back in a heartbeat. He lived in Edinburgh for a couple years and during that time he realized he wanted to dedicate himself to working in the non-profit arts sector. Now the painting of Edinburgh hangs on his wall, reminding him of all that the city taught him and the close friends he has there.

I loved creating this painting for Eric, in particular, because I knew I was commemorating something for him that was instrumental in his life. Also, Edinburgh is a fascinating city from above. Courtyards are secreted behind tall buildings and the port reaches out into the Firth of Forth like a claw arm. Edinburgh is also incredibly green and lush, which was a change from the alpine mountains and wind-blown deserts I often paint.

A few weeks after I delivered the cured painting I visited his house to see where it hung and talk to Eric a bit more about his art collection.

I found out that Eric grew up in Montpelier, Idaho, a small farming town of around 2,500 people in the southeast corner of the state. His parents would save up money every year to take the family vacation at one of the regional arts festivals, where they would purchase one new piece of art each year. Eric told me that it was always exciting to have a new piece of art to bring back to the house and this is where his love of collecting art started. We also talked about how Reno, Nevada is the perfect place to start collecting art. In his expert opinion, the prices are low and the quality of work is high.

Art changes lives. That’s why Eric thinks everyone should collect art. Buy work that speaks to you, he says, and you will be investing in your community in a very tangible way.  

If you were commissioning a piece, where would it be of and why? Comment below with your answer.

Find out more about the organizations that Eric Brooks is involved with at Art Spot Reno and Sierra Arts Foundation.