Eric Alexander Santoli (b. 1991) is a painter and teacher. He is a 2014 BFA graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and a 2013 certificate graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. His education extends into time learning business and art history during a 2013 internship at Sotheby's auction house. He has also taken classes at the Grand Central Atelier. He is currently a graduate student in the MA of Studio Arts Program at the Florence Academy of Art.
His current work and style was initially inspired by a 2018 trip to Spain and a visit to the Museo Sorolla in Madrid. He returned from Spain with a desire to paint en plein air, directly from nature and under full sunlight.
In May of 2021, he was awarded the Versailles Foundation's prestigious Munn Fellowship Artist Residency Award which will allow him to live and work as artist-in-residence at Claude Monet's house and gardens in Giverny, France for 3 months in 2023.
Like 8% of the male population, Santoli is color deficient; this is sometimes colloquially referred to as color blindness. Although true color blindness does exist, Santoli can still see most hues of color. Because of this, he paints mostly with value (lightness and darkness of color) and has studied color more systematically. This in depth study of color theory has supplemented his vision.
Santoli is proud to be a brand ambassador for Natural Pigments and an affiliate artist with Rosemary & Co Artists' Brushes.
In addition to painting, he enjoys being outdoors, reading, writing, traveling, skateboarding and riding his Triumph Bonneville T100.
"As a painter, my goal is to give viewers of my work a feeling that they can’t get by any other means. I paint works in oil and watercolor, working directly from nature; one of my motivations to work from life is to create my own memories, which I record in paint. Each painting becomes a key which unlocks a memory of a specific moment. Many of my works are painted with speed and spontaneity in order to capture these moments. I love painting en plein air (outdoors), but I also have an affinity for portraiture and figurative work. I enjoy studying whatever catches my eye regardless of subject matter; I especially enjoy the challenge of rendering various textures, surfaces and reflections to create an illusion. I am well versed in art history and have a deep respect for artists of the past who have inspired me, many of whom combined academic and impressionistic ideas. I am fascinated by the methods of impressionism, but I find they work best when applied to a solid foundation of atelier training. With oils, I like exploring paint quality from thin and fluid to thick (impasto) and textured. I want viewers to see my work in person and to respond to each brushstroke. I personally love going to museums and seeing artists’ brushstrokes in person because it makes me feel like I have a direct connection with the moment that they created the painting. I think of painting as an alchemical meditation and as a way of appreciating the moment; I want to capture that moment of light and color as best as I can with paint."