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. He has also taken classes at the Grand Central Atelier. His education extends into time learning as an apprentice in Anne Harris's mural painting studio, a 2013 internship at Sotheby's auction house and many other experiences. 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 in Claude Monet's house and gardens in Giverny, France for 3 months in 2023.
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, Santoli is very influenced by the methods, materials and techniques of the 19th century. He is inspired by many academic and impressionist artists including, Claude Monet, William Bouguereau, John Singer Sargent, Anders Zorn, Joaquín Sorolla, amongst others.
Other influences include Japanese woodblock prints and the art and films of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli.
"As an artist, my goal is to give my viewers a feeling that they can’t get by any other means. My goal isn’t to paint copies or to mimic photography. I like painting works in oils and watercolor that capture fleeting moments directly from nature. I love painting en plein air, but I also have an affinity for portraiture and figurative work. I am very well versed in art history and have a deep respect for artists of the past who have inspired me, many of whom painted en plein air. I utilize the ideas and methods of impressionism, but I find it best built on a solid foundation of atelier training. With oils, I like exploring paint quality from thin and fluid to thick (impasto) and textured. I want people to view my work in person and to see each brushstroke. I personally love going to museums and seeing artists’ brushstrokes in person because it feels like I have a direct connection with the moment that they created the painting. I do a lot of sketching and I like painting whatever catches my eye; I especially enjoy rendering various textures and surfaces to create an illusion. 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."