Sometimes I find materials in amusing or unexpected ways. Old, tubes of thickened acrylic paint make great irregular, splotchy lines, I've discovered, and there's one odd shade of casein paint that makes unruly dots and streaks under the pressure of a squeegee - and there's no other paint I've found that behaves like that.

Erik Barthels

About the Artist


Erik Barthels (b. 1980) is a Mandeville, Louisiana-based painter creating colorful abstractions that harness the power of chance to explore color and form. Working primarily in watercolor and thin washes of acrylic, Erik uses a squeegee to spread thin washes of pigment across his paper to create fluid arches of organic pattern. Erik's languid compositions are occasionally obstructed by collage elements that supplant the subtle nuances of paint with hard-edged geometries.

News and Notables
  • Featured in New American Paintings, 2022

  • Exhibited at The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 2022

  • Exhibited at INK Miami, 2019