Ideas run rampant in Eric Romero’s head.
It’s a full-time job keeping them in order.
Romero says he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’m always thinking about art and how to execute an idea on a canvas,” he says. “When I’m close to done with a piece, I show my wife and she’s ruthless. Her eye for composition is amazing. She’s about the only one I trust that can tell me (a painting) looks bad.”
The last two months of the year have been busy for Romero.
He has had pieces in shows at A. Hurd Gallery and the Lapis Room in Albuquerque, which are currently running at each respective space.
His most recent piece of work can be seen in the “Guadalupe Art Show” at the South Broadway Cultural Center. It opened on Dec. 11 and is on display through Dec. 31.
Not to mention the New Mexico native has been busy working on his retablos.
“It’s a devotional practice and I make them every year,” he says. “When I started out doing retablos, it’s so hard to separate yourself from traditional painting. I make only a few of them per year and sell them to people starting out collecting.”
Romero draws inspiration from the Land of Enchantment.
His allegorical figurative paintings echo the Old Masters in technique and methodology.
Catholicism, mythology and New Mexican social landscape have influenced his oil paintings to tell a rich story of history, culture and mysticism.
He says working in the medium of oil, he tirelessly and painstakingly pays close attention to detail within the paintings and often paints hidden symbology within the composition.
“I’m a self-taught artist,” he says. “My first painting, it was a still life and I didn’t take any reference. It was a skull, a bottle, two books and a rosary. I couldn’t get the bottle right and I repainted it about 70 times. When my skill level finally caught up to my ideas, I knew I could make it better.”
Romero made the leap to full-time artist about five years ago.
“I’m a farmer from Tomé,” he says proudly. “I have two studios now and I’m constantly working. These days, it’s been about 20-hour days. It consumes me.”
Romero continues to push himself with art and find bold pieces to start conversations. Here are five things you didn’t know about Romero:
1 “I am into sustainability, I dumpster dive and thrift to get my stretcher bars and gesso old canvases.”
2 “My 2-year-old daughter and I have matching nail polish on our toes at all times. And my wife’s name on the side of my arm is the only tattoo I have.”
3 “I always have a cat food tin in my car to feed stray cats.”
4 “I’ve been operating tractors, trucks and heavy equipment since I was 7 years old.”
5 “I have always driven classic cars, I once fixed a leaky fuel line with a nickel, bubble gum and some electrical tape on the side of the freeway.”