Here's a glimpse into who I am and some of the things that really spark joy in my life. Portrait image of Eric

Over the years I have become interested in activities and recreational pursuits. A lot of them help to shape my approach to life and to others in it. This list is not exhaustive, but you may find that you have similar interests.

Photography

From my high school years to the present day, photography has captivated me, merging my appreciation for technology with the beauty of human expression. Delving into the intricacies of ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, I've found myself navigating the labyrinth of technicalities, constantly experimenting with composition, lighting, and storytelling. Whether capturing the allure of stormy nights or the fluidity of traffic through long-exposure shots, photography remains a cornerstone of my creative endeavors.

While my equipment may lean towards the older spectrum, I firmly believe that it's not solely about the camera's sophistication but rather the photographer's perspective and ingenuity, coupled with post-production finesse.

Flowers
Flowers
Vienna
Flowers

My current setup (very simple).

Fine Art

(Pen & Ink, oil painting, sketching, history, etc.)

While attending John Carroll University, I enrolled in a Northern Renaissance art history class that changed my life. The text book was 'Northern Renaissance art : painting, sculpture, the graphic arts from 1350 to 1575' by James Snyder published in 1985. Mr. Snyder sadly passed away in 1990.

I have always enjoyed drawing and painting - and so I wanted a future career that involved the arts in some practical fashion outside of being a working artist. The text book cost north of $300 and it was a boat anchor of a tome, but I still own this book - it is in my possession today. It was special. It was full of some of the greatest works of art ever produced by mankind. It's full of my notes and highlighted dates, with ear-marked favorite works. I have spent countless hours thumbing those beautiful pages.

The course itself was was rather difficult but it opened my eyes to the beauty of man and of God and it referenced exotic European locations. I studied that book diligently and it sparked a desire to take up antique pens and bottles of ink - much like ALbrecht Dürer's etchings - and with pristine eyesight at that point, produced fine works of art myself.

Here are a few oil paintings that I have produced over the years. I have been fortunate enough to have works accepted into a Light & Color show that took place in Longmont, Colorado - and from that collection I did sell a painting. Funny story - a good friend of mine, David Graeme Baker, is a full-time successful artist living in Maine currently. He took a commission years ago, and took many photos of the family in their living room. He begun the painting - and during a visit I saw the reference photographs - and on their wall was that painting of mine that they had purchased. It was a small world moment. Image of amish people collecting flowers in a field Images of some of my original oil paintings Image of a painting of a path in a meadow Image of a still life of a blue vase and flowers

Classic Jaguars

That same Jack McAllister owned a beautiful 1987 Jaguar XJ6 Series III that sat unused in his traditional French driveway for a number of years. Home to all sorts of rodents. Having been of advanced age, Jack no longer drove the car, but he did drive me in that car while on errands while extolling stories of wisdom and experiences. Always while wearing a white dress shirt, ascot, navy Land's End jacket, and trousers with loafers. It was basically his uniform and he looked amazing at all hours of the day. I asked about the jackets - and he had a whole closet full of the same jacket so he always had a dry-cleaned one at the ready. Images that remind me of Jack McAllister Sr.

Anyway, Jack offered the car to Eric at some point - he had some service done to get t running - but there was still much to do. At that time, Eric couldn't afford to make the repars himself and ultimately had to decline. Thirty years on, he is now in pursuit of a British racing green model with a biscuit interior that he can lovingly drive around Newport, RI on the weekends - or around Presque Isle in Erie, PA. It will happen. And it will be special. And it will wear a Royal Auto Club (RAC) badge just like Jack's did.

Ancient History & Culture

Tremendous rain at Chichen Itza For as long as I can remember, I have held a fascination with the history of people and places. While not yet as traveled as I would like, I have been to England and enjoyed the medieval aspects of the city and surrounding landmarks. I'm interested in Tudor history and am a current member of the Richard III Society.

I've been lucky in that he has been to the Yucatán in Mexico nearly a dozen times, each time visiting Mayan ruins such as Chichén Itzá and Tulum. Such an amazing history and culture that just so happens to be located in a beautiful part of the world.

I have aspirations of traveling to Egypt to take in the sites - namely at locations off of the beaten track. His bookshelves are heavy with books on Ancient Egypt and I even own an ushabti (that might be real) that he holds dear.

I would also like to travel to the Indian Nations, visit South Africa and learn more about the Zulu culture, spend time in England with Tobias Capwell and learn more about the detailed artistry and construction of medieval armours. At one point in college, I considered going into Archeology - but the artistic side of his nature won the day and I took steps in that type of noble pursuit.

Wine Making & Unique Liquors

Jack McAllister introduced me to the art of wine making. Not merely the science of it, but also the art of pressing grapes and looking after antique carboys filled with fermenting juice. Watching the bubblers and making sure they remained full of water. Racking one carboy into another. The technique of the dosage when making Champagne - and using a fine Champagne brandy. Of turning bottles on a riddle rack so that the must in the bottles could be safely and later frozen for removal just before the dosage and the second fermentation. Of going and selecting grapes in person at local vineyards in North East, PA. Of purchasing different yeasts and oak shavings, of analyzing Riesling labels, and a lot more. How wine labels in Germany were so exact in regard to vineyard and grape locations picked within.

Jack introduced Eric to Mr. William Wright, at the time in his 90s. They visited and Bill took Jack, Eric and Eric's father up a flight of stairs in his home to his tasting room - a beautiful round table at the top, surrounded by warm wood, books about wine, awards, and four chairs. There we found out that Mr. Wright's Champagne was tested against the best in France - and was lauded as scoring better than the usual suspects - namely Dom Perignon. A few bottles had us believing. And then he took us to his basement - which had 4 massive riddle racks full of bottles in their second fermentation. Every wall was cubbied and full of champagne - there must have been at least 600 bottles of various vintages. Pinot Noir and another I can't quite remember. And lots of empty bottles being cleaned in a utility sink with a gravity hose. The whole house smelled of sweet yeasty grapes and must. What an experience.

I am interested in the infrequent consumption and making of Champagne, Riesling, Henri Bourdain Pastis, Calvados, Ports, Sherry, and Scotch whisky. I plan on traveling to the Normandy region of France.

Music

Music has always been a very important part of Eric's life. Whether for relaxing, helping to perform chores, painting, coding, drawing, sleeping, or hiking - Eric always has music playing on speakers, earbuds, or headphones. His tastes run a fairly wide gamut of genre and musical styles. At any given moment Eric may be listening to one of the following.

Album Covers