Eric Parnell has been active as an artist since 2002, yet his artistic heritage as a member of the Eagle clan of British Columbia’s Haida Nation goes back many centuries. He has worked at many jobs over his life, but making simple sketches (“doodling”, as he calls it) was always a pleasure for him. His partner, also very artistic, began to notice his talent and encouraged him to devote more time to his drawings and to show them to the public. He took her advice.
Eric describes himself as “self-taught,” saying that “books were my teachers”. He studied the traditional Haida art forms in books on this subject, learning the formal descriptions of the shapes and subjects of paintings and carvings, and adapting and creating his own distinctive paintings within this tradition. He also began to share with other artists, absorbing their examples and suggestions, but always following his own inner vision of what he wanted to portray. Eric specializes in limited edition prints, though originals can be acquired. He also applies his impressive talent to drums, garments, table tops and ceremonial attire.