Alpena (WBKB) — It’s a quiet morning off the shores of Lake Huron, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. On a quiet lakefront property, an artist strokes his pencil, again and again.
His name is Erv Lewandowski, a native of Posen. Lewandowski uses his color pencils to create masterpieces that are seen by people all over the world. Erv began to truly explore art during college at Central Michigan University. He continued his education at Eastern Michigan University where he pursued a master’s degree. During this time, Erv primarily used graphite and pigment ink as his tools.
When Lewandowski graduated, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do so he came home. For 25 years, Lewandowski worked in the family business, gaining valuable experience in business management and marketing . It wasn’t until 2004 that Erv Lewandowski picked up colored pencils for the first time.
“It took me about six to seven years to get my act together to where I knew where I was going and what my theme of drawing would be,” said Lewandowski.
Lewandowski considers his artwork a mixture of contemporary realism meeting hyperrealism and abstract realism. Viewers will often find two similar types of landscape mashing in his drawings. Once, during a phone conversation with a gallery owner, Lewandowski’s style was called ‘signature.’ Signature in the art world means that an artist’s work can be recognized anywhere, anyplace, at any time. Local gallery owner and long time friend of Lewandowski, Augie Matuzak has a whole wall featuring Erv’s work. Matuzak has heard firsthand how amazing Lewandowski’s artwork is, even to disbelief.
“One of the hardest things I’ve been told to paint or to draw is water and he does that to the point where folks that come in the gallery will have an argument with me that these are photographs,” said Matuzak.
Since 2004, Lewandowski has won a number of awards from all over the world. Perhaps one his most prestigious accomplishments was winning two best in drawing awards from the prestigious International Guild of Realism. Now, Erv’s colored pencil masterpiece, Cascading Water XV, will be featured in the 26th Annual Colored Pencil Society of America International Exhibition in Chicago. Not only is he an artist, Erv is also a teacher — the Colored Pencil Society of America selected Lewandowski as a host instructor at their 2019 Annual International Exhibition and Convention in Los Angeles.
“Once you have it, once you succumb to it, once you love it as much as I do, you feel compelled,” said Lewandowski, “Everyday, there is a drawing session in store for you.”
Erv continues to keep busy at home and with his work. Each January, he sits down, assembles his business and marketing plan and attacks the year with passion and vigor. With no signs of slowing down, expect more of Erv’s artwork to flood galleries around the nation and right here on the sunrise side.
Currently, Lewandowski’s art is featured in 11 galleries in the nation, including here in Alpena at Forty Five North Art Gallery. He lives with his wife Mary in Alpena. To learn more about the artist, visit https://erwinplewandowski.com/.