Eric started oil painting at the age of seven, painting en plein-air along with his father, Kent R. Wallis. The two worked together, trekking through mountain forests and rural farmland, searching out scenes of quiet, soulful serenity. Spending his formative years at the side of his experienced father, Eric attained mastery of his medium at a very early age--and for him, painting became intrinsic to living.
Many awards followed through Eric’s school years as he continued to find voice in visual clarity. His impressionistic style continued to develop; color and texture the focus of the experience. During this time, his musical talents were blossoming, as well, fostering Eric's continuing love of jazz.
Eric received a music scholarship at Utah State University, but after teaching a percussion class at a local middle school, he quickly changed direction and embarked upon a formal education in painting. Eric studied with Adrian Van Suchtelen, an extraordinary figurative artist with traditional discipline at hand. Glen Edwards from Art Center, also with a traditional approach, guided Eric in a loose, impressionistic style. Figure painting was the emphasis at USU. Eric received a BFA in painting in 1992.
In 1990 Eric embarked on a professional art career. He was accepted to hang in The Long Gallery of Scottsdale, Arizona. Immediately, it became a full-time vocation, so Eric worked to finish his junior and senior years at USU and devote himself to painting. In the decades since completing his degree, Eric has painted full time, working with singular determination in the continuing pursuit of soulful serenity--both in landscape and figurative form. His body of work continues to grow, reaching an ever-widening and appreciative audience.
The popularity of Eric’s work hasn’t kept him from reaching. In 1997 he was selected to study with two of the finest artists in America, Richard Schmid and Burton Silverman in Loveland Colorado. Discipline and traditional technique were stressed and Eric began re-tooling skills to include drawing, value, and chiaroscuro. This emphasis, in addition to the color and texture of the impressionists, loft Eric’s paintings to higher levels of subjectivity and emotion. Now substantive, the work is being recognized by the finest collectors across the United States and reaching across oceans to England, Italy, Australia, and Turkey.
Eric has been asked to participate in many group shows including the prestigious Peppertree Art Show at the Peppertree Ranch in Santa Ynes California. Other group shows include the East Meets West show in Gaithersburg Maryland, the Tri-cities Art Show in Richland Washington, The Phippen Museum Art Show in Prescott Arizona, and the Celebration of Fine Art in Scottsdale Arizona.