"A University degree with a major in Applied Art prepared me well for a career as a graphic artist, and I worked in a prestigious Iowa illustration studio for eleven years. Then, over thirty years ago I moved to the historic town of Stillwater, Minnesota along the beautiful St. Croix River and continue to refine my painting skills."
Most days - even the weekends, Ersland is in his studio to catch the early morning light, and his art studio is filled with the props and sketches that drive each painting. Of course being a horseman, ready reference in the name of a sport horse, Ike, is not far away and is the subject of many a painting.
"Some afternoons during the week and most weekends are horse-time. My enthusiasm for the sport probably outmatches my present riding ability, but riding sharpens my mental and physical skills and gives me a greater understanding of my subject matter."
"In the long snowy Minnesota winter months, I like to harness up a friend's draft cross and drive one of my two sleighs."
For eleven years running, his paintings have been featured in the national juried Cheyenne Frontier Days Western Spirit Art Show, and for the past two years his paintings have been invited to show at the Mountain Oyster Club in Tucson for three years, a prestigious cowboy artist's show. All of Ersland's artwork originates from his interest in horses, riding and American History.
"All my paintings are underlayed with the academic drawing skills I have worked hard to hone over the years. I underpaint everything in red paint, which not only infuses the work with a thumping palpitating quality, but works to harmonize the colors in the painting too."
Showcased as one of Top One Hundred Illustrators in Step-By-Step Magazine's Illustrators Annual, two books, Outstanding American Artists Today, Volumes I and II, and in 2004 Ersland was featured in Michael Fleishman's book, Exploring Illustration. Ersland has participated in many juried art exhibits including the Masters of Fox Hunting in America Centennial Exhibit and many local Minnesota gallery shows.
Will and Ike.