By Trishna Buch
- If you come out to the Art Walk on Saturday October 28, then you will have a chance to see the amazing works of Eddie Filer. I have never seen work like his before. Filer is pictured above on the far left in a self portrait.
Born on the island, Filer was raised in Galveston—living there for approximately 40 years. He attended Ball High School and, after earning his diploma, he went to Galveston College, where he earned his Associate’s Degree in Art. Following this, he went to the University Of Houston Clear Lake, where he earned his Bachelor’s in the early 90’s and his Master’s in 2006.
Filer entered the workforce by going back to where it all started. “I taught painting and drawing for 10 years at Galveston College.” Nowadays, he works at a full-time transitional center as a therapeutic assistant. And, on top of that, he also spends his time creating amazing portraits; depicting his family, friends and any person who requests one. “I have always enjoyed painting and drawing,” he told me. “Ever since I was a young, I knew it was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”
Filer works on commission. “During our face to face meeting, we will talk about the structure of the painting,” he told me. “We will talk about the size, if it’s formal or informal and I would like to see where the painting will hang and your reasoning for wanting this painting done.” After the face to face meeting, if both parties are agreeable to the discussion, the next step will be to meet for a photoshoot and a possible live quick sketch. “I will sit for an hour and a half and just do a quick oil sketch of you.” After the sketch and photoshoot, Filer will take all of the information and work on the piece; making sure to contact you if he needs you to come back at any point.
I asked Filer how long it takes, on average, to complete a portrait, but he told me that “this is a difficult question to answer.” Upon further questioning I learned that it will take him anytime between a few days and a couple of months to complete a portrait, depending on the depth of the portrait. And because he works on commission, the prices of his portraits vary. The range starts at $1500 for a 20 by 24 head and shoulders portrait.
Filer takes great pride in his work, as it is evidenced by the final product. By looking at the pictures on his Facebook page, I can see how much effort he puts into the work. In fact, a lot of his work looks more like a real-life picture than a painted portrait and I believe that is a testament to how talented he actually is. He also manages to make connections with the people he paints, telling me “I painted a portrait of an individual who was homeless. I enjoyed painting him so much, that I ended up doing five or six portraits of him.”
Along with portraits, Filer, a father of two, also paints landscapes and still life. “I paint the full body, and not just the face and shoulders.” Along with artistry, he also enjoys cooking, singing and previously took lessons in karate.
This past April, Filer won an Award at the 2017 “Portrait Society of America” Conference. It was an International Portrait Competition. There were 2,176 entries and Filer was chosen as one of the 48 that received an award for excellence. The award winning portrait is pictured above on the far right, titled “Uncle Martin”, which is 16 x 20 oil on oil primed on linen.
You can see Filer’s work up close and in person at the Texas City Sixth Street Art Walk on Saturday October 28. But if you want to get an idea of his work, I invite you to go to his Facebook page: Eddie Filer. And if you or someone you know are interested in having a portrait done, you can contact Filer at 409-766-0144 or