Erin Hanson is a life-long painter, beginning her study of oil painting at eight years old. As a teenager, she worked in a mural studio creating paintings for restaurants and casinos around the world. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Hanson studied Bioengineering while continuing to pursue her artistic passion.

Inspired by rock climbing Red Rock Canyon and the southern California desert, Hanson has since spent almost a decade painting the dramatic scenery of Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California. Erin Hanson has created a unique style of her own, bringing elements of classic impressionism together with modern expressionism and adding a dash of “plein-air style.” Her oil paintings stand out in a crowd, bringing a fresh new look to contemporary Western landscapes.

“The first step to creating a painting is getting the inspiration. Several times every year I put down the brush and go out by myself into the wilderness to hike and explore. I visit the Colorado Plateau every year, revisiting some places like Canyon de Chelly and Zion National Park over and over to see the landscape in different lighting and search for new compositions in the red rock cliffs. After returning home from a trip like this, my camera is full of thousands of ideas to paint from. I then have to somehow glean from my 2-dimensional and flat-looking photographs what it was actually like to experience the beauty I saw a few weeks or a few months earlier. I have to look back in my mind and try to re-capture those stunning colors and feeling of space and motion that get lost in a camera. After printing out several different photos from my stash, I sketch out an original composition that will transform my equally flat canvas into a three-dimensional miracle of color and light.”

Erin Hanson: website / instagram