Inside the Studio

Erin Hanson

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?

I love to paint abstracted landscapes that are inspired by backpacking, rock climbing, and exploration of the Western states. I am attracted to bold colors and unique viewpoints and compositions in the landscape. My paintings are designed to allow the viewer to escape into a world of their own choosing. My thick use of oil paint and loose brush strokes communicate more of an emotion than a photographic representation of a locale.  I consider my style of painting to be Open Impressionism.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

To draw five drawings a day to learn how to paint, and to paint one painting every week in order to learn how to paint.

Prefer to work with music or in silence? 

I love to immerse myself in an English novel or exciting science fiction story through Audible while painting. Listening to audiobooks while I paint allows my mind to disconnect somewhat and explore freely the potential colors and brush strokes in order to bring a unique landscape to life.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be? 

Van Gogh’s Irises. This was the painting that made me want to become an impressionist oil painter, at age 7. I started taking oil painting classes soon afterwards.

Who are your favorite writers?

I grew up without a television in my house, so my family read as a pastime. I devour books by the dozens, relistening to my favorites every year.  Some of my favorite authors are: Frank Herbert, Ray Bradbury, Charles Dickens, Michael Crichton, Agatha Christie, Jane Austen, Isaac Asimov, Ursula K. Le Guin, Arthur C. Clarke, and Neil Gaiman… to name a few.