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Erin Hanson: Impressions of the Sea is on view from December 10, 2019 – January 12, 2020.
Hanging precariously from red sandstone, hundreds of feet above the ground, may not seem like it would inspire the creation of a painting style, but that is exactly what happened with Erin Hanson. When Hanson began rock climbing at Red Rock Canyon in Nevada, the force of nature inspired her to consolidate the way she painted into richly-hued, mosaic-like brushstrokes.
Erin Hanson’s “open-impressionism”-style paintings involve minimal brushstrokes and impasto application of paint. Using a limited palette of pure color, she captures light and motion with spontaneity, bringing to her canvases the natural beauty of the outdoors. Her oil paintings stand out in a crowd, bringing a fresh new look to Western landscapes.
Erin Hanson began painting as a young girl. She was commissioning paintings at age ten, and by age twelve, she was employed after school by a mural studio. Two years later, a high school scholarship took her to Otis College of Art. Graduating high school at age sixteen, Hanson next attended UC Berkeley, where she obtained a degree in Bioengineering.
After graduating from college, Hanson began painting professionally, inspired by landscapes and vantage points she encountered while rock climbing. Rock climbing among the brilliantly colored cliffs of Nevada and Utah, she developed a unique, minimalist technique of placing impasto paint strokes without layering, which has become known as “Open-Impressionism.”
Hanson uses the outdoors to inspire a huge collection of work. The San Diego-based artist visits the Colorado plateau every year, backpacking and hiking through areas such as Zion National Park, Canyon de Chelly, and Monument Valley.
Erin Hanson’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries across the American West.