Artist Erin Hanson uses painting as a way to express her love for America's diverse array of National Parks. As an avid rock climber, hiker, and backpacker, Hanson used her outdoor experiences as inspiration for her latest Painted Parks exhibition, in honor of the National Park Service's Centennial. “No matter how many times I have been to a National Park, every morning when I wake up in the campground or in a bivy sack at a backcountry camping spot, I feel a complete sense of joy and overwhelming awe of my surroundings,” the artist tells us in an e-mail. “I return from each trip with thousands of photos that I use to try to re-capture these moments of peace and beauty on the canvas.”
By applying her signature style of open-impressionism, Hanson masterfully transports her viewers to an environment filled with all things natural and wonderful. “I love the intense, saturated colors I see at dawn and sunset, and many of my paintings are re-imagined creations of those times of day. I use vivid colors to excite the imagination, allowing viewers to explore their own experiences and dreams of the wide outdoors,” states Hanson. “My thick, chunky style of laying on paint strokes has an impressionistic feel that makes you want to reach out and touch the canvas. I want my paintings to be as alive and vibrant as the scenery that inspired them.” Joshua Tree, Zion, Bryce, Cedar Breaks, Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley, Arches, and Canyonlands are just a few of the western parks that served as Hanson's muses for this environmental collection.
To view the painter's energetic landscapes in person, you can visit Utah's St. George Art Museum starting January 16 through May 28, 2016.
My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Erin Hanson.