The Open-Impressionist Landscapes of Erin Hanson

Erin Hanson took to oils, acrylics, watercolor, pen, ink, and pastels when she was only eight years old. A gifted painter, she began commissioning paintings at age ten, and by age twelve was employed after school by a mural studio, learning the techniques of acrylics on the grand scale of forty-foot canvases.

After graduating from college, Hanson entered the art trade as a professional, inspired by landscapes and vantage points only beheld by the most adventurous. After a lifetime of experimenting in different styles and mediums, it wasn’t until Hanson began rock climbing at Red Rock Canyon that her painting style was consolidated by a single inspiration and force of nature. Rock climbing among the brilliantly colored cliffs of Nevada and Utah, watching the seasons, and the light change daily across the desert, provided endless inspiration for her work.

In these beautiful surroundings, Hanson decided to dedicate herself to creating one painting every week for the rest of her life. She has stuck to that decision ever since and has for the past decade been developing a unique, minimalist technique of placing impasto paint strokes without layering – a technique which has become known as “Open-Impressionism.”

Transforming landscapes into abstract mosaics of color and texture, her impasto application of paint lend a sculptural effect to her art. “I think the modern or contemporary art world shies away from landscapes or natural beauty,” she remarked in an interview with Art Aesthetics Magazine. “I don’t really understand why since it is one of the most pleasing art forms to the eye and certainly one of the most popular. I have a hard time keeping up with the demand for my work, so I am not so concerned about what the great ‘curators’ or ‘critics’ might say, but what the actual collectors and fans think and feel as a result of my works.”

Take a look at some of her striking landscapes: