Logged in as: Christina Pallotta, Lyndhurst
Designer Profile

Erin Hanson

Artist Statement:

“My goal is to capture the beauty of light during the golden hour and transform ordinary landscapes into extraordinary mosaics of color and texture. I apply oil paints in thick, expressive brushstrokes laid side-by-side, without blending, in the style I coined Open Impressionism. My goal for each painting is to capture a moment in time so beautiful it makes you catch your breath when you see it. I want my paintings to speak to you again and again, drawing you in, making you part of the impressionistic movement."


Erin Hanson has been painting in oils since she was eight years old. As a teenager, she apprenticed at a mural studio where she painted 40-foot-tall works on canvas, while selling art commissions on the side. After getting a degree in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley, Erin became a rock climber at Red Rock Canyon, Nevada. Inspired by the colorful scenery she was climbing, she decided to paint one painting every week for the rest of her life. She has stuck to that decision ever since, becoming one of the most prolific artists in history. Erin Hanson's style is known as "Open Impressionism" and is taught in art schools worldwide. With thousands of collectors eagerly anticipating her work and millions of followers online, Hanson has become an iconic, driving force in the rebirth of contemporary impressionism.

Hanging precariously and horizontally from red sandstone hundreds of feet above the ground may not seem like it would inspire the creation of beautiful oil paintings, but that is precisely what happened with Erin Hanson.  The colorful cliffs of Red Rock Canyon, Nevada, inspired Erin to paint with thick, blocky strokes of paint, and she developed her own techniques of capturing the vibrant colors and bold lines of the desert, in a new style of painting that became known as Open Impressionism.

Open Impressionism uses color to create emotion, thick oil paint strokes to create movement, and separated brushwork to create a stained glass effect. Open Impressionism is a blend of classical impressionism and modern expressionism, with a dash of plein air style. Unlike traditional oil painters, Hanson does not build up the painting layer by layer; instead, she lays her paint strokes side by side without overlapping and works to get each stroke “right the first time.”  These clean strokes give a mosaic effect to her paintings, while also conveying a sense of movement to her work. She uses a limited palette of only five pigments to create a vivid dance of un-muddied color upon the canvas, choosing colors that ignite the imagination and capture the emotional feeling of being out of doors.

Through the years, Hanson has continued to use the outdoors to inspire a vast collection of works.  She visits the Colorado plateau every year, backpacking and hiking through Zion National Park, Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley, and other national parks.  Other favorite haunts include Carmel, Big Sur, Paso Robles, Oregon wine country, Joshua Tree National Park, and the Anza-Borrego desert.  Erin Hanson transforms these landscapes into abstract mosaics of color and texture, her impasto application of paint lending a sculptural effect to her art.  Her oil paintings stand out in a crowd, bringing a fresh new look to Western landscapes.

View All Designers
Collections by this Designer
Crystal Sea