Traveling in nature is an incredibly freeing and inspiring experience for many people. Throughout history, artists have often been inspired by the natural wonders of the world. This is certainly true for long-time artist Erin Hanson. An impressionist painter, Hanson began her studies using oil colors as just a young child. Today, she combines her love of nature and art by translating her backpacking experiences into beautiful impressionist paintings. Her many outdoor hobbies include rock climbing, photo safari, and backpacking expeditions, all of which have inspired her artworks. Her stunning paintings inspire many people to embark on backpacking expeditions of their own.
“Now that I am a full-time artist, I set aside several times during the year when I travel out into the wilderness to get inspired for months of painting,” Hanson writes on her personal website. “I often hike solo, waking up before dawn every day to get the best lighting across the landscape.” The artist notes that she always has a camera handy while she’s hiking so that she can capture the beauty of her surroundings at a moment’s notice. Her unique style has been dubbed “Open Impressionism,” and can best be described as a blend of 19th century Impressionism and the intense and often surreal color palette of Expressionism.
“I am not trying to re-create a photograph,” the artist writes, “I am trying to get my viewers to open their eyes and see their world a little differently. I want people to look at the San Gabriel mountains when they are stuck in their car during 5 pm traffic, and see the amazing range of purples that appear when the sun starts setting and the brilliant oranges and sherbet colors in the highlights.”Erin Hanson’s message is truly inspiring. Despite all the amazing technological advancements we’ve made over the past few decades, the most incredible wonders of the world cannot be truly appreciated through an iPhone. Instead, they must be experienced with all the senses. These natural wonders are just outside our doorsteps, waiting to be discovered, wandered, and loved.