Landscapes Radiate Light and Drama in Erin Hanson's Vibrant Oil Paintings

Landscapes Radiate Light and Drama in Erin Hanson's Vibrant Oil Paintings

In vivid pinks, blues, and greens, radiant landscapes emerge in Erin Hanson’s impressionistic oil paintings. The artist is based in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, where the rolling hills and surrounding mountain ranges cradle miles of vineyards. She draws on the textures and shapes of grapevines, trees, paths, and rugged horizons to create glowing scenes.

Hanson is influenced by the rich tradition of Impressionism, a movement that developed in France in the 19th century and focused primarily on spontaneous en plein air—in the open air—landscapes and portraits. Its seminal practitioners, like Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, and Vincent Van Gogh, broke with tradition by employing visible brush strokes that captured the fleeting nature of light.

Adopting a similar language of expression, Hanson uses thick paint in carefully-mixed colors that she applies in loose dabs to the canvas, evoking bright sunrises and luminous reflections. “I love the consistency of oil paint—it is like painting in smooth frosting,” she says. “I love how each paint color has a different thickness and texture, and how pure the colors are.”

The artist recently visited Japan to take in the cherry blossom season, where she made “Philosopher’s Path” and “Sakura.” She will embark on a trip to France this summer to retrace some of the places that Van Gogh and Monet lived or visited during their lifetimes.

Hanson’s work will be on view in a solo exhibition titled Landscapes of the West at the Sears Art Museum in St. George, Utah, from June 14 to August 23. And if you’re in Oregon, you can visit the artist’s gallery in McMinnville, which features a constantly rotating presentation of original works and prints. Find more information on her website.

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