Impressionist Painter is Inspired by Her Backpacking Expeditions

Erin Hanson is a true adventurer at heart. A life-long painter, beginning her study of oils as a young child, Hanson has a way of translating her whereabouts into stunning impressionist paintings. Her frequent forays into National Parks and other recesses of nature include backpacking expeditions, rock climbing, and photo safari, inspire her work—which in turn inspire others to travel.

“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,” she explains on her personal website. “I often hike solo, waking up before dawn every day to get the best lighting across the landscape.”

According to Hanson, she always carries a camera with her, and her eye is constantly roaming for a unique perspective, an interesting tree, or a beautiful piece of light. Combining 19th-century Impressionism with the color palettes of Expressionism, Hanson’s unique style has come to be known as “Open Impressionism.”

“I am not trying to re-create a photograph,” she explains, “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.”

While traveling is largely forbidden (and for good reason), Hanson’s paintings stand as a reminder of what it is we stand to lose if we don’t take care of ourselves and—more importantly—of our surroundings.