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Artist Adventure Series, No. 2

Adventures that Inspire Erin Hanson's Paintings

Saturday, April 30, 2011

It was a dark morning in Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, home and inspiration to Georgia O'Keefe. I awoke at daybreak, ready to search out the perfect scene to paint. The hike was short, only a mile or so, but it climbed straight up to the top of a butte. From the towering peak, I peered dizzyingly down to the ground.

So enchanted I was, I hardly noticed that the ever changing clouds and changed to a decidedly darker hue. I realized suddenly that the mountainside a few hundred feet behind me had disappeared completely behind a cloud: a dark, electric blue cloud that looked like something from Gotham City. It had grown suddenly silent.. then the deep rumbling started. I was exposed without shelter, a mile from the ground, with no rain jacket. So, I ran.

Like a leaping horse, I ran down the rocky trail, seeing for the first time all the blackened and barren pine trees that had been electrically stripped of their foliage. I ran, the cloud following me, the wind starting to whip, lightning cracking and snapping just behind me.

I reached my van as the first thick drops started splattering heavily around me. Ten minutes later I saw several sodden and unhappy hikers lurch to safety. But I sure got some great photos!


ERIN HANSON is a life-long painter, beginning her study of oils as a young child.  Her passion for natural beauty is seen in her work as she transforms vistas familiar and rare into stunning interpretations of bold color, playful rhythms, and raw emotional impact. Her frequent forays into National Parks and other havens of nature include backpacking expeditions, rock climbing, and photo safaris.  Hanson's unique painting style has become known as Open Impressionism, which is now taught in art schools around the world. 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, and she is quickly recognized as a prolific, modern master.

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