Kolob Light: An In-Depth Look - Erin Hanson's Blog

Kolob Light: An In-Depth Look - Erin Hanson's Blog

Brighten up your inbox!

(503) 334-3670
Emerald Hills Emerald Hills fade fade

Kolob Light: An In-Depth Look

Friday, January 5, 2018

Erin Hanson painting Kolob Light

Zion National Park has been a favorite haunt of mine for almost ten years.  The landscape is quite varied, changing from high-altitude plateaus to steep cliffs of changing color, from slot canyons to river-bed scenery.  I love visiting at different times of the year, seeing snow in January, yellow cottonwoods in the fall, and golden grass in the summer.

A few years ago I went on a 5-day backpacking trip across 50 miles of National Park land.  I went with two of my brothers, and we hiked from Kolob Canyon, the northwestern entrance to Zion, all the way to the East Gate of the park. The trail took us from the dramatic canyons of Kolob steeply down to the Virgin River, and then up onto the high desert plateaus of Zion.  After three days of hiking across the plateaus, we came down to Angel's Landing, and then further down the steep switchbacks to the main canyon floor.  The weather was cold and crisp in November, and most of the leaves had already fallen off the aspens and cottonwoods.  By day four it had started to rain, and on day five it snowed all day, as we hiked up out of the canyon and out onto the slickrock of eastern Zion.  It was exciting seeing the landscape change so quickly from autumn to winter, and I have painted dozens of paintings since that trip.

Erin backpacking with her brothers

The painting "Kolob Light" captures a scene from Kolob Canyon, where we started the backpacking trip. To me the painting captures all the promise of adventure, and I imagine passing the long curling grasses and setting out to explore the distant canyons.

The brush strokes are loose and impressionstic, conveying a sense of movement within the painting. I wanted to capture the back-lit trees and the dramatic lighting cut out by the canyon walls. Because of how the brush strokes fit together, the painting has a mosaic, or stained-glass appearance.

Here is a photo of the painting in its frame, as well as a digital "in-room mockup" of the painting, so you can get a sense of the size of the piece:

Kolob Light framed

Kolob Light on displayKolob Light
Oil on canvas, 24x36 inches

I hope you enjoyed the in-depth look!

Erin Hanson


Erin Hanson ArtistERIN HANSON has been painting in oils since she was 8 years old. As a young artist, she worked at a mural studio creating 40-foot-tall paintings 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 now 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.

Join Erin's Weekly Newsletter!