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Artist Adventure Series, No. 3

How My Love of Nature Inspires My Art

Monday, October 15, 2012

Campground at Joshua Tree National ParkAs the summer heat is slowly shaking itself away, I am shaking myself back into my hiking and rock climbing routine. In August, I went camping and rock scrambling in Joshua Tree National Park, at Indian Cove campground. This campsite was new to me, since it has a separate entrance to the park from 29 Palms. It was great feeling granite under my hands again, and I learned that my brother has quite an aptitude for rocks, which will lead to more climbing for me!

My next trip was rock climbing at Stoney Point, near Topenga Canyon, and after that it was back to Malibu Creek State Park. The deep pockets in the volcanic rock at Malibu were much nicer on the hands than the hot sandstone of Stoney Point. Also, climbing in a cool, shady grotto in the middle of the summer is far more pleasant! (even if there is a risky traverse over a slippery slope next to a tepid lake to get there...)

Backpacking at Zion National ParkJust a few days ago, I got back from Zion National Park, where I hiked around and did some reconnaissance for a two-week backpacking trip I am planning in November. I took over one thousand photographs - any of which may inspire a complete oil painting. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by how much I still have to paint in my short life time... but then I just tell myself to "get busy and paint!" I was originally planning on spending this whole past week in Zion, but I got too inspired, and I had to rush home to paint. Among other things, I created a beautiful and very colorful triptych of the Zion mountains bathed in sunset red.

I was also excited to find fences at Zion! I have been painting old wooden fences as an abstract addition to my paintings of Paso Robles, and lo and behold - there are old rickety fences at Zion too! I can't wait to paint them. 

Here are some handy local area resources: 

Erin Hanson after her adventure!

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.

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