By Hayley Thomas
After years of painting desert landscapes, Erin Hanson found a new muse in the soft rolling hills of Paso Robles Wine Country. Hanson’s exhibit, “Colors of Paso,” runs through Oct. 28 at Studios on the Park in the Studios Atrium.
"I first saw Paso Robles in person on a Valentines' trip a few years ago. I was immediately drawn to the perfect rounded hills and beautiful old oak trees dotting the green fields. I had been painting desert landscapes for so long, and it was quite a change to go from painting sharply angled, red rock buttes and spiky cacti to softly curved hills and rounded trees."
Intrigued by the challenge, Hanson came back to Paso Robles a few months later and captured thousands of images during a weeklong photography trip.
"The apple green grass and yellow wildflowers were absolutely stunning," she said. "Ever since then, I have been painting Paso Robles as passionately as I have painted Utah and Arizona. I return several times a year to get re-inspired, always amazed at the seasonal landscape changes, and always seeking out those little moments of beauty that are hidden away from the bustle of everyday life."
Studios on the Park describes Hanson's art as "Loose brush strokes and intriguing textures [that] communicate the vivid colors of Paso Robles. Erin Hanson's oil paintings bring a never-before-seen style to California landscapes. Each painting is a unique view of the landscape, passionate and fresh. This is a must-see exhibit for art collectors and nature lovers alike."
Hanson grew up in the L.A. area, then moved to the Mojave Desert.
"I'd go out with my dog every night and collect bones, and I always loved Joshua Tree," Hanson said. "When I came to Paso a couple years ago, it was a totally different scenery for me -- the perfect rounded hills and oak trees everywhere."
Hanson participated in Festival of the Arts last year, but hasn't exhibited ay of her art in Paso Robles until now. She said she's gotten a positive reaction Paso residents as well as those who live elsewhere.
"I'm with six galleries right now and everyone loves my Paso paintings," she said. "The landscape appeals to everyone. Everyone has this idealist concept of what wine country is like. Everyone has an affinity for the area."
Hanson said she hopes to collaborate with Studios on the Park founder and fellow artist Anne Laddon on a pop-up gallery in the future.
The community is invited to attend a reception at Studios on the Park on Saturday, Oct. 27. Enjoy live music, check out Hanson's show and sip on wine provided by Peachy Canyon Winery.
For more information, visit www.studiosonthepark.org.