Today we feature Erin Hanson, a wonderful visual artist for whom books, reading, and literature play an integral role in her creative life. Enjoy! ~ Laura

Library as Incubator Project (LAIP): Please introduce yourself! Who are you, and what sort of creative work do you do?

Erin Hanson (EH): My name is Erin Hanson, I am a life-long painter, starting my study of oils at age 8.  Hiking and backpacking as a child, and later rock climbing as an adult, has inspired hundreds of expressionistic paintings of mountains, trees and desert vistas.  I use color and thickly textured paint to communicate my love of nature and to bring to life the moments of intense beauty that I find in my travels.

LAIP: What is or has been your relationship to libraries?

EH: I grew up in Los Angeles without television, so my three brothers and I haunted the local libraries from a very young age.  I used to walk two miles alone to the library nearest to my school in La Canada, and I remember carting home laundry baskets full of books as a child.  While I now paint and travel during most of my waking hours, I still listen avidly to books on tape.  To me a good book is a transport to another universe, dreamed up and invented by another soul.  Likewise in my paintings I want to transport my viewers to another world of color and possibilities.

"Lighted Sky" by Erin Hanson.

“Lighted Sky” by Erin Hanson.

"Morning Splendor" by Erin Hanson.

“Morning Splendor” by Erin Hanson.

"The Path" by Erin Hanson.

“The Path” by Erin Hanson.

LAIP: Tell me about what we’d find on your inspiration book shelf – what are some of your favorite titles and/or authors for inspiration or reference?

EH: My bookshelf is crammed almost equally with science fiction and English classics.  For some reason these two genres excite me more than others.  I have read nearly every novel written by all the greats: Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Asimov, Pohl, Arthur C. Clark, Ursula Guin and Alan Dean Foster.  My classics library includes Dickens, Ray Bradbury, Austen, Bronte and Eliot.  I have read every novel Agatha Christie ever wrote, at least 3-4 times each.  Some of my favorite modern authors include Neil Gaiman and Michael Crichton.

LAIP: As an artist, what would your ideal library look or be like? What would it have in it? What would it offer for its users?

EH: In my gallery, my bookshelf is full of practical books, including nearly every book I can find, in old bookstores and online, for oil painting technique, art marketing, inbound marketing, and the art of selling art.  I have expanded my business beyond anything I could have dreamed of, by just reading and applying what I have read, and being both a business woman and a fine artist.

View more of Erin’s work on her website, http://www.erinhanson.com.

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