In my work I examine the psychological relationship between man and nature, the spiritual experience, and the possibilities of an unseen world existing in support of our own. Drawing from my fascination with myth and traditional storytelling, I seek to draw connections between the powerful emotions felt in the natural world and the human imagination. In a modern world where nature can be a novelty and a destination rather than a habitat, I look for what humans can see and feel in the outdoors on a personal level. This includes the ethereal elements which elude our senses and plunge us into the realms of spirituality, mythology, and the abstract.
Up to this point, my work has fluctuated between two extremes. One variation is more directly influenced by my formal training in illustration and consists of small, intimate watercolor paintings that attempt to capture the spirit of a place and those who inhabit it. Another rendering consists of large, chaotic, emotionally charged and deeply saturated watercolor paintings of beasts, demons, spirits, and auras. Despite these differences in approach, what binds them thematically is where the external and internal worlds coexist and influence one another. It is in this space where I explore the universal struggle of wonder and fear, and implement art as a tool that fosters interpersonal connection and understanding through a shared experience that can be difficult to articulate otherwise. More than anything, my work is deeply concerned with art as a sacred therapeutic force that has the unique ability to connect people of all backgrounds.
Alaska-born artist Erin McCarty creates gouache + watercolor paintings on paper inspirited by the natural world, the human experience, and the metaphysical realm of existence that lives under the surface. After graduating from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon in 2010 with a BFA in Illustration, Erin has lived and worked in Portland, Oregon as well as Tucson, Arizona. Starting in 2015 she began returning to her home state of Alaska in the summer months, where she has created a body of work inspired by the region.