Valdez, 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. Emotive and personal, her work communicates the excitement, grandeur, and terror of human life and the unknown. 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 before returning to her home state of Alaska, where she has created a new body of work inspired by the region.
"In my work, I delve into the relationship between man and nature, the unknown, and the possibilities of an unseen world. Drawing from my fascination with myth and traditional storytelling, as well as my childhood experiences wandering the forests and fjords of Alaska, 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 often includes the ethereal elements which elude our senses and plunge us into the realms of spirituality, mythology, and the abstract. Through my work up to this point, I have sought to communicate the emotion of a landscape - the overwhelming power of being in the presence of the primordial struggle of life and death that plays out in the remaining wilds of the world - and to bear witness to the inhabitants of the wild and visualize the spirit of a place. "