Erin Carlson

I began exploring my creative side long before I could read or write.  As an artist you could say I started drawing somewhere around seven years old.  You could always find little sketches all over my spiral notebooks.  Animals and floating facial expressions appeared on the covers and in the margins of nearly every page.  It appeared I enjoyed doodling more than I enjoyed school work.  Continuing through those early years I found happiness in drawing Disney characters, cartoon characters, wild flowers, all sorts of animals and even portraits of people.

It wasn’t until I became enthralled by the work of one man that I figured I should give painting a try.  This soft spoken, puffy-haired, well-manner gentleman painted scenes of snow-covered mountains, bubbling brooks and, of course, happy trees!  I was so fascinated that I would inquire weekly with my mom about the next time I could watch an episode of Bob Ross.  Eventually, this obsession got me my own Bob Ross oil painting starter kit and a handful of classes in Wenatchee from a lady who taught his style of painting.  It turns out I enjoyed landscape oil painting almost as much as Bob and was even successful enough to sell a couple of my paintings before the ripe age of 17!  Art was just in my blood, I suppose. 

Fast forward a tad and the artsy side of me went on a bit of a hiatus after I decided to join the Marine Corps in my senior year of high school.  Four years and two deployments later, I was just itching to go back to school!  So I attended Wenatchee Valley College for two years and took as many art classes as my AA degree would allow me.  Most of my focus was on 2-D art using the mediums of pencil, pen, paint or pastels.  Since then, I admittedly haven’t put much time aside for art but one thing I’ve made time for every year is painting a bowl at the Empty Bowls Festival.  Ever since I painted my first bowl (back in 2012?), I have been hooked on the whole concept. 

Everything from choosing a handmade bowl, picking out glaze colors, designing the artwork for it, painting it, anxiously waiting to see the results and, finally, eating delicious, locally made soup out of my creation all in the name of giving back to our community!  It is such an honor to be part of the artist community surrounding the Empty Bowls Festival and I wiggle with excitement to see what creations and support our community brings to the table.  Bon Appetit!