Erin Fostel

Baltimore, MD | by November 28, 2010

When I was grow­ing up, I read the news­pa­per every day. And by “read the news­pa­per”, I mean that I went straight to the fun­nies sec­tion to see what Calvin & Hobbes were up to. I loved Calvin’s nev­erend­ing cre­ativ­ity, his energy and his alter egos like Space­man Spiff and Tracer Bul­let, as well as the fact a box could be turned into almost any­thing. When I first saw the work of Erin Fos­tel, all these mem­o­ries came flood­ing back.

The recently mar­ried artist has set aside stu­dio space in the couple’s quaint new Bal­ti­more home, while her hus­band – also an artist – keeps the odor of his paints in his garage stu­dio. Within her light-​​pink walls, Erin sur­rounds her­self with shelves of books, toys, a cat, a draft­ing table and an empty wall for larger draw­ings. Her space is as orga­nized and tight as the tech­ni­cal pre­ci­sion of her char­coal drawings.

In one series of draw­ings, she por­trays two peo­ple – her­self and an imag­i­nary play­mate, also played by her. The duo play off each other, but one usu­ally seems to be the leader in their adven­ture. The toys in her stu­dio act as props and cos­tume pieces. These props are ren­dered real­is­ti­cally as toys while the back­grounds often become another world.

As I walked from her stu­dio to her liv­ing room I dis­cover two won­der­ful card­board cos­tume cre­ations — a dinosaur mon­ster and a robot. I restrained myself from try­ing one on, but I did man­age to talk Erin into mod­el­ing the dinosaur so I could see it in action. It was quite the ter­ri­fy­ing monster.

With this much fun to be had, it’s amaz­ing that she has the patience to her draw­ings so maturely. After my visit she sent me an email with the real­iza­tion that we “hadn’t even talked about my actual draw­ing mate­ri­als and any­thing of that nature (which was really bizarre since at least 50% of my work is tech­nique)”. But in my opin­ion, to appre­ci­ate her skill level with char­coal on paper, you must expe­ri­ence it yourself.

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1 Comment

  • Rachel says:

    Thanks, Cory! I love Erin’s work and I hope to visit her stu­dio myself sometime.

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