My practice takes inspiration from the physical landscapes found in the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, as well as aspects of each region’s landscape painting traditions. Through processes of abstraction, I develop low-relief paintings that seek to create a ‘poetry of place’ by capturing the intangible qualities of landscape: atmosphere, emotion and associated memories.
In these works, surface and texture are paramount. Natural materials including wood, cast paper from tree bark, dirt and sand are mixed into the paint to create an illusionistic scene that has a sense of materiality akin to various geographic formations and regions. In these representations, my intention is to focus upon the similarities shared by diverse topographies, as well as cultural representations of land, that are found throughout the globe.
From 2010 - 2013, Erin Schalk lived in Okinawa, Japan where she worked as a professional artist and educator. In Okinawa, she participated in island-wide exhibitions including Inspire Japan to benefit the victims of the March 11th, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and Okiten, a juried event held annually since the end of WWII.
In 2017, Schalk received her MFA in Studio from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Today, she is a hybrid visual artist and writer. She continues to exhibit her artwork throughout the U.S. and internationally, and she publishes her poetry in national and global literary journals.