Erin Farnsworth Studio


          Contact Information

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        Artist Statement: ARRANGED STONES

        The Arranged Stones series came from a chance encounter with a few attractive stones that I picked up along a walk. I immediately decided not to paint the rocks in their natural environment, but instead wanted to show them against a spare, interior setting. I wanted the subject of the painting to be nothing more or less than the rocks themselves: rocks as still life subjects that I compose and then transform into an interesting painting. I chose also to use watercolor to depict the rocks, in order to show and emphasize their bright, often translucent natural beauty.

First stone painting
The beginning of the "Arranged Stones" series--a few found rocks and a stick on clean sketchbook paper.

     This first painting led to many others like it: my work takes rocks from their native environment and places them within the walls of my studio. I emphasize the displacement of the rocks as objects in my paintings by portraying them in white, sterile, interior settings, thereby addressing the juxtaposition of the natural and the man-made. I carefully select and arrange the rocks in purposeful ways, so as to invoke a sense of humanity, continuing the concept of a human touch being imposed upon nature or natural elements.

Red II
"Red II," an early iteration of "Arranged Stones"

      By doing this, I hope to create a dialogue between the rocks and their previous habitat, as well as for the viewer to be reminded of the original site from which the rocks were taken. I desire to show the viewer that which is generally considered ordinary, but in reality is beautiful, and of great significance. I seek to show something that is not only personally significant to me, but is fundamental to the world, and to every human being. My recent inclusion of living (or previously living) natural elements, such as leaves and grasses, further emphasizes these themes and ideas.
It is my ultimate intention that the viewer will be presented and confronted with the corresponding connections and relationships between interior and exterior spaces, man-made and natural elements, and the viewer (or humanity) with the natural, outside world. The connections that I have discovered through the process of making the work will hopefully be communicated to the viewers through their own personal interactions with it. Furthermore, these issues may lead the viewer to consider his or her own relationship with the earth and with natural elements that are so often overlooked.

Red Stones
"Red Stones," an early painting in the final iteration of "Arranged Stones"

        About The Artist

        Erin Farnsworth

The love and interest for natural materials seen in Erin Farnsworth's Arranged Stones series comes as no surprise when it is learned that she was born and raised in the Mountain West, USA. Growing up in Utah, Erin began her professional study of art at Brigham Young University, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2001. During this time, the focus of her work was watercolor portraiture.
     It wasn't until she moved East and began g
raduate school that her strong connections to the rocky and mountainous landscape of Utah were realized. The tie she felt to the natural materials that reminded her of her native landscape began to show itself in her artwork - and so the Arranged Stones series began.
     Erin finished her graduate work in May of 2004, earning a Master of Fine A
rts degree in painting from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. While living in Washington D.C. area, she was a painting instructor at Guy Mason Studio Arts. After moving from the Washington D.C. area, Erin has lived, taught and exhibited in numerous places, including the St. Louis, Missouri area, as well as Northern Japan, South Korea, and Western Europe.
     Currently living with her husband and children back in Utah, Erin is working on a new series of portraits and figure paintings in
watercolor and oil.


All artwork and text on this website is copyright © 2019 Erin Farnsworth