Artist StatementIn this series of drawings, I explore tonal value as a tool to describe the urban landscape and the feelings it contains and evokes. My goal is not to simply document buildings. I want to capture either my own feeling, or the feeling I think a building can personify. I manipulate the light and dark values within my compositions and seek to balance highly-rendered areas with simple forms. As I grieve the loss of my father, who was an architect, I need to make work that serves as a commemoration of his life and a relief from the heartbreak of his death. Through these representations of physical structures, I attempt to create an external vessel to hold these immense feelings of grief. To find my subjects, I explore Baltimore and take photographs of structures that catch my attention. By building space and form through the layering of marks, I create tonal landscapes, rendering both the city and my internal world.
Erin Fostel spent her early years copying characters out of her brother’s comic books, and writing highly dramatic soap operas on her grandmother’s typewriter. A love for drawing and storytelling led her to the Maryland Institute College of Art. After graduating in 2004, she continues to explore visual storytelling through the act of drawing. Even though she appreciates that the world is full of amazing colors she enjoys pushing the tonal boundaries of charcoal, which is her primary medium.