About ErinHardinArt

Therapist turned oil painter constantly exploring. Sometimes I'm exploring the complexities of human relationships, sometimes I'm exploring the complexities of paint.

Sometimes Love Means Not Complaining


I love my husband for a zillion reasons. He can make me mad faster and laugh harder than anyone I know, sometimes simultaneously. He makes a mean hamburger, pot of chili, poached egg, margarita, or whatever else he wants. He’s solid. He’s trustworthy. He’s generous and loyal to those he loves almost to a fault. He’ll make you mad. He’ll drive you crazy. But when push comes to shove he’s got your back if you’re one the ones lucky enough to be called family or friend.

The reason, though, at this particular moment I so love my husband is the mess in our house. It’s my mess. It’s art mess. Our house is not big. My easel is. Currently three rooms of our house hold canvases that may not, under any circumstances, be moved. There’s an easel in our “dining area” right next to his chair. There’s a reference drawing tacked (literally tacked) to the wall beside the window. However, my husband (whose hyperbolic diatribes regarding annoyances inflicted by the rest of humanity are almost legendary) doesn’t say a word about the art supplies taking over our house. He just turns scoots his chair over, looks at the painting, and complements my day’s work.

Behind every artist is someone willing to overlook some mess.

Waiting for Spring 

It’s cold. Our flannel sheets make it hard to leave the bed. The air outside makes it hard to leave the house. This southern girl is spoiled. I know that Bostonians and Minnesota natives would laugh at me huddled here in my soft Black Crowes sweatshirt, hugging my coffee cup and longing to turn up the heat. Laugh away. I’m ready for spring. 

Flipping through my journal this morning I found this watercolor I painted last summer of my little girl and me at the water’s edge. I can feel the warm sand between my toes and the setting sun on my back. For just a moment I am there, and I am reminded that spring will come again.

Upcoming Classes and Workshops

Erin Hardin- Winter WarmthIs your New Year’s resolution to learn a new skill? If so (and you’re in the Birmingham area) here’s your chance! I have a few classes and workshops coming up that may interest you.

“Luminous Oil Painting”

In this class we will focus on the classical technique of glazing which artists have used for centuries to achieve depth and luminosity. Come join me! You can register at https://www.samford.edu/academy-of-the-arts/


Thursdays, 12-2

January 7-February 18


Thursdays 6-8

March 3-April 21


“This is Your Life- Watercolor Journaling”

Ever feel like days are slipping by without attention? Would you like a way to record moments and feelings- whether momentous or everyday? Consider watercolor journaling. Using a combination of simple drawing, watercolor, and journaling techniques, artist Erin Hardin will help you start a lovely keepsake of your life. Register at https://www.samford.edu/academy-of-the-arts/arts

1 day workshop- March 19, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.


Let me tell you ’bout Katherine Stone

IMG_4478_2I show you my finished paintings. I show you my work in progress. I wax poetic at times about working through resistance and loving life. It’s easy for me to present myself to you as a fully formed artist with my own style. Which is true. But what is also true is that I steal. I glean ideas, techniques, tricks of the trade from other artists then I take those nuggets of information back to my studio and add them to my toolbox, mixing them with my own ideas, techniques, and tricks. I’ve had the opportunity to learn directly from some really amazing artists and I’d like to pay them tribute over the next few posts, starting with my most recent workshop experience.

I’ve had an art crush on Katherine Stone and David Gluck for a long time now. Their blog, Painting Stuff to Look Like Stuff, is both hilarious and informative and they’re both amazing realist oil painters. So, imagine my excitement when I found out that Kate (Yeah, I called her Kate. I know her now, so we’re on a first name basis) was teaching a week-long workshop an hour from my house! And not only that, Dave was going to be there for the first couple of days, as well!! Aaand I was able to get a spot in the workshop!!! Seriously exciting. Just ask my husband… you would have thought I was meeting Dolly Parton and Elvis.

What’s even more exciting, though, is that the workshop totally lived up to my expectations. Kate was every bit as knowledgeable, approachable, and likable as her blog suggests (the same attributes apply to Dave, however since this was Kate’s workshop, I’m focusing this blog post on her. I’m certain a workshop taught by Dave would be every bit as valuable, though, and I would love to have that opportunity in the future). Not only that, but she is also just a fantastic teacher. There are a great many people who are very good at what they do. There are not a great many people who are very good at teaching what they do. Kate, however, is one of those rare people. Her knowledge is vast but she is so generous with it and she presents it so clearly that you leave excited, not over-whelmed.

Perhaps the best thing about Kate’s teaching style is her ability to meet every one of her students where they are. She was able to give each student what he or she needed personally.

In short, check out their blog, Painting Stuff to Look Like Stuff. Find a way to take a workshop from one or both of them. And if you do meet them in person tell them I said, “hi.” 🙂

Here are some photos of my unfinished still-life from the workshop. I’m trying to decide if I’m going to finish it or leave it in various stages of completion and keep it as a reminder


Wish Her Luck!

My painting, “Love Letter to the Here and Now” has been accepted into the Meridian Museum of Art’s Bi-State Annual Art Competition. IMG_3651Last week I hand delivered the painting to the museum in downtown Meridian, MS. With a bit of nervousness and one last loving look I left my brainchild in the capable hands of the museum staff. Good luck, Little One!

Want to try something new?

Love to paint but want to try something new? Try painting on metal! To promote an upcoming class at Samford Academy of the Arts, as promised I’ll be posting pictures of paintings I’ve done on metal such as copper or aluminum. Here’s another one of my favorites:

New Beginnings, 20"x24", Oil on aluminum

New Beginnings, 20″x24″, Oil on aluminum

This painting won “Best In Show” a couple of years back at the Birmingham Art Association’s annual competition. The thing I love about painting on metal is the luminosity you can achieve. I often paint on traditional supports such as linen and canvas as well, however with metal you don’t have to compete with the texture of the fabric below. No matter how many layers of paint you add, the shine of the metal seems to glow through.

Painting on metal has its challenges as well. Which is why you should probably learn it from an experienced teacher. Like me! Check out this link for more info: http://www.samford.edu/academy-of-the-arts/ or on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SamfordAcademyoftheArts

Class is Still Open!

Hey y’all- I’ve still got some spots left in my upcoming class at Samford Academy of the Arts. The class is Oil Painting on Metal (though I’m thinking I should have called it  “Classical Oil Painting” or “Luminous Oil Painting” or “Really Realistic Oil Painting on Super Smooth Shiny Surfaces” or something catchy like that).

To promote the class I’m going to be posting some of my works done on metals such as copper, steel, and aluminum.

For example, this one entitled, “Bright Idea.”Bright IdeaThis 12″ x12″ oil painting on copper is one of my favorites. It’s also on the cover of Samford Academy of the Arts catalog.

Students have their choice of Tuesday mornings from 9-11 or Wednesday evenings from 6-8.

Love Letter to the Here and Now

Hey y’all, remember me? Ages ago I posted (here!) the beginnings of a portrait I was doing of my little girl. However, I just realized I never shared the completed painting. So, I present to you “Love Letter to the Here and Now.”


“Love Letter to the Here and Now” by Erin Hardin- Oil on Linen

The title speaks to both the fact that the prototypical “dad with the video camera” is using a smartphone to record his child’s accomplishments.

Detail from "Love Letter to the Here and Now"

Detail from “Love Letter to the Here and Now”

However it also truly is a love letter to my here. My now. Which I have to say, is pretty great.


My here. My now.


As I sit here, hands poised over the keys, reaching out to you, my friends in cyber-space, something weighs on my mind that I think you must know about me.

I’m not into this computer thing.

Yep. I said it. On my blog. The irony is clear to me. But it’s true. It’s just not my thing.

My husband has online calendars that he refers me to and reminders set-up on his phone for different events, but those things just will not jive with my brain. Words on a screen- be they reminders, events, meetings, birthdays, etc. just pass through my head like smoke leaving me feeling a little lost and confused (picture the tilted head and furrowed brow of a quizzical golden retriever) and unsure of how I could be this disorganized with so many organizational tools at my virtual fingertips. (And how I could have forgotten your birthday AGAIN despite the fact that I found you the perfect gift 4 months ago).

But give me a pen and paper and aaaah… life makes a little more sense. Perhaps my ego is in the way of progress (“If I did not create it with my own two hands then it does not exist!”) or perhaps it’s my artist brain. Visual artists are, at the core, manual workers. Our brains and hands must work together.

So this post was first written out by hand. That way I know you’ll see it. Because that way I know it’s real.

My apologies and thanks to the trees for supporting my antiquated paper habit. I promise to recycle the evidence.