Erin Drakeford graduated from the University of Georgia with a BFA in painting and drawing in 2003. After graduation, she spent over 15 years in the service and beauty industries in Atlanta and New York, started a small gallery, and worked as a flight attendant. She began painting in earnest in 2018 and has since joined MINT gallery as a studio artist where she creates her large abstract and figurative works. In addition to painting, she manages, teaches, and curates at ArtsBeacon gallery in Atlanta and moderates a monthly feminist art critique group.
“My work is a whirlwind of bright colors and figures on canvas. Most days, I will tell you the vibrancy is about positivity and always looking for hope and goodness in the world, but some days it’s about the futility and superficiality of it all. As a mother with two young kids and limited studio time, I am fueled by emotions and a desperate sense of urgency to paint. The pandemic has limited my time even further, and my new work has a frenetic energy that has evolved during these strange and trying days. My work starts from feelings of emotional disturbance; sadness, desolation, anxiety, fear, or anger. I then gain inspiration from the daily abundance of visual and auditory information I encounter, from the preciousness of nature to mass consumerism and the absurdity of the beauty industry. The bright neon colors and gold leaf pay homage to opulence and decadence and a nod to my eighties and early nineties childhood. I have a particular fondness for oddities, atypical aesthetics, and counterculture, leaving my figures and landscapes altered, abstracted, and somewhat grotesque at times. I find perfection and simplicity boring and false, so I do not do much preparatory sketching. Instead, I run the ideas through my head for days and begin painting based on what my mood dictates that day. Disorder, abundant color, patterns, and large brushstrokes smearing over the canvas are my truth. The paintings evolve over days and weeks with layers, redos, and decorative additions. They are complete once I have wrangled and settled my mind and I deem them aesthetically pleasing.”