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Work Samples

"After 45 years"

charcoal drawing of a bedroom
"After 45 years," Charcoal and graphite on paper, 11" x 14.25", 2020

Monument Valley

Charcoal and graphite on paper, 42.5" x 57"

In a house filled with women

charcoal drawing of a bedroom
Charcoal and graphite on paper, 11" x 14.25"

The weight of absence

Charcoal drawing of Clifton park bandshell
Charcoal and graphite on paper, 26" x 40", Private Collection


About Erin

Baltimore City

Erin Fostel's picture
Erin Fostel (b.1981, Baltimore, MD) spent the first few years of life navigating the world with blurred vision. Since the moment she first wore glasses, seeing things in focus for the very first time, she has been consumed with the joy of observation and a love of drawing. In 2004, she received a BFA in Drawing from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her work has been featured in group and solo exhibitions both in the Mid-Atlantic Region and nationally. She is a past winner of a Maryland State Arts... more

Women's Bedrooms

Since early 2019, I have been working on a series of drawings of women’s bedrooms. After spending several years drawing public spaces I wanted to focus on private interiors. My shift in interest from exterior to interior spaces coincided with a realization that I had been watching many of the women in my life rebuild their homes, often after upheaval. I developed an interest in acknowledging the resiliency required in rebuilding one’s life, and wanted to display the value of sanctuary within the home. I focused on the bedroom as a unique place where a sole woman occupant can be free of much of the objectification and expectation imposed upon her most anywhere else in her life, which is why her figure is explicitly not shown. We acknowledge her through representation of her space, rather than her body. 

Women's Bedrooms (continued)

The Weight of Absence

This series of drawings depicts architectural structures located in the city of Baltimore, my hometown. This work initially stemmed from a place of loss. As I grieved the death of my father, who was an architect, I used representations of physical structures to attempt to create an external vessel to hold my immense feelings of grief. I found these structures by exploring the City on foot, by bike, or by car. By building space and form through the layering of charcoal marks, I created tonal landscapes, rendering both the city and my internal world. As the work progressed, I developed an increased interest in the interplay of presence and absence, where the tangible and intangible become intertwined.

The Weight of Absence (continued)

East Baltimore Crankie

In January of 2018, David Native Son Ross and I performed a collaborative crankie. A crankie is a scrolled panorama, and for our performance I created 15 drawings of East Baltimore. As I cranked through the drawings, David performed a spoken word piece he specifically wrote to accompany the images.  Included here is a video of the performance and a few of the drawings. Once the performance was completed, the crankie scroll was cut up and sold.


As a child, I spent hours in my room drawing, writing, and daydreaming. I created different worlds on paper and then melted into them. It was a time when my dreams and my reality were divided by such a thin line that sometimes I lost touch with the present. I wish I had retained that pure, naïve imagination. It has been lost due to lack of use, from falling into the daily drudge of adulthood. This series of drawings is about the spirit of imagination, a power so strong that it can change your world.


The goal of these drawings was to depict a series of characters at the moment of transition in their story. They are in the midst of an action or an emotion that is an integral point in their narrative.

  • Snow White

    Charcoal on paper, 53" x 42", Private collection
  • Salome

    Charcoal on paper, 56" x 42", Private collection
  • Which?

    Charcoal on paper, 68" x 42", Private Collection
  • Okichi

    Charcoal on paper, 42" x 72"
  • Lucy (Mina)

    Charcoal on paper, 56" x 42", Private collection
  • Ophelia

    Charcoal on paper, 50" x 38", Private collection
  • Cinderella

    Charcoal on paper, 66" x 42", Private collection
  • Delirium

    Charcoal on paper, 27" x 35", Private collection


This series of drawings is about balancing light, pattern, and figure. Many pieces in the series were drawn on stretched cotton.

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Erin's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.