Block title

Work Samples

Monument Valley

Charcoal and graphite on paper, 42.5" x 57"

Temper and Soothe

cargo cranes Baltimore Harbor
Charcoal and graphite on paper, 42.5” x 41”

The weight of absence

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

Rumble Over Baltimore

Charcoal and graphite on paper, 54" x 85"


About Erin

Baltimore City

Erin Fostel's picture
Erin Fostel spent her early years copying characters out of her brother’s comic books and writing short stories 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. Her work has been included... more

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.