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Work Samples

"The weight of absence"

Charcoal drawing of Clifton park bandshell
"The weight of absence," Charcoal and graphite on paper, 2016, 26" x 40"

Rumble Over Baltimore

Charcoal and graphite on paper, 54? x 85?

Morning Light

Charcoal on paper, 38" x 52"


About Erin

Baltimore City

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. ... more


The architectural drawings I am currently working on came about through grieving the loss of my father in late 2014. He was an architect who enjoyed exploration, always interested in finding new ways to get from here to there. I wanted to create a body of work that served as both a commemoration of his life, and a relief from the heartbreak of his death.

I started exploring parts of Baltimore City I did not know well. At some point I began taking photographs of certain buildings and structures that caught my attention, ones I thought would have been of interest to my dad. These ruminations, explorations, and photographs have become the foundation for my new body of work.

My goal is not to simply document buildings. I want to capture feeling, either my own somber feeling or a feeling I think a building can personify. I often manipulate the light and dark areas within my compositions, taking artistic liberties when applying the charcoal. As I have progressed in the series a desire to leave parts of the structures unfinished has developed, alluding to a sense of loss or emptiness. The challenge of balancing highly rendered areas with the underlying minimal framework of lines has become a focus, one that I anticipate will evolve as my exploration of the City continues to deepen. To leave the framework of the drawing visible is an attempt to reveal not only the immensity of the structure, but also the immensity of my grief.


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.

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Erin's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.