Erin, when did you begin coming out to the East End of Long Island?
I began coming out to East Hampton the summer of 2010 with my girlfriends. I’m originally from Ohio and lived in Chicago after college for a few years before making the big move to NYC. In Chicago everyone stays put in the city during the summer months because the weather is finally nice and there’s a beach right in the city. But in New York, I soon realized, everyone leaves the city on summer weekends for the Hamptons, or other beach destinations in the tri-state area, so of course I started going out east as well. We would go to the Surf Lodge in Montauk and my friends actually met my future husband there. Flash forward to a few years later and my husband and I bought a home in East Hampton in 2013 and were married in East Hampton in 2014. East Hampton is where we began dating, where we got married, and now where we take our two little boys in the summer. It’s a very special place for my family.
What is your professional background?
My background is in Public Relations. I worked in PR in both Chicago and New York. We moved to Austin in 2014 for my husband’s job and I was lucky enough to continue my job remotely but in 2017 I realized I couldn’t sustain that level of a corporate job with the demands of two raising very two young children, so I took a step back from the PR world for a bit. While motherhood is the best thing that has ever happened to me, about eight months after I had my second son, I came to the conclusion that I really needed an outlet for my creativity so I began painting. It was therapeutic and a quick escape for an hour here or there. We have a small guest house on our property in Austin that is my husband’s gym space and I bought some art supplies and basically took it over (sorry, babe!). It took me about five or six months to feel like my work was strong enough to translate into a potential career. I built up a good inventory of paintings and built myself a website and an Instagram account and I was on my way. My artwork is now in a few galleries across the country and I’ve worked with designers and collectors in Texas and beyond. It’s something I never imagined myself doing but here I am!
Do you have any formal art training?
No, I’m self taught. I’ve definitely developed a passion for the arts, design and décor over the years, which has allowed me to experiment with art that I could see living in my own spaces. I’ve since taken an art class where I’ve learned about color theory and composition, but it was mostly focused on traditional painting such as landscapes and portraiture. It was a huge learning for me, and even though I focus on abstract and expressionist art, it gave me a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of painting. Also, my background in business and PR has been a huge help in managing the business side of my art brand. Instagram is one of the biggest drivers for art these days, and I’m very focused on connecting with current and potential collectors, interior designers and galleries through my feed.
I follow you on Instagram and see that you draw a lot of inspiration from the Hamptons how much time do you spend out east and how does it inspire you?
We spend around four to six weeks in East Hampton each summer and I draw so much of my artistic inspiration from the places frequent. From the beaches to the the perfectly manicured gardens and hedges, to the breathtaking sunsets, there is always something gorgeous in nature that inspires me out East.
How long does it take you to paint one of your paintings?
Sometimes a weekend, sometimes a couple weeks, sometimes a couple months. It all depends on when I can find longer stretches of time, and also sometimes certain paintings just need to be worked and re-worked over and over until I finally like what I see. My paintings generally have at least six or seven layers. There’s lots of texture in my work, which I love, because it tells the story of the painting and what it’s been through!
What is your favorite month to be in East Hampton?
Even though we tend to spend July or August out East, September, to me, is the most beautiful month in the Hamptons. We held our wedding reception at the Inn at Windmill Lane during the month of September and the crisp fall air and still-green ivy was absolutely perfect. In September the pumpkins are starting to appear everywhere, and the crowds are obviously lessened. Plus, you can still swim!
What are your favorite spots to take your kids?
Indian Wells Beach and Main Beach are staples for us. The children’s museum in Bridgehampton is fantastic. We love how fresh the seafood is at the Clam Bar. We like Bostwicks, La Fondita, Wollffer wine nights. We love the little park in East Hampton. Really, we love just hanging out in our backyard and splashing around in the pool.
What are your favorite workouts in the Hamptons?
My husband and I love long bike rides (although it doesn’t happen much anymore!), AKT, barre at Elements, soul cycle.
Favorite date night spots?
Nick & Tony’s is always a staple for us. The food and the service is always top-notch. Plus they have big round tables that are perfect for a group dinner. Serafina is another favorite for a day date. We love sitting outside on their terrace, sipping rose and sharing a bowl of pasta.
Will you be painting this summer in East Hampton?
Yes! My goal is to bring some of my art to the East End and collaborate with local art galleries and designers and real estate agents. I truly love how my relationship with the East End has evolved over the years I keep discovering more to love, and it has been such a source of inspiration for my art. I’m so grateful to have a foothold in such an amazingly special place.