She may have settled in the cozy hamlet of Gettysburg, but local artist Erin Brown has a worldly attitude that is reflected in her colorful paintings and greeting cards. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (where she majored in illustration), Brown spent some time sketching in the cafés of Rome, Italy before landing a job as a greeting card artist and writer with American Greetings. A decade later, she reconnected with family in South Central Pennsylvania and started her own line of whimsical cards and artwork that fits perfectly with the Lark mentality.

We recently sat down with Erin for a round of Five Questions.

  1. A cursory glance at your website would indicate that you have an appreciation for color and a love of buildings and seascapes. What do you feel defines your aesthetic as an artist?

I love color in that it is an expression of myself. How I feel in a certain moment comes out as either pinks or blues, etc. I feel that the world around us is deserving of portrayal. The ordinary or ignored gets remembered and perhaps appreciated when drawn or put on paper. I strive to allow the viewer to appreciate the beauty and grace that surrounds us.

  1. You spent some time during your junior year in college sketching in your sketchbook in Rome, Italy. How do you feel that time abroad contributed to your work? (What did you learn there?)

Rome taught me the previously mentioned aesthetic - beauty everywhere. We were instructed to keep sketchbooks and draw everything. That was under the premise that we learn how to see and how things are constructed by the act of drawing. At the end of each semester, we had a show consisting of our sketchbooks laid out on a long table for visitors to come and look through. Presently, my blog acts as my sketchbook show.

  1. You're one of several local artist whose works have been featured and/or sold at Lark. What are your thoughts on the growing artists' community in town and how you fit into it?

An artists' community has always existed here - there hasn't always been the public support in terms of venues for art, however. Gettysburg has changed as a community in that there are more shops and the local Arts Council that help  promote and support local artists. The easier it is for artists to show their work, the more people will see it out in the world.

  1. What about living Gettysburg/Adams County inspires you as an artist? Do you feel the area is conducive to feeling creative?

Nature really inspires me and the experience of living among orchards and within an agricultural community encourages me to create. A friendly small town atmosphere where people are open and inviting to one another is also very helpful.

  1. You spent a decade creating greeting cards for American Greetings. If you had to whip up something clever for your tombstone, what would it say?

I'm not sure about clever or even a tombstone, but to be remembered as someone who loved and cared about people and expressed that in whatever way creatively, would be awesome.