My visual art and writing explore the intimate shades and textures of natural landscapes. I grew up on the coasts of Long Island, New York, and western Sweden and later lived for over twenty years in Minnesota, where I fell in love with Lake Superior’s rocky shores. 


My current photographic projects depict small abstract forms and designs in Lake Superior’s coastal bedrock and the bark of north woods trees. If only I look closely at the surface of a rocky ledge or trunk, I'm repeatedly amazed at the intricate arrangement of shapes and patterns I see. The arrangements that draw me have a subtle aesthetic, a quiet clarity of form and unassuming combination of color and texture that allow my eyes to comfortably settle.

I first started photographing in my early thirties, when I resurrected a childhood passion for drawing by studying art and eventually picked up a camera to capture natural subjects for my work. Drawn to the solitude and close observation that wandering with a camera encouraged, I gradually transitioned to medium-format black-and-white photography and darkroom printing.


A decade later I made another gradual transition, to color photography and the use of a digital camera, drawing tablet, and computer screen. As I did so, I increasingly recognized the influence that my mother’s use of abstract forms in her woven art had on my own interests; this recognition brought deeper meaning and focus to my work.

Alongside photographic projects, I use writing and drawing to explore natural features and my connection to places that resonate with my past and present. Whether I'm photographing, writing, or drawing, my work is rooted in a search for clarity and stillness in small corners of the land.

© 2016-2020 Erika Alin