An award-winning painter and author, Erin Gafill has inspired people around the world with her inspirational art, heartfelt stories, and uniquely engaging teaching methods. Her work bridges art, craft, and community, weaving observation, intuition, and imagination into her painting, writing, teaching, and public speaking.
A fifth-generation California artist, she was born in Big Sur, California in 1963, the daughter of a beatnik and a flower child. She is the great-great-granddaughter of Carmel’s first artist-in-residence. Growing up at her grandparents’ legendary restaurant, Nepenthe, a mecca for poets, bohemians and dreamers, she drew inspiration from its ever-changing cast of characters as well as the stunning and mystical beauty of the coast.
Erin is the founder of the nonprofit Big Sur Arts Initiative, and a founding member of the Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters Association (MBPAPA). In 2001 Erin was honored to serve as the first American Artist-in-Residence at the Hamada International Children’s Museum, Hamada, Japan.
In 2009, she and her husband Tom Birmingham were named Champions of the Arts by the Arts Council of Monterey County and were honored by the United States Congress for their service to the community through the arts.
Her exhibit Color Duets was the featured 2021 Spring/Summer show for the Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, California, followed the next summer by a solo exhibit, California Atmosphere at the Morris Graves Museum of Art, Eureka, California. She is the author of a coffee-table art book, Color Duets, with Kaffe Fassett, and a memoir about life/work balance, Drinking from a Cold Spring, a Little Book of Hope. Both books are available at www.colorduets.com.