Skip to main content

Style El Dorado County Foothills

Erin Kinsey

11/26/2014 01:58PM ● By Style

Photo by Dante Fontana © Style Media Group

As a child, Erin Kinsey was always drawing—mostly animals and trees—and every year looked forward to summertime visits with Grandma, who’d take her to the craft store and spend all week making art together.

Kinsey’s love of nature only strengthened in her teen years as she studied medicinal plants and wilderness survival; in college, she turned to mural painting and garden design and maintenance to pay for her college and living expenses while she studied art, graphic design, and psychology.
Earlier this year, Kinsey took her artistic passion full circle with the launch of Artisan Moss. Using real plant life, Kinsey “paints” vertically what she once designed on the ground, creating truly unique works of art. Showcasing her pieces at artisan festivals statewide, you can also find her work at beginning this month.

HLB: Describe your company Artisan Moss?

EK: I design textural, three-dimensional art incorporating moss, ferns, unique branches and other natural elements. When I design, I like to play, arranging and rearranging until there’s certain symmetry or asymmetry that people can connect with. The final design is then installed into a handmade frame made of locally reclaimed wood. Every piece is one of a kind.

HLB: How does your art differ from living walls?

EK: I use plants that are entirely preserved: They don’t require water or sunlight. Living walls—while fascinating—are heavy and labor intensive. Artisan Moss is hung like any picture and provides an effortless way to bring nature into your home or workplace.

HLB: What draws you to plants and nature?

EK: Plants are unique pieces of art. They’re intricate and hold so much beauty in their natural state. Growing up in Northern California, I spent many days pondering the outdoors and collecting interesting bits of nature, like a rock-shaped heart or distinct pieces of bark; I loved bringing the [items] home and positioning them into patterns. In a sense, I remained in nature a little longer. With every piece I create, I try to connect the viewer with their own memories of being in nature.

HLB: Where do you find inspiration?

EK: I find inspiration all around me. I love scenic road trips and taking off on hikes. I can’t force the art to happen; the process is a type of meditative state. Each design needs a balance of intention and can’t feel contrived. Often my best inspiration comes during a walk or right before falling asleep.

HLB: What do you love about your community?

EK: I love the natural beauty, especially when it rains and the forest awakens; what’s more, people here really support local artists, and there’s always diversity and great festivals.

HLB: Describe your motto: “Be the change you wish to see”?

EK: I’d like to see people have the opportunity to connect more with nature, as so much of our time is spent indoors. There have been studies showing that workplaces with plants have significantly higher productivity rates, and it’s also been found that simply being in nature elevates our moods. There’s an innate connection with natural beauty. Once we experience it, there’s a pause that happens that brings calm and joy, even if only for a moment.
For more information, visit

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to the Style - El Dorado County free newsletter to stay informed