Bio and Artist's Statement





Erika McGinnis has been painting and drawing since she was very young.  She earned her Bachelor of Fine Art from Boise State University in 1998 with an emphasis in art history.  Erika currently  is the editor of Pulsar, a newsletter published for the International Association of Astronomical Artists (  Her art has shown at various sci-fi conventions around the U.S. and has won “Best of Show” and “Best New Artist” awards.   Erika has instructed art classes for Boise State University’s Extended Studies program, Boise Watershed Project and now teaches at the Eagle Art Gallery in Eagle, Idaho.   She has done numerous illustrations for books, CD covers, and magazines, such as such as Farscape-Season Three, Black Petals and Tales of the Talisman.  Recently, she was featured in Professional Artists Magazine,  did an illustration for an article in Forbes Magazine and was one of the artists displayed in the Smithsonian's online Spacewalk 50.   Her New Star Tarot deck and New Star Tarot journal were published in 2001 and was released in an interactive electronic form by Wizard, Too.  She did medical illustrations for the book, I Can See Your Heart Beat by Jeff Schoeben, had artwork shown at Ames Research Center in a show called Small Worlds and was published in a collective book called The Beauty of Space.  Erika also gives talks about the issues surrounding light pollution.

Nine years ago, Erika started a company called Under the Cobalt Sky, LLC, which carries a line of products featuring her artwork and jewelry that emphasizes different ages of art history.   Also, Cobalt Sky offers bookkeeping consulting services to other creatives specific to the needs of the artist.  

Artist's Statement



     Gazing up at the night sky fills me with wonder about the world in which we live.  It brings me back to a childhood filled with awe about learning everything there was to know.   My early exposure to science, astronomy, natural history and art all have served to shape my artistic vision and I desire to retain that viewpoint of wonder.   I am forever grateful to the observatories, planetariums, science centers and museums that added to the mosaic of my being.   I have a restless spirit that I try to incorporate into my art.  I hope to revive that spirit and curiosity in the viewer.  As a painter, I create surrealistic work focusing on the universe, our history and spirituality.  My paintings express the beauty and wonder of our time of exploration of the universe and of the ancient past.  The process starts with an idea from history or myth and is fully processed in my mind before beginning to sketch right on the surface to be painted.  I prefer to use bright, illuminating colors in my work and am completely in love with the vibrancy of Cobalt blue, which is in all of my paintings.



from resume:


Contact Erika for a complete resume.

B.F.A., Boise State University, 1998      -emphasis in art history
International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA) – Pulsar Editor 2012 to present
International Dark Skies Association
2016      Draco acquired for permanent exhibition at Biosphere 2

2015      Represented by Eagle Art Gallery, Eagle, ID

2014      Apollocon, Houston, TX

2012      Boise Water Shed Environmental Art Project, Garden City, ID

2012      Apollocon, Houston, TX – Judges award

2011      Small Worlds and Beyond, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffet Field, CA

2009       JAXA Sprite Satellite launched into orbit with artwork on silicon wafer, Tokyo, Japan

2009       Conduit, SLC, UT – Best in Show

2009       International Space Development Conference, Orlando, FL

2008       Yuri’s Night, Ames Research Center, CA

2007       International Space Development Conference, Dallas, TX

2007       Conduit, Salt Lake City, UT – Best of Show

2007       Life, the Universe and Everything, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

2002       Norwescon Science Fiction Convention, Seattle, WA; Honorable Mention – Sci-Fi

2001       Incon Science Fiction Convention, Spokane, WA; Best New Artist, Best Science Fiction

2001       Rustycon Science Fiction Convention, Seattle, WA - Best of Show


Inside illustrations for Tales of the Talisman 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Featured artist in Professional Artist Magazine, 2012

New Star Tarot Deck licensed to Wizard, Too, online app, 2012

Inside illustrations for Tales of the Talisman, 2011

Medical illustrations for EEG manual, I Can Hear Your Heartbeat, 2011

Inside illustrations for Tales of the Talisman, 2010

Inside illustrations for Tales of the Talisman,2009

Open Studios Annual, 2009

Inside illustrations for Tales of the Talisman, 2008

Inside illustrations for Tales of the Talisman, 2007

Cover art and inside illustrations for Vines, Rhymes and Herbal, by Marc Mason, 2006

Inside illustrations for Tales of the Talisman Magazine, 2005

Inside illustrations for Black Petals Horror Magazine, 2004

New Star Tarot card deck and journal published by Windstorm Creative, Ltd., 2004

Cover art for Farscape, Season Three, 2002

Inside illustrations for Outer Darkness Magazine, 2001 & 2004

Limited edition print “Illuminare”, signed and numbered, 1998

Same work published in artist collective calendar for Color Q Printers, 1999

Jacket and inside illustrations for Rookery Eternal, Book 1, by Kholman Porter, 1999



Forthcoming Projects

IAAA workshop and mural project in Biosphere, 2016

Commissioned for female superhero illustrations in upcoming book

Series of paintings depicting Idaho’s night skies