Welcome to my blog! I'll be posting thoughts about art, photos, happenings, and other things that strike me--and hopefully my readers--as interesting. And please visit my website by clicking the link to the right--thanks!
Also please check out my second blog, The Painting Archives to see older (pre-2004) paintings for sale.
This painting, as yet untitled (42"x48") is another one that is bound for my Santa Fe show
. The reddish-orange panel has been finished for quite awhile, but it was only recently that I found the configuration with neutral dark and light panels that you see here. I especially like the small red areas towards the bottom of the main panel that sort of float on the surface.
I had some delightful studio visitors today, a woman named Peggy and her mother and aunt from the Twin Cities area, who purchased several older pieces and seemed to really enjoy seeing my work from various times in my career and asking great questions.
Peggy owns a painting of mine from 2002, that I did upon my return from my last trip to the Centre D'art I Natura
in Catalonia, Spain (and where I am heading again in September.) Like so much of my work that is purchased through galleries, I had no idea where this particular painting, Lost Path
, had ended up. Hearing from its owner was like a message from a long-lost friend or relative...there are certain paintings that remain important and close to my heart, and that is one of them. That Peggy would come forth just as I am finalizing details of my return trip to the area that inspired it is really a very neat alignment of events.
It is party season after the long winter here--seems like everyone is eager to have friends over, grill, and sip drinks on the patio. Happily, this coincides with my need for a break after a rather intense five months preparing for the show in Santa Fe
. I shipped the last of the bigger works off on Friday (including the painting above, Border
, 74"x24") and so I'm feeling more relaxed and less frazzled than I have for a long time.
I look back over the time since the show was confirmed, and see that the predictable flow of feelings and action unfolded right on cue--the excitement of being put on the gallery calendar, the flood of ideas and sense of huge possibilities, followed by a lot of hard work, occasional bouts of anxiety, frustration, and fatigue...all overshadowed by a gratifying feeling of accomplishment as each painting was done, and reaching a high point at the finish line.
Now the attitude I am cultivating is "que sera. sera"...the work is done and shipped, and what happens now--the response, attention to my work, sales, whatever--that is out of my hands. This is wisdom that I have at least glimpsed after years of exhibiting. I can't claim to always follow or feel it, but it is a useful guiding thought--that my part is to make the best work I can, and then to let it go out of my thoughts and emotions. It certainly seems the best way to stay sane between now and early August when the show is done.
I don't mean that I won't conduct the usual art biz related to having a show--I'll do my part for promotion of the exhibit, and I really look forward to the opening. But it is possible, at least some of the time, to separate that from expectations about the outcome of the show (I do allow myself the pleasure of imagining everything hung, well-lit, in the beautiful old adobe that houses the gallery...)
A word about Border
...I have had the idea of working with whites, grays and black for quite awhile...and when I placed the panels you see here together, there was a feeling of inevitability, that this accumulation of panels was just right and meant to be. Still it felt, and still feels a bit risky--no strong color here, and the white panel especially is very subtle. My older brother who visited me last week was very drawn to it though, and I suppose that gave me the little push or validation I needed. The fact that I am imagining more work in this palette is also a sign to me that this is a direction to explore.
At the top is my newest painting in the Vertical Series (#20, 76" high, 10"wide) and below it, two close up photos showing details of #20 and #19 (posted on June 15th.) So much detail and subtlety is lost in the photos of my larger paintings that every now and then I try to remember to post some detail shots. Even with these, there is much that is lost in translation from the real object.
This is the latest painting in my ongoing Vertical series, #19, 76" high, and 10 "wide (I have started using narrow panels in the series--the others to this point have been 12" wide, but the 10" wide dimension seems very pleasing to me right now.) I have two more of similar size and format that are nearly done, and all are bound for my Santa Fe show. My goal is to get the last seven paintings shipped this week.
The studio is emptying out--half my show is already at the gallery (Darnell Fine Art
) in Santa Fe. But, the gallery assures me, those paintings are closeted away, not out for purchase--which is a good thing, because I can't spare any at this point...
After I shipped off the first eight, I found myself casting a very critical eye on the ones remaining. I think that for awhile, my studio was just too full to really "see" the ones that were not quite done. I kept looking at the ones that were truly done, and allowing my confidence in those to wash over onto the others. But once the last seven had to stand on their own, I saw that they had a ways to go.
Yeah, seems to me I declared that I was almost done a couple of weeks ago. Not true!! This weekend, though, I am feeling much closer to that reality. I have a few off being bolted together, that will need some touch ups, but the end is in sight. (So I say!)
The blue panel on this one has a very intricate texture. It is called Horizon
and is 46"x40." Another one for my Santa Fe show...
Several people have emailed to ask if I am in the part of Wisconsin where floods have occurred over the past few days. Thankfully not--and I appreciate your concern. In fact even my studio floor has stayed dry, though it is prone to a bit of water on the floor at this time of year (since it is at the bottom of a small embankment.) The disaster area is an hour's dive or so to the south and of where we live...but close enough to feel the shock, and we do have acquaintances in one of the towns that was hit.
book of my paintings now available
The small book that I published on Blurb
about my work is now available, and I'm offering it at its cost to me--$19.95. If you are interested in purchasing a copy, there are 2 ways to go about it. One is to follow this link
and buy it directly from Blurb. The only problem with this is that you will pay around $10 in shipping charges (which is ridiculous, since believe me this is NOT a large volume...40 pages.) The alternative is to send me an email (email@example.com) and I will order some in bulk, and send you a copy for a realistic postal rate (I'm guessing that will be under $2.)
Putting this catalog of my work together took about 4 months and two proof copies before I was satisfied--and of course, once I see the final version (mine has yet to arrive, but is on its way) I'll probably find a couple of things that aren't perfect! But overall I'm very happy with it. It includes over 30 images of my paintings plus installation and studio shots, and several short essays about my process and techniques, thoughts on abstraction, blog excerpts and other writings. The focus is on my work since 2006--I figure I will do one of these every couple of years.
I highly recommend that if you are an artist you consider making your own book. It doesn't have to be as time-consuming as mine was, of course--you could just put in images and date/title/size information, and that would be fine. Since I enjoy writing, I wanted to include some of that, which made the layout more challenging. But that is all done with templates so it was just a matter of finding the best fit.
By the way, if you didn't catch my earlier entry about Blurb, you can self-publish any kind of book using their (free to download) software. Copies of the book are printed only upon demand, so there is no up-front cost at all. You can order one copy (especially when you are in the proofing stage) or hundreds, and you can even sell your book on their website. (If you wish to make a profit, you can add something to the basic cost and that amount will be sent to you when a purchase is made. )
This painting (Once
, 62"x24") is recent, if not literally "new." It's among those that I have been stockpiling for my upcoming show at Darnell Fine Art
in Santa Fe, which opens July 11th. All 15 of the paintings for this show are either finished or close to it, which is something that has just dawned on me over the past couple of days as I've shuffled things around, brought a few to their finish, and counted them up.
For months I've been too much in the thick of it to really imagine the show as a whole, a body of work. But now I'm starting to see more clearly how the paintings relate to each other, and to acknowledge developments of colors and techniques that have come into play. For me, a show is a slice of studio life, the best work from the period of time leading up to the event (in this case, that means since January) as opposed to a body of work developed around a distinct theme, which is another perfectly viable way of doing it. The way I prepare for a show is the result of my process--I rarely work in series or in a "project" frame of mind, which is what it takes, I guess, to produce a thematic kind of show."Connections" A solo show of abstract paintings by Rebecca Crowell
is the title the gallery and I settled on for the show. Connections
refers to the physical placing together of panels as well as to the conceptual ideas and relationships between them. This is the underlying idea that runs through all of my multiple panel work.
And who knows, maybe the idea was planted by this (slightly beat-up but legible) bumper sticker on my car...this has been on for a number of years and now seems oddly like a prediction for my work: