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   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.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007
  a website note
It came to my attention today that the links on the contact page of my main website (for joining the mailing list and for contacting me by email) have not been working. I just fixed them, but in case anyone reading this has tried to contact me that way in the last (who knows?) few months or so--please give it another shot, and I'm sorry if I appeared to ignore anyone!This same problem exists with other links to my email such as from my sales site--I'll be working on those too. I have no idea why this has happened...
Monday, March 26, 2007
  new painting

Here's another recently finished painting, its working title is Glen, for a place near Madison WI called Parfrey's Glen. The mossy greens and visual texture of this painting evoke that particular spot for me. The painting is 30" high by 72" long.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
  intense busyness
My normal to-do list consists of:
things I know I'll do anyway (buy groceries)
things I ignore for months, dutifully transferring them from one list to the next (make eye dr. app't!!!!)
(and) some larger goals to chip away at (work on website.)

But there are times, like now, when it's not just a list but a day-by-day (or even hour-by-hour) agenda of urgent tasks. Yes, for today (a.m.) that includes update blog. How interesting, since I haven't much to say except that I'm intensely busy following my to-do list.

Well, I can explain a bit. The main reason for this busyness, is that we're leaving a week from today for Colorado and NM. The trip is partly for pleasure (skiing in CO with my husband's brother and family--cross-country for me, downhill for them) and partly for business (delivering paintings to my new gallery in Santa Fe.) Of course, that will definitely be a pleasure as well!
Sunday, March 18, 2007
  new paintings

Verticals #3 and #4 were finished yesterday. (see Feb. 17th post for Verticals #1 and #2) They are 73" and 72"high, respectively, and 12"wide.

I struggled quite a bit with these two (see last post.) At some point (rather far along) I realized that I was using complementary colors (reds and greens) in such subtle doses that they canceled out to gray when viewed from a distance. In the end I punched the colors up a bit and increased the range of values to give the paintings the kind of presence I wanted for them.

I already have another in this series begun...it's very similar of course to my Column Series (which is still ongoing) but these paintings are a little bit shorter and are done on deep cradled Ampersand panels (as opposed to the narrow cradles used in the Column Series) so that to me anyway, they have a more compact feeling.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
  what's done is... not
Yesterday I worked all day and into the evening on a painting that I thought was "done" the last time I really looked at it--making subtle shifts in color, adding texture and areas of contrast...then thinking "no, not right"...on and on, back and forth, adding, subtracting.

With pressure on to produce a lot of new work (new gallery commitments, old gallery commitments, upcoming shows) I've had this nagging worry that I could lose my self-critical edge. That in the interest of getting things done, I could easily slip into some kind of "crank 'em out" mode and not even realize I was doing it.

Well yesterday, grueling as it was, reassured me--as long as I can still fuss all day with one painting that was probably "fine" to begin with, I'm still my own harshest critic.

PS: I'm not posting a photo of the blasted thing...it still isn't done.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
  new painting

Here is the latest, 44"x24," as yet untitled. I plan to take it up to my gallery in Minneapolis, Circa Gallery, this week.

The top panel evolved slowly, and there were many points along the way when I thought it was finished. It's a rare thing that I liked it at almost every stage--most of my panels go through at least one desperate, awkward phase. Still, when I put it together with other panels for contrast, it always seemed to need another layer of color or texture, until it reached this finished point. The dark panel has hints of metallic lines and shapes showing through which are hard to see in the photo. You can click on the photo for a larger version (but don't forget to use the "back" button or you'll close the blog window.)

It's been another very busy painting week, including the weekend--I must admit I haven't had much of a life outside the studio.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
  Genevieve Hamlin
Recently, on a whim, I googled the name of an artist who made a powerful impression on me when I was a young girl--Genevieve Hamlin, whom I learned from my web search was quite a well-known sculptor in her day, a member of the Philadelphia Ten group of artists. She was a friend of my grandmother's, and I was taken to visit at her country home when we lived in upstate New York in the mid-60s. It was my first encounter with someone living a truly art-centered life.

My memories of that day are of an old woman (she'd have been about 70 then--certainly ancient to a 12 year old) with a brisk, no-nonsense demeanor, who seemed somehow at least as energetic as my much younger parents. She showed me around her barn-like studio (which probably was a barn, though I don't exactly recall) full of stone sculptures, let me ride her horse around the corral and play with her dogs, and critiqued with impressive seriousness several pen and ink drawings I'd brought to show her. This visit opened an exciting possibility to me, that someone could really be an artist, in the sense of having that as the central fact of daily life--that you could live to be old surrounded by your art, and your horses and dogs in beautiful surroundings. After I met her, I could--and did--clearly imagine myself leading Miss Hamlin's life, or something a lot like it.

I talked to my 82-year old mother recently about all this...she has only a hazy memory of that visit, and had no idea that it had meant so much to me. Now as a busy working artist myself, I realize how generous Ms. Hamlin was that day with her time and attention, and my mom and I both lamented that I had not written her a note of thanks while she was still alive. But perhaps it's only been clear to me as I've entered my own mature life how strong a vision she presented to me that day. In any case, for me there are two lessons that come out of this memory--say thanks when you can, and be good and generous to young artists.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
  new painting

I just got this painting back from being bolted together at the wood shop and tinkered with it a bit more this morning. As yet untitled, it is 40"x36." There's a lot more texture and nuance than you can see in this photo. Once the driveway is cleared a bit more of snow I can go back to taking photos outside against the garage, which really works better.

I'm still pushing myself to work many hours in the studio, with deadlines and other commitments hovering ahead. I do get a little burned out, and just plain tired...but overall there seem to be reserves of creative energy that I didn't know I had.

New studio toys help...a couple of days ago I loaded up a cart in the hardware store with an assortment of squeegees, scrapers and putty knives. Cheap thrills!


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       Rebecca Crowell