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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.

Sunday, July 29, 2007
  new painting

This one is called Blue Day, and is 50"x30," oil on board. Because of its luminosity and warm/cool color interactions, it's one of my favorites that I've done recently.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
  one more dog painting

Here is the other little dog painting I'm sending out to Wilde Meyer Gallery for their annual Dog Days exhibit. See my post from last week if you are wondering "since when does she paint dogs?" This one is 10"x10", titled "Dog Park," oil on board.

Like all the other dog paintings, this one was fun to do. I have been wondering how these relate (or not) to my "serious" paintings. They seem so outside the flow of my main body of work, made in a more playful spirit...like doodles, done for the sheer pleasure of watching little images emerge.

Of course some of that spontaneity is always part of my process. But in the end most of my paintings hold so much more meaning for me than these do--a weighty and long term commitment...while the dogs are light and in the moment. Sometimes it's nice to have both things going I guess.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
  new paintings

These are the latest in the Vertical series, #7, 82"x12" and #8, 12"x81." The one on the left developed with a coppery combination of reds, oranges and greens. In the right hand painting, the colors are more subtle and earthy with small areas of intense red/orange. (I mention this because it is hard to see all the detail in the photos. But clicking on the image will give you a better idea.) I expect to ship both of these to my Santa Fe gallery, Darnell Fine Art, within the next few days.

That's the happy part...on the other hand I spent eight hours on a painting yesterday that I had considered nearly finished, and in the end I consigned it to the recycling pile (I don't actually give up on anything, just rework the panels in a different format.) "Trust in the process" is a useful phrase for me at such times...to keep in mind that nothing is really lost even on the most frustrating days. Though at times yesterday I veered close, very close to something I really liked, each time I kept going. I could see that there was still something clumsy about the arrangement, something dull about the color, that made me want to push on. For hours and hours.

At one point the painting itself launched an attack...the top panel fell off the wall onto my face, cutting my upper lip. Pain and swelling ensued. Was that perhaps a message that it was time to quit...?
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
  dogs again

Last summer when I was asked by Wilde Meyer Gallery to participate in their annual group show of dog paintings, my first thought was, "I don't do dog paintings." But I discovered that once in awhile, when asked, I in fact do dog paintings. And I enjoy it.

This is the first of several that I'll be sending for this year's show, Sleeping Dogs, 6"x8." Last year they ended up selling all five that I sent out.

Now "I don't do dog paintings" has become a bit of an inside joke for me, reminding me not to take myself too seriously and to keep open all possibilities. There really is time for play in this crazy art career game.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
  more on gee's bend
Gee's Bend quilts have interested and influenced me since I first saw them displayed at the Milwaukee Art Museum in 2003. I enjoyed this review of the second exhibit of the quilts by art blogger Deborah McCleod. She explores the attention that art critics, so often taken up with the new and trendy, are paying to this work.

For my own thoughts about the quilts, please read the essay on my website artist page (scroll down to the highlighted titles) or my blog entry from September of last year.

Though I've written about them several times (and also read much that others have written) the quilts remain for me a sort of visual Zen koan--their deepest meaning seems to remain just outside my grasp of rational understanding. On an intuitive level, though, their impact is powerfully felt.
Monday, July 09, 2007
  art connections
I met the artist whose work is pictured below, Andrew Chulyk at his opening on Saturday when I happened to be in Stockholm, Wisconsin. It was a very hot evening in that tiny, picturesque Mississippi River town, and few people were as crazy as I and my friend Patricia to be out and about. And so I was able to monopolize Andrew's time for quite a while at his opening, where I admired his beautifully constructed boxes. They seemed to me both playful and elegant. Our conversation rambled over many topics, from galleries and artist's struggles to the t community in our region--he is a newcomer here, from New Hampshire, and sees perhaps more clearly how isolated and scattered our art communities tend to be.

It was an interesting coincidence that earlier, on our drive over to Stockholm, my friend Patricia had remarked that in our rural area there is so little happening in terms of artistic culture that the possibilities are wide open for whatever a person would put forth. There's little chance of competing or overlapping with any other events, groups, or venues. I guess that is the positive side of living in an area without a developed arts scene. There are pockets of culture, and occasional events, and a few artist groups that meet here and there, but overall there is little energy or excitement about art in the region as a whole. In spite of this, there are plenty of artists working away in relative isolation.

Andrew is a person with fresh ideas, and is hoping to bring together under one umbrella organization various art groups, studio tours, and educational venues. He envisions artist forums and conferences, and informative/entertaining events for the public. Though I myself have never been oriented towards art groups or studio tours, and have served on only one community art committee, I do appreciate and admire the people who have the understanding and energy to make such things happen.

Thursday, July 05, 2007
  rolling along
So far it's a pretty exciting summer in terms of painting sales...my Santa Fe gallery, Darnell Fine Art, has sold five in the past few weeks--four of the Column and Vertical series (including the one shown here) and one other. I also found out that a law firm in St. Louis just bought three older works through my gallery there, Boody Fine Arts.

I'm somewhere between amazed, delighted and slightly panicked...I need to send more paintings out West, while also keeping my other galleries supplied with new work. Already almost half of the initial shipment I sent to Santa Fe this spring has been sold, and I've gotten the rather urgent message to keep them coming.

I know that to maintain my integrity and standards I have to take my time--that there are limits to how fast I can produce my work. I believe that with great conviction. At the same time, I almost always experience a surge of ideas and energy when up against a deadline or other demand, and I've been able to ride that wave in the past. For now, so far, so good.

In other news, my two sons flew out on Tuesday for five weeks of vagabonding around Europe with backpacks and train passes. They're in London now, heading for Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium and The Netherlands during July and early August. I had the kind of worries you'd expect from a mother as I helped them get ready to leave, but at this point I'm just envious! Or at least hoping for a little vicarious enjoyment if they keep in touch as they have promised to do...
Monday, July 02, 2007
  photos from santa fe

My painter friend Gregg Rochester was in Santa Fe and took these photos of my work as it is placed at Darnell Fine Art. I was very curious to see the photos he took, since I sent them quite a few of my paintings in June, but I haven't been to the gallery in person since March.

The top photo is of the entrance and porch (the gallery is housed in an old adobe home.) It's a little startling for me to see my work displayed outside--who would do that in Wisconsin?! But I like the idea that the work can be seen in natural light, and that it may draw visitors in to the gallery. The other photo is of one of my Vertical series next to the traditional New Mexican fireplace. It all seems right, somehow--the feeling of my paintings in this setting. I hope to get out there myself in the Fall, but in the meantime I'm happy to have these--thanks Gregg!


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       Rebecca Crowell