oil and wax on panel
42 x 36 in.
106.7 x 91.4 cm
Since earning her MFA in painting from Arizona State University in 1985, Rebecca Crowell has led a life focused on painting. When she is not traveling for teaching or for artist residencies (in such places as the Catalonia region of Spain, northern Sweden, and coastal areas of Ireland) she works almost daily in her studios in rural western Wisconsin or in New Mexico. She draws significant influence from these residencies and travels, as well as from her surrounding landscape.
“Certain kinds of landscapes move me and feel like home to my soul. They are rugged, wild, and vast places, yet also contain softness, quiet and mystery. I’ve spent time in places like this in Ireland, northern Sweden, New Mexico and New Zealand—walking, exploring, photographing, and simply being alone in the landscape. Certain moments seem to hold an essence of the place, and these form especially strong sensory memories. Tapping back into these memories leads to my abstract vocabulary of color, texture, line, and shape.
Painting satisfies a basic need for me--a channel to my inner self, a reflection of these meaningful experiences, and a path to new discoveries. I’ve been painting professionally for over 30 years, and remain challenged and energized by my process. I work with a balance of spontaneity and careful editing, moving back and forth from intuitive flow to thoughtful analysis. My aim is to achieve structural integrity and strength through the accumulation of quiet passages and nuanced surfaces. I build up multiple layers of paint (with additives including cold wax medium, powdered pigments and sand). Sometimes the layers are thick and textural, other times they are thin veils of color. The layers are selectively scratched, eroded and dissolved, an approach that reflects natural processes of the rugged places I love” -Rebecca Crowell