Rebecca Crowell has an MFA from Arizona State University and has been devoting her life to painting at her studio in western Wisconsin since 1985. She also travels the world teaching and participating artist residencies in such places as Spain, Sweden, and Ireland. We have exchanged feedback about each other’s work online in the past, and I am not located too far away in Minneapolis. Rebecca has experiments a lot with cold wax medium and oil, and the results can be downright breathtaking. There are many abstract oil painters doing similar ideas, but her composition and combination of media creates truly innovative artwork. I selected a few of her paintings that are my favorites along with a introduction video from her Youtube channel. Check out more of her work on her official website at RebeccaCrowell.com
Travel Lines #3 is from her New Mexico series. Look at that beautiful candy apple red and burgundy trying to show itself in the midst of an ice ball. This reminds me of the frozen moons of Jupiter. I respond to work that challenges me to figure out its inception. My favorite part of this painting is the bottom middle dark red area that has one faint line going diagonally down to the right.
Since my last name is McNulty, I figured I should talk about one of Crowell’s artworks from her Ireland series. Killeen #2 incorporates a magnificent green with bits of oxidation rust peeking through on the left and the right of the painting. There is also a foreboding dark form floating on the top. This is a powerful piece, and I typically like to experiment with composition on my smaller abstract paintings as well. My favorite part, along with the orange fit, is the scratchy line going throughout the piece horizontally in the middle.
Finally, Ancient Lands #2 is from Rebecca’s New Zealand series. There is a beautiful starkness in this mostly black and white painting on panel with tiny hints of yellow coming through in the gray areas. I did a series in 2018 called Striations of predominantly black abstractions with colorful bursts coming through the middle (check out Poppermost and Chalet) which seem to exist in the same astral plane as Rebecca’s New Zealand collection. My favorite aspect of this painting is the off-white band in the middle which gradually darkens as it moves to the left. I’ve been playing with horizontal bands in my art for a long time, and I like to deconstruct and reconstruct them over time.