The artist site of Nancy Crawford


Drawing / Painting

"I have learned that what I have not drawn I have never really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing, I realize how extraordinary it is, sheer miracle." —Frederick Franck

I believe that creativity is the essence of what it means to be human. Creating is as fundamental to our development as learning to move, talk and think. From our first preserved traces as a species on this planet through to our technologically driven world of today, humans have expressed themselves creatively. Through movement, music, storytelling and mark making we fulfill a deep need to manifest and share our unique way of experiencing life. We have been bestowed with the extraordinary ability to create symbols and metaphors that portray not only the world we inhabit, but also worlds we imagine. What an incredible gift!

 


 

Hair Drawings

"Hair,  for better or worse, is the single most important part of our anatomy affecting our psyche." —Philip Kingsley

I created these drawings using my hair as the medium to explore the concept of spontaneity and control along with the challenges we face in responding to those aspects of life beyond our control.  Although the majority of my drawing practice has focused on traditional drawing media and representational subject matter I really enjoy working with a medium and imagery that very much has a “mind of its own.” I have created hundreds of hair drawings of a variety of sizes over a period of several years, and the series continues.

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Weekly Hair Panels

"Symbolic of life, hair bolts from our head[s]. Like the earth, it can be harvested, but it will rise again. We can change its color and texture when the mood strikes us, but in time it will return to its original form, just as Nature will in time turn our precisely laid-out cities into a weed-way." —Diane Ackerman

These panels were inspired by an exhibition of Byron Kim’s work at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle, Washington. The exhibition entitled Threshold featured a number of his works including The Sunday Paintings – a series of sky–colored fields made as diary entries every Sunday since 2001. His series was inspired by his chance encounter with the work of Chuang Tze, an early Daoist who wrote about the relationship of the infinite to the infinitesimal. Kim translated that notion into a comparison between the vast sky and his relatively insignificant life. In these weekly studies created over a period of two years I challenged myself to respond every week to my hair, contemplating the infinitesimal as a way to connect with the infinite. (This series is ongoing.)

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Cloister Stones

"Here is an unexpected world of silence and tranquility: the smell of mint and soft tinkling of water; a four­sided portico of arches and double columns around a green garden; and in the middle a stone fountain carved with lions’ faces."
—June Hager

This series of frottage and encaustic works document some of the ancient stones (paleo-Christian graffiti and sarcophagus fragments) that line the walls of the cloister of the Basilica of the Santi Quattro Coronati in Rome. I was very fortunate to obtain permissions from the cloistered Augustinian nuns who reside in the convent and have administered the basilica for the past 500 years to study the ancient stones as create these drawings as part of my ongoing research.

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