Meet The Artist: 5 Questions with Claire Crawford

Meet The Artist: 5 Questions with Claire Crawford

We're pleased to bring you an exclusive interview with artist Claire Crawford, a participating artist in our show "Take Flight". 

Tell us about you! How long have you been an artist and what is your focus? 

I'm an artist and illustrator currently living on Vancouver Island, in Canada. I am really interested in how humans interact with the natural world, and how we can bridge the gap between the two. I've been an artist since I was young and have always felt compelled to create art in some form or another, which has always granted me the clarity to pursue art as a profession. Art is deeply intertwined with who I am as a person, and this path, while a lot of hard work, has always felt laid out.
How would you describe your style?
My latest series of work has been a real devotion to abstract painting, letting some chaos into the work with the use of shapes and colors. The illustrative bird elements come in and out of focus to enhance the composition. I would say that abstraction with the use of surrealist elements is the style of this work, with macabre undertones. 

Claire Crawford artist
What kind of techniques and materials do you use in your work? 
I've used a lot of acrylic in this body of work, sometimes creating thick layers of paint, other times thinning out the paint so that I am able to pour it out onto the canvas. Oil pastels as well as pencil play an important role to balance out the acrylic paint. I create the base of colors first and then decide where I will place a bird so that it blends into the piece. It's an ongoing puzzle that evolves as more elements are brought into the piece. I love the unknown aspect of this, it's a story that unfolds even for me as the creator.  
What kinds of birds appear in your work? What do they represent? 
Originally the birds that appeared in my work were species that could be seen locally to me in the PNW. When exploring ideas of place in a changing world, however, it felt as though I could depict any type of bird and still think about these same ideas. In this series the birds are often connected to subtle structural elements which acts as a real juxtaposition of natural and unnatural elements pulling at one another and perhaps reflecting our own experiences as humans back to us. 

Looking back at this year, what would you say was one of your biggest achievements in your art career? What are you looking forward to in 2023? 
I am really proud of all I have accomplished this year! A major highlight includes having my second Solo show "Unnatural Natures" this fall, which included an artist talk. It was great practice to become more comfortable with speaking about my work with others, and really made me feel as though I have cultivated a really strong visual language within a very consistent artistic practice. In 2023 I am looking forward to creating more work than ever, really focusing on color and simplification of composition. I can't wait to see what I am able to create!