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 studio in rural western Wisconsin. She draws significant influence from these residencies and travels, as well as from her surroundings at home.
Rebecca Crowell is known for her innovative painting techniques involving cold wax medium and mixed media, and is represented by a number of fine art galleries in various locations including Dublin, Ireland; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Telluride, Colorado; Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Columbia, Missouri. Her representation with Gormleys Fine Art in Dublin has recently led to international exposure, including several European art fairs.
Rebecca Crowell has what Richard Diebenkorn and Agnes Martin had: the ability to let the landscape come through her.
Rebecca Crowell uses a kind of "memory mapping" to create her works which, although visually quite abstract, often still retain faint echoes of landscape and nature - its plant life, earth and rocks. For Crowell, rugged textures, earthy colors and a feeling of light, open spaces reveals her subliminal interest in the colours, mark-making and abstraction of at least a "memory" of landscape.
Her process of working in multiple layers, cutting, scratching and digging back brings to mind the observation by Louis le Brocquy: "The painter, like the archaeologist, is a watcher, a supervisor of accident; patiently disturbing the surface of things until significant accident becomes apparent, recognising it, conserving this as best he can while provoking further accident. In this way a whole image, a whatness, may with luck gradually emerge almost spontaneously". This is Crowell's process too.
Although Crowell's work is generally quiet, orderly and meditative in its finished form, the production of the work can be quite violent with sharp tools and aggressive "archaeology" coupled with periods of careful editing and decisiveness - considering the place of any fortunate accidents and random occurrences.
Above all she has learned to "trust the process." Crowell has written: "The goal in my process is not to render something in paint but to allow the paint to suggest a path through the work as it develops. I remain in charge of what to keep and what to discard, and how to structure and organize the image."
Crowell is an artist of considerable talent and stature and it is not difficult to envisage a major breakthrough into the mainstream of the American art scene in the very near future. Recent international representation would indicate that her future reputation will not just be limited to America.