Ms. Crow’s art career began in Culver City, CA in 1968 at the age of six. Her first masterpiece was an extremely large abstract drawing rendered in ball point pen on the walls of her home. Unfortunately for the artist, this execution was not well received, her mother called it scribbling and forced her to spend the next 2 days scrubbing it off with a bottle of ammonia and a Brillo pad.
In an earnest effort to be the good girl that her generation had taught her to be, she withdrew from such public displays of her work and would only indulge the urge to visually express her chatty mind in private.
When she was a teenager, her father, a B-movie character actor found a place for her to utilize her creativity in the wardrobe departments of film and television. She would go on to spend over 25 years helping actors to create their characters with costume.
As she grew older, the incessant call of her unorganized mind, pleading for expression, convinced her that propriety was an unnecessary and exhaustive effort. The child in her mind who had been waiting for 30 years, patiently planning an escape from this long “time out,” cleverly forced her to begin creating her own characters and speaking her truth. She abandoned the glamour of the film industry in 2004 and returned to the public eye with her art.
A self-taught, self indulgent, self-absorbed and self-deprecating artist, now living and working in Pittsburgh, PA, Ms. Crow now travels the country like a gypsy, displaying her scribbles and stories at some of the countries best outdoor art festivals and fine craft shows.
So far she has not been asked to remove anything from her walls, but it’s probably just a matter of time.
the creative process
My works are an illustrated exploration of the magic that I find in being alive and being human. The labyrinth of the mind and it’s secret little spaces, supply me with endless inspiration and abundant humor. I struggle to think of anything more ridiculous or sublime than experiencing the great blessing of being as a wee little human in this infinite universe. I celebrate this phenomenon by creating my own little world in clay and paint. I invite you to share my delight and gleefully hope that you laugh your ass off.
For those of you interested in the process, it goes like this:
I ponder my existence as if I will find some truth, get lost in that maze and then stop and focus in on the absurdity of my thoughts and behaviors and then imagine how I might illustrate it. I title the imagining and open a bag of clay.
I sculpt a hollow face, a figure, or build something quite large with coils of clay stacked one on top each other. Small figures are created with hollow legs so that I may insert a steel wire in the sculptures and allow them to stand up on their chubby little clay feet when they are complete. While the sculpture is still wet, I paint it with colored slips (slip is a wet liquid clay) and then allow it to dry for several days. When it is completely dry I fire it in an electric kiln to cone 06. After this initial firing they are still quite porous and I give them all a bath in an iron oxide solution, this creates a sort of permanent stain on the piece and helps give it depth. I then send them back into the inferno of my kiln for an additional firing at cone 5 or 2185 degrees Fahrenheit. (really hot)
I pluck my little beauties from the kiln after it has cooled to at least 300 degrees (I think you are supposed to wait until it’s down to 100, but I can never seem to wait that long, and can never find my gloves and am always cursing as I burn my finger tips). I then bring them to life with acrylic paints and glazes. I will occasionally add a little gold or silver luster which requires an extra firing. Flowers, feathers, braids and the like are created separately with an internal high temperature wire and are assembled post firing to insure that they do not break. If a tutu is in order I cut and stitch a piece of antique and hand dyed tulle. A tutu is often in order……as is a tiara.
By this time I have already begged my husband to build me a wood panel (I’m afraid of the saw) and have already, primed, painted and wired the back for wall hanging, covered it in joint compound and sometimes some textured wall paper, carved into while it is still wet and then sanded, primed and painted using multiple layers of acrylics and glazes.
A small tile is hand cut from a slab of clay and the title is transferred from a Xerox toner transfer that needs to be retrieved from the copy machine before it goes through the heat rollers. This tile is also fired to cone 5 and is bonded to the front of the panel with an epoxy and copper wire.
Holes are drilled into the base board of the niche in the panel and the wires that are now inside the legs of the figures are slid in these holes and bonded so they can never fall down (even if they do have more than two martinis). Sitting figures are also hollow and are bonded to the panel with a wood screw.
Chubby Little White Woman & Self Taught Badass
2013 – November – Small Whimsy, Brumfield’s Gallery – Boise, ID
2012 – April – 6th Annual Teapot Invitational, Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery – Pittsburgh, PA
2009 – February – Art of the Heart, Terzian Gallery – Park City, UT
2007 – February – Saints and Sinners XX, The Folk Tree Gallery – Pasadena, CA
2006 – December – All Boxed Up, Exploding Head Gallery – Sacramento, CA
2006 – November – The Minds Eye, Blink Gallery – Boulder, CO
2006 – February – Affinity for the Cup, Exploding Head Gallery – Sacramento, CA
2006 – February – Saints and Sinners XIX, The Folk Tree Gallery – Pasadena, CA
2005 – June – Figuratively Speaking, The Folk Tree Gallery – Pasadena, CA
2005 – April – Annual National Juried Cup Show – Kent State University, OH
2005 – February – Ink and Clay 31, Kellogg Gallery – Cal Poly Pomona, CA
2002 – September – Ethereal Delights, Heron Gallery – Los Angeles, CA
57th St. Art Fair – Chicago, IL: 2009
Ann Arbor Arts Festival-The original – Ann Arbor, MI: 2009, 2010
Art Fair on the Square – Madison, WI: 2010, 2011
Art Festival Beth-El – St. Petersburg, FL: 2014, 2015
Art in the Pearl – Portland, OR: 2011, 2012, 2013
Brookside Art Fair – Kansas City, MO: 2009, 2010
Calabasas Fine Arts Festival – Calabasas, CA: 2005
Cherry Creek Arts Festival – Denver, CO: 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015
Craft and Design Show – Visual Arts Center of Richmond, VA: 2008
Des Moines Arts Festival – Des Moines, IA: 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013
Dogwood Arts Festival – Atlanta, GA: 210
Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival – Fort Worth, TX: 2012, 2013, 2014
Northern Virginia Art Festival – Reston, VA: 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Old Town Art Fair – Chicago, IL: 2012, 2013, 2014,2015
Palm Beach Craft Show – Palm Beach, FL: 2011, 2012
Philadelphia Museum of Art Fine Craft Show – Philadelphia, PA: 2012, 2013, 2014
Plaza Art Fair – Kansas City, MO: 2007-2015
Raymond James Gasparilla Arts Festival – Tampa, FL: 2009, 2010
Sausalito Arts Festival – Sausalito, CA: 2006
St. Louis Art Festival – St. Louis, MO: 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015
Sun Valley Center Arts and Crafts Festival – Sun Valley, ID: 2006
Three Rivers Arts Festival – Pittsburgh, PA: 2010
Uptown Art Fair – Minneapolis, MN: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014
Washington Craft Show – Washington, DC.: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013
Westchester Fine Craft Show – Westchester, PA: 2009
Winter Park Sidewalk Arts Festival – Winter Park, FL: 2010, 2011, 2015
Awards and Accolades
• 2nd Place Award, Mixed Media – St. Louis Arts Festival
• 1st Place Award, Mixed Media – Plaza Art Fair
• T-shirt Artist – St. Louis Art Festival
• 1st Place Award, Mixed Media – St. Louis Arts Festival
• T-Shirt Artist – Art in the Pearl
• Best of Show, Mixed Media – Art in the Pearl
• Award of Distinction – Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival
• Best of Show, Mixed Media – Dogwood Arts Festival
• Best of Show, Mixed Media – Uptown Art Festival
• Award of Merit – Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival
• Invitational Award – Plaza Art Show
• Award of Excellence – Art Festival Beth-El
• Best of Show, Sculpture- Des Moines Art Festival
• Best of Show, Mixed Media-Uptown Art Fair
• Invitational Award – Plaza Art Fair
• Poster Artist – Northern Virginia Arts Festival
• Best of Show, Sculpture – Sun Valley Arts Festival
500 Figures in Clay, 2004 – Lark Books, Image Inclusion
Image Transfer on Clay, 2006 – Larks Books, Image Inclusion
500 Tiles, 2008 – Lark Books, Multiple Image Inclusions
Brain Behavior Continuum, 2011 – Cover Image
500 Figures in Clay Vol. 2, 2014 – Lark Books, Multiple Image Inclusions
2009 Epic Systems Corporation – Verona, WI
2010 private collection of Mr. Gerard L.Cafesjian (Cafesjian Center for the Arts) – Minneapolis, MN
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