|Medium||Acrylic on book pages|
|Dimensions. H”x W”||24×36|
NonMember: Eva Crawford
Narrative is a key element in my art, and as a visual storyteller I use color, texture and light to enhance the subject matter which is either painted or reimagined from found images. My choice of artistic tools to paint these stories are realism, with a dalliance in surrealism and expressionism. The main characters in my compositions are inspired by impactful relationships: my younger sister with physical disabilities, former street kids in Jinja, Uganda, my elderly parents, and family members with mental health issues. These intimate interactions fuel my desire to give visual voice to the vulnerable and unseen using portraiture. But the compunction to aid those who need help in being seen leads to the realization that all of humanity struggles with seeing beyond each individual’s cultural grid and the desire to be understood.
My art exists to show the humanness of each of us.
Art began for Eva at age three and hurdled its way through a BFA from UNC-Chapel Hill, a side trip designing furniture, then an unexpected season teaching high school art. After 35+ years of marriage and raising 5 children, she is honing her artistic voice which is largely informed by the human struggle to see beyond cultural grids and social stigmas and the desire to be understood as an individual. Eva is a prolific artist with so much to say. The visual narratives she paints combine realism, surrealism and expressionism and exist to encourage compassion, to lay down the trappings of judgement and to pick up the mantle of empathy.
We are all human but we don’t always act like it. It is atrocious that we would treat each other as less than human. This tears apart humanity. Yet I am guilty of it when I judge someone in my heart. My own quick assessments of another person only tear us both down. Everyone is precious and equal regardless of imposed social stigmas. So, in making my art, I meditate on the beauty of each soul I paint. The watercolors are especially labor-intensive representations of contrasting skin tones, cultures and ages pieced together to create a unified image. The realism of the painted torn edges of the photos emphasizes the bringing together different parts to make a new whole portrait. Painting the human face becomes a prayer for the subject as well as myself. May we come together, listen to each other’s story, empathize, humbly change and ultimately love.