BY DANIEL FOSTER AND JILL JONES
THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
Published: 08 May 2012 03:43 PM
Artist Kathy Crabbe has chosen to address issues of the mind, body and spirit in her artwork. She uses an intuitive, spontaneous and process oriented approach to her work in a variety of mediums.
Crabbe studied art in Canada where she shaped many of her artistic themes as she studied the female form and women’s studies. She moved to Laguna Beach California and exhibited at the Sawdust Art Festival for seven years. Her work has continued to evolve and embody more humor and playfulness during those years. Living in Southern California also injected a brighter color palette into her work.
In 2000 she moved to Temecula where she now lives and works while she displays her artwork throughout the Southern California region. Throughout During her time in California she has also expanded her studies in printmaking and other media, taking courses and workshops from well known local artists such as Dixon Fish, Helen Shafer Garcia, Amber George and Leslie A. Brown.
In 2008 she started working on a series entitled “Journey into Intimacy” which consists of mixed-media paintings using charcoal, pastels and acrylics applied to smooth surfaces, using both conventional and unorthodox tools and methods. She has been known to use garden rakes, sponges, house painting brushes, fingers and other body parts as she layers and scrapes the surface.
In the “Journey Into Intimacy” series, patterns and symbols are repeated and serve to evoke deep emotions and reverence for the spirituality of nature. “I depict an inner landscape of the senses. Part dream, part yearning and part sacred symbol, the work stems from a holistic perception of the world. Emotions are spiritualized into divine patterns pre-existing in nature — the circle, a seed pod,” states Crabbe.
“Crabbe’s mixed-media paintings and prints are a journey into the forgotten parts of the self; those places, both emotional and physical, that are rejected, neglected, or under-valued in our corporatized and sanitized culture. These neglected places exude a dark kind of beauty and complexity as they form themselves in her work. This work is a foray into sweetness, light and danger all at once. It is deep intimacy — a deliberate mirror and an intent of reclamation. I look forward to following this series,” said Tangerine Bolen, executive director at Revolution Truth.
Crabbe’s BodyPrint Healing series of printmaking includes etchings and monoprints in which she again uses a variety of techniques and methods this time to explore transformative healing through the work.
“Instead of falling victim to pain and suffering, these feelings can instead be transferred onto paper, objectified, transformed and healed,” Crabbe said.
“Kathy’s artwork caught my eye as soon as she arrived at the Mt. San Jacinto College Art Gallery to submit her work for the show I was curating. I was pleased that she brought with her both an etching and a print, representative of a range of her work. The monochrome color palette was both soothing and inviting, and I was beckoned to look more closely at the images to see what they had to say to me. The pieces, both part of the BodyPrint Healing Series, had a lot to say about the healing and release that can be experienced when making art. I was more than pleased to include “V Etch” and “V 1” in Your Face Here: The Modern Self-Portrait and I look forward to seeing Kathy’s art on display in the future,” said Leslie Paprocki, curator, Your Face Here: The Modern Self-Portrait.
Crabbe exhibits extensively throughout Southern California. She is a member of the Plein Air Artists of Riverside (PAAR) and the Printmakers Network at the Riverside Art Museum (PNET) as well as a member of the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony in Temecula.
Crabbe will have work in several upcoming shows including a one day solo show at the Sun City Library on Sunday, May 27, 2012, Art and Earth: My Art, My World at the Murrieta Public Library, Tuesday, May 1 through Saturday, June 30 with an opening reception on Saturday May 5 from 2 to 4 p.m., and she will have an additional solo exhibit at San Marcos Library from Sunday, May 6 to Tuesday, June 24, 2012.