Kathy Crabbe Interviewed by Les Femmes Folles

Here is a recent interview I gave about my art that I'd like to share with you. Thanks for your support!

Kathy Crabbe, artist

Artist Kathy Crabbe shares with Les Femmes Folles (LFF) about her current exhibit at Riverside Art Museum, being an artist in Temecula, California, how feminism and engagement play a role in her work, some of her stellar drawings and more… 

Where are you from? How did you get into creative work and what is your impetus for creating?

I’m originally from Kingston, Canada and now live on land outside of Temecula, California. I have always been creating and still have drawings from when I was two. My impetus for creating is self expression and celebration of goddess, nature, wildness and awakening intuition.

Tell me about your current/upcoming show/exhibit/book/project and why it’s important to you. What do you hope people get out of your work?

My current exhibit is a showing of all 52 original paintings from my Lefty Oracle Deck and some of the stories from the guidebook. It will be on display at the Riverside Art Museum as part of The 52 Project; a 52 week experiment that for me, involved creating every day. This exhibit with its set end date helped me finish the writing for the deck; deadlines are invaluable in that regard. I hope that people will be interested in the process of non dominant hand drawing to help them awaken their intuition and pursue their dreams from a deeper and more aware place within.

Does collaboration play a role in your work—whether with your community, artists or others? How so and how does this impact your work?

All my Lefty Oracle art is collaborative. It is not art that is meant to hang on the wall or sit on the shelf. It is art that is meant to engage people and groups on deep levels that involve sacred play. 

Do you think your city is a good place for women in art/writing/etc? What do you think is the best thing about your city for artists, and how might it be improved? 

My city is not at all a good place for women in the arts. It is a newer town with a cowboy past and a traditional present that caters mainly to families, churches and horses and I’ve had no success with my art here and very little success with the artist’s group I started or the Moon Circles I facilitated. I did have success with a writer’s group I started. My city could improve its connection with the arts by taking the time to listen to the professional artists who do live here. They have started that process recently so I dearly hope something comes of it. 

Artist Wanda Ewing, who curated and titled the original LFF exhibit, examined the perspective of femininity and race in her work, and spoke positively of feminism, saying “yes, it is still relevant” to have exhibits and forums for women in art; does feminism play a role in your work?

Feminism does play a role in my art. Several of the cards in my Lefty Deck are feminist cards that stand up and fight for women’s rights. One of these images is an award winner and several have been featured in various feminist publications, as well as appeared onstage for Women’s Day in Los Angeles with Michelle Shocked and in the San Diego Women’s History Museum via zines I created.

Ewing’s advice to aspiring artists was “you’ve got to develop the skill of when to listen and when not to;” and “Leave. Gain perspective.”  What is your favorite advice you have received or given?

Fave advice I ever received was to look ten years into the future and envision what life would be like. Fave advice I’ve given is always part of my soul readings; so my clients tell me!

This interview was originally published by Les Femmes Folles, a volunteer organization founded in 2011 with the mission to support and promote women in all forms, styles and levels of art from around the world with the online journal, print annuals, exhibitions and events; originally inspired by artist Wanda Ewing and her curated exhibit by the name Les Femmes Folles (Wild Women). LFF was created and is curated by Sally Deskins.  LFF Books is a micro-feminist press that publishes 1-2 books per year by the creators of Les Femmes Folles including the award-winning Intimates & Fools (Laura Madeline Wiseman, 2014) and The Hunger of the Cheeky Sisters: Ten Tales (Laura Madeline Wiseman/Lauren Rinaldi, 2015). Other titles include Les Femmes Folles: The Women 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 available on blurb.com, including art, poetry and interview excerpts from women artists. See the latest call for work on the Submissions page!