100 Creatives 2013: Lacey Crawford, Her Painted Animals
What She Does: Lacey Crawford is a painter and sculptor. Her latest works are heavily centered on animal prints and Victorian styles, giving her an almost steampunk sort of verve that you should really have hanging in your home if you're interested in maximum elegance.
Her pieces use soft, pastel colors over-textured backgrounds to give the viewer an impression of murals on a wall. It lends tremendous depth to the images, as well as giving them a slightly Wonderland charm. Plus, she jokes that the multiple layers from the textures allow her to display in the mixed media shows, which is a smaller scene than strictly painting. It's a curious effect, with her subjects so cartoonishly perfect over these vertical blasted landscapes. It's like Dali, but more hopeful.
You can catch Crawford four or five times a year at the First Saturday Arts Market in the Heights, as well as various festivals. She prefers booth shows to galleries because of the control it gives her over her work.
Crawford grew up around art thanks to her interior and graphic design father who also dabbled in painting and sculpture. Her father and uncle built a bronze foundry in their backyard when she was a kid, and practice with it led her to do her own bronzes later in life. She draws heavily from visions that come to here during meditation, though occasionally visions will just fly out and hit her in the head. A mental image of a baby goat at the circus that came to here as she was cleaning her studio has inspired works she's produced over the last five years.
Why She Likes It: "I love the animals. They were an accidental gift; I'd never set out to paint animals but they have been perfect for my style. My favorites are baby farm animals, those at their most innocent, and I paint them in the best light that will convey that innocence and purity. I use them to create metaphoric scenes of hope in an effort to save all creatures from further abuse. I am becoming vegetarian because of my subject matter. I have also embarked on an artistic campaign to help curb the extinction of African wild animals, especially the elephant and rhinoceros."
What Inspires Her: Crawford describes her inspirations like a psychic tuning into a mental wavelength, with ideas getting progressively louder in her skull. She writes them down in journals rather than sketching, as the latter takes too long before the ideas get away. She's also very into music, everything from Debussy to Pink Floyd to Iron & Wine.
She's a fan of Caravaggio because of the way his subjects emerge from darkness. She's also heavily into the contemporary art scene, always looking for new masters to be moved by.