Cathie Crawford - Artist / Relief Printmaker

Artist Statement


My color reduction woodcuts celebrate the magical moments of my life: Bliss of Being.  I strive to capture the truth and beauty of my subjects.  Some images deal with a particular feeling or emotion I have toward my immediate environment (Table Talk).  Festina Lente, Maassalehma mes cheries (goodbye my dears), Engage la Beauté, Monsieur Blanc n’est pas blanc and Resonant Reflections are close up views of my water garden.  Fenêtre sur Les Trois Pucelles is the view from my studio skylight in Pariset, France.


Deeply enamored with the ever-changing hues of water, sky and land, I use color for its emotional impact.  Always especially attracted to water, I seek it out for its restorative powers.  On a symbolic level water represents a powerful life giving force -- a source of replenishment and rejuvenation.


Some woodcuts involve a close up view of an underwater world.  Pool Play is an underwater view of children playing in a pool with an inner tube.  In Pursuit of a Damselfish, Healing Waters and Too Cute to Eat recall scuba diving experiences.  My love of water aerobics (which I have been teaching for ten years) turned into the underwater view, Lovely Legs.


Other images have an aerial perspective inspired by photographs taken while flying with my private pilot husband.  Plane Magic is an aerial view of the San Francisco Bay Area.  Photographs taken while flying over the deserts of Nevada and Utah inspired Sel Sans L’eau.  Flight to Lucaya is about our first flight over the ocean to the town of Lucaya in the Bahamas.  A flight over the Grand Canyon was the catalyst for Kaibab.   Images such as Aerial Prism, and Illinois Heartscape are a celebration of the colors and patterns found in aerial views of the Midwest.


My travels have inspired several prints. A weeklong kayaking trip in the Pacific Northwest was the stimulus for Orca.  The thrill of seeing about 30 Orcas close to shore at sunset in the San Juan Islands is captured in Whale of a SunsetLikeness of Being is of a Florida Heron and his relection in the water.  L’entrée began during an extraordinary moment in the Alcazar of Southern Spain.  In Jordan, a brief encounter with an old Bedouin woman with facial tattoos was the impetus for Jamal Al Hickma (the beauty of wisdom).   A trip to Thailand and an interest in Buddhism as well as contemporary Theology evolved into Sab pan yu (Thai for the Enlightened One).


Taking a break from figurative color reduction woodcut editions, I have been making non-objective monoprints for the past four years. This new direction is the converging of line, shape, color and texture in an ambiguous space that whispers elements of the landscape.  The Pluvious series of six monoprints were printed from a single piece of wood in many stages.  The Dayenu and Lisière monoprints were printed from multiple blocks.  Dayenu is the Hebrew word for “it would have been enough”.  The Dianoia series of three also was printed from multiple blocks and evolved from a Hebrew word.  Dianoia II is a collage of two monprints.  Inception and Inception II are my most recent monoprints.


This evolved into my recent edition prints.  I have been striving to pack as much color as possible in the fewest runs using blended or split font rolls of transparent inks on the brayer or litho roller.  The Surge diptych is a woodcut edition printed from two blocks of wood.  Breaking Serendipity, Spectrum, Homage to Hokusai, Serenity, Samsara, Luna Sea and Noumena are the most recent color reduction woodcut prints.  

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