Artist Interview with Kathy Crabbe | Spirit Animals

It’s my pleasure to introduce artist Kathy Crabbe! During this interview, Kathy will speak directly about her Spirit Animal series and her artistic process. Make sure to show her some support by visiting her website and following her on Instagram @kathycrabbeart and Facebook.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey with art?  

I am a self taught painter since knee high to a grasshopper (love that saying!). I was always an artist and decided at a young age that I didn’t want to go to a fine art school because I had a style all my own and I didn’t want anyone messing with that since I tend to be easily influenced. I always wanted to attend both university and college and I’ve done that. I have an Art History degree and a 3 year diploma in Graphic Design. I moved to the States after falling in love with my husband-to-be and he convinced me I could live my passion and be an artist full time so we moved to Laguna Beach and I started doing the Sawdust Art Festival; a 2 month art fair where you build a booth and sell your wares 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. That was amazing! After 7 years we moved to the quiet countryside outside of Temecula Wine Country and I was pretty much a hermit for many years which allowed me to delve into the spiritual side of things which has found its way into my art, of course! I paint magical, shamanic beings, nature and animals because they surround me and I’m one of them.

Where do you draw your inspiration from for your Spirit Animal paintings? Does storytelling and narrative play into them?

I live in 2 countries; my home country of Canada (Ontario) and my adopted country, the USA (California) and both homes are on dirt roads surrounded by nature; one is in the forest on a lake and the other is in a desert valley surrounded by ancient oaks, cactus and an elfin forest so I’ve got plenty of nature and wild creatures to inspire me on a daily basis. I’m also a Celtic Faerie Shaman and my spirituality is a huge part of my life. My pets are also an inspiration. All of my Spirit Animal paintings would not be complete without the poem that bubbles forth in one quick stream of consciousness right after I finish the painting. Usually it’s late so I light some candles, take off my glasses and let the words pour forth. Originally I started out trying to describe the painting but that quickly morphed into poetry; my favorite mode of expression. The poems speak of the power and guidance we can draw upon from our animal guides and what their message is for us. The wild creatures are our teachers. They help us remember our wild self and are vitally important for our well being and our healing.

Can you tell me a little bit about your painting process and favorite materials? 

My current series of Spirit Animal paintings were initially inspired after I purchased a small pad of 6×6 inch Montreal made watercolor paper in Kingston, Ontario (where I was born). I sat down with that pad of paper surrounded by the sounds of the forest and the water and immediately painted a cat woman with watercolor. That was in the summer of 2016 and I haven’t stopped since. I start with the face using my non dominant left hand because it’s my emotional, intuitive hand. I draw with a large soft piece of lead and the elfin figure that emerges tells me what kind of spirit animal belongs with her. I paint with watercolor and gouache and occasionally acrylic. I especially love Winsor Newton Series 7 brushes, M. Graham and Schminke gouache and Daniel Smith iridescent watercolors.

What has been your favorite achievement or project thus far? Do you have anything new and exciting on the horizon? 

In regards to the Spirit Animal series, I am very proud that I paint them every single day and that I write a poem for each one. I share this on Instagram @kathycrabbeart. On the horizon I look forward to spending more time in the forest with the wild creatures and traveling and hiking more; there are so many wild places to see in this great North American land of ours. I also hope the Spirit Animals will continue to grace more gallery walls with their healing, magical presence.

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15 Awesome Art Blogs + Blogger Recognition Award

This week I was surprised with a Blogger Recognition Award from Charlyse of the Real Life Real Mom blog. Thank you Charlyse! Considering I just secured a domain for my blog, this definitely came as a pleasant surprise. Now I’d like to pay it forward by recognizing and nominating 15 art blogs for the Blogger Recognition Award – all of these blogs are beautiful and amazing:

The Jealous Curator

Daydream Lily

Pony Anarchy

Clouds of Colour

Streetsy

Smiling Colors

Grow Creative Blog

Lines Across

A Kailo Chic Life 

Sara Funduk

Inkstruck Studio

Surely Simple

Persia Lou

Happy2Cycle

Anna’s Illustrations

If you’ve been nominated, here is what you do next. 

*Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

*Write a post to show your award.

*Give a brief story of how your blog started.

*Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

*Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.

*Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated and provide the link to the post you created.

How did my blog start? 

When I was 16 or 17 I had a big interest in art (I still do – went to school for Art History and am now an Art Librarian), as well as wanting to meet other artists. I started The Art Spectrum as a way to meet other artists and learn more about their work, process, and lives through blog featured interviews. I started on Blogger, moved to WordPress a few years later, and finally to self hosted a couple of weeks ago!

Advice to New Bloggers

Look for all the advice! My go to place for advice currently has been Facebook Groups – in particular Start a Money Making Blog.  I’ve also found some great community groups that have to do with art and blogging on Google+.  Also, read as much as you can, never stop reading.

Recommended Reading

Lifestyle Blogging Basics: A How-To for Investing in Yourself, Working With Brands, and Cultivating a Community Around Your Blog 

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