Rosemary Craig has been an artist and student of art all her life.
Having practiced and studied art as much as was allowed during her Catholic schooling, Rose continued her studies at Iowa State University College of Design in Ames, Mount Mercy College and Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as well as numerous workshops and classes. Working with, and studying under accomplished artists, Bob Naujoks, John Beckelman, Jo Myers Walker, Joe Messner, Dick Grodt, and many more.
Craig began her professional life at 17, working as an intern in the Graphics Department of the Cedar Rapids, Iowa School Board. She continued her career as an Art Director in the advertising industry, working for (among others) CMF&Z Advertising, a Young & Rubicam Company.
In 2000, her desire to return to her fine art compelled her to open a local gallery, Rosebud Gallery & Gardens, featuring the work of local and regional artists. Though the gallery closed after 1 1/2 years, focus on her fine art was undeterred and the process of building a current body of work was underway.
In 2014, after returning to the Midwest from Spokane, Washington, Craig began showing her work at various venues and teaching in the Cedar Rapids area. Of her time in the Inland and Pacific Northwest, "my time there was personally painful, but so fed my artist spirit. It proved to be instrumental in the development of my work".
In 2015, Rose began working almost exclusively in abstract acrylics, finding this medium and style gave her work the voice it seemed to lack previously. These are the paintings you'll find today in galleries and shows that represent her work.
My style of painting (often referred to as action painting) involves pouring, dripping, throwing, etc. the paint onto a canvas lying flat. Since my work in acrylics is born of many years working with watercolors, my pieces can sometimes resemble a watercolor, with unpainted portions of the canvas or negative space. My work is very spontaneous and I purposefully allow the paint to drip down the side of the canvas. I enjoy the way the texture of the canvas influences the flow or texture of the paint as it dries, as it would with watercolor paper.
Even though I paint abstracts, I continue to find all my inspiration in and from nature. There are many things in life that move us. It can be something as natural & simple as the sound of wind blowing through trees or as manmade & complex as political views. I prefer the natural, as the manmade oftentimes frustrates me or worse.
When I want to put the way I feel about something or someone on canvas, I turn to nature. Nature is calm, persistent, undeterred, constant, acclimating. It moves, grows, flounders, dies, feeds itself and more. We, as humans oftentimes forget we are of nature. We allow ourselves to get caught up in so much nonsense.
Oftentimes I'll do interpretive studies of things of nature – water, grass, trees, etc. They’re not necessarily representative, but I know what they are. As I work on an interpretive piece and after I finish, I think about how that particular “thing” interacts with its counterparts in nature – the sun, wind, snow, etc. and I see the similarities between things of nature and the human spirit or condition. From the original painting, spring many more ideas, paintings and interpretations that speak not to the representation of a single thing, but to aspects of humanity... so many different messages for so many different people. My hope for anyone viewing my work, is that they are moved in a similarly profound way to the way I’m moved while creating it. It doesn’t have to be the same way or say the same thing to them. Just that they are moved.
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Copyright 2018. Rosemary Craig. All Rights Reserved.