Mixed media artist Lloyd Crow offers a portfolio of compelling works focused on social commentary. See more of his art by visiting his website.
Though my vocations throughout most of my adult life have been varied, my one constant is that I have always been an artist.
At the age of three, my thirteen-year old aunt apparently critiqued my coloring book and complimented me on my colors, but advised me to “keep them inside the lines.” From then on, I always traced the figure outlines in bold black crayon to make it easier to stay “inside the lines.” Even now, however, some seventy-plus years later, I still am a “colorist” and have an inclination to color outside the lines.
I am a mixed media artist and have been since I was a kid. I didn’t have television until I was seven years old. We weren’t poor, but my parents lived through the Depression, so they were frugal, which meant they bought few toys. Instead, we made toys and created our own entertainment. I would lose track of time and place when I was creating.
As I kid, I also loved the outdoors and wildlife. Oak covered hills full of wild creatures were only a short hike across two fields of farm land. That was my sanctuary—my place to escape. I spent many long days alone, soaking up the feel of the land, its scenery and smells.
Through the years, I watched in dismay as that same land was covered over in asphalt and concrete to accommodate the housing tracts, industrial complexes and malls that were built over it. The wildlife and oak trees are gone, and even many of the hills I used to explore have been leveled. The children that live there now in this “concrete jungle” spend most of their time indoors, attached to their devices.
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In my short lifetime, I’ve seen that while the world seems to have become totally connected, it has at the same time become almost totally disconnected—separated and isolated—from nature and the land.
By the time I entered high school, I knew I wanted to work for Disney, not as an artist making animated cartoons, but rather as an artist/naturalist making documentaries like Disney’s Living Desert. My parents and high school counselor, however, advised me that I was “too smart” to be an artist, and probably wouldn’t be able to make a living at it.
I was too insecure to risk the uncertainty of earning a living as an artist, so I got a degree in biology, with minors in math and physics. I taught school for a number of years, among other unfulfilling vocations.
After my wife passed away from cancer a few years ago, I decided to pursue my dream of becoming a “real” artist. I enrolled in an atelier and turned my avocation into my vocation.
Although I enjoy—and make—all types of art including painting, sculpture and assemblage; my focus has turned to social commentary. I address both historical and current issues from the viewpoint of a naturalist with an independent, freedom loving attitude, and a father’s and grandfather’s concern for the world we are creating and leaving to our grandchildren.
Artist Lloyd Crow invites you to follow him on Facebook.
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