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Carla Crawford Works Biography


(b. 1981) Carla Crawford received undergraduate degrees in Art Studio, Art History and Italian Language and Literature from University of California, Davis where she studied with the artist Wayne Thiebaud, her mentor in oil painting.  During her time at UC Davis, Carla went on exchange for two years to Italy on the recommendation of Thiebaud, which deeply affected her ideas on art and where she became enamored with the techniques of classical Italian painting.  For a year she attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna where she studied painting with the Italian artist Concetto Pozzati.  The following year, she continued studying art theory and history at the Institute of Architecture and the University Ca’ Foscari in Venice.  After graduating, she remained in Italy teaching art and art history at the Scuola Internazionale di Venezia.   Upon returning to her native Bay Area, Carla received her Graduate Teaching Credential in art education from San Francisco State University and spent three years teaching art in public schools in California.  In 2008 she met her current mentor, the classical realist Jacob Collins and moved to New York to study the nude figure with him full time.  This classical training includes rigorous study of anatomy, color theory, the effect of light on form and the traditional methods of layering and mixing paints.  She has been an artist-in-residence at the School of the Arts in San Francisco and at the Hudson River Landscape Fellowship and has received the Alfred Ross Grant for Artistic Excellence.  She currently lives and works in California with her husband.     


Artist Statement

I was trained in art academies and painting ateliers in the US and Italy and work using the traditional methods of classical oil painting.  Each piece is made with long hours of careful drawing, a meticulous under-painting, and then several layers of paint to create the finish I’m looking for.  I work from life which gives me the opportunity to connect in a personal way with my models.  I find I am always trying to observe and see more of the person, to capture physical likeness, personality, and emotion.  I aspire to portray my subjects as faithfully as I can without idealization.   It is the details of people that interest me and keep me engrossed in my work.   Searching out what makes one face or figure particular and different from another is something I find endlessly intriguing and worthy of continued study.   While I work in a classical manner I am most interested in painting the people I see and interact with in my daily life.   It is my hope that my work captures this mix of both the traditional and contemporary.  



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