Featured artist: Bobbie Crews
Is there a blank wall in your garage? This artist could enliven it dramatically
They’re intimate portraits of automobiles, says Bobbie Crews of her illustrations. “I often see cars as having human traits, so I treat my images like portraits of people, capturing personality and character.”
By zooming right in to details, often the chrome of headlamps and radiator cowls, Bobbie picks out highlights that identify a car even at such close quarters. “An important element of my work is the reflection of light, landscape and people that show up in headlights, chrome and fenders. My paintings consist of many layers of colour to create my trademark luminosity.”
Bobbie grew up within the Detroit area – her first car was a Mustang – but while painting was always an interest it only became a vocation after she had brought up a family, when she went to the University of Tennessee School of Art. Her work is wide-ranging: as well as portraits and teaching workshops she also does courtroom sketching. But it is the murals that set her apart: she has painted more than 100 of them for restaurants, service stations and private garages, ranging in size up to 35 feet across.
Her favourite medium is oil on canvas, though the murals might require other choices depending on surface. The wall paintings are sketched out before she begins, while for the smaller canvasses she says, “I draw and paint directly onto the canvas after cropping the image and planning the look.
“I feel an affinity with older automobiles, the comfortable old leather seats, the curved fenders. Concours d’Élégance shows are important for my art. My favourites are cars from the late ’20s into the ’50s – there is a romance and beauty.”
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