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Academic Level at Time of Creation
Date of Creation
Storytelling inspires much of my art, whether from personal experience or from literature. I have always loved illustration and creating scenes where there is an implied narrative. I often try to make mysterious settings and strange structures or figures, but many of them are based on my memories of places or things that I have seen. My wife and daughter and our dog pop up again and again in my work but typically in unusual scenarios. I have painted our dog guiding a ship with a lantern and I have placed my wife and daughter in the background of a Mardi Gras illustration. I want to be an art teacher, and many of the lessons I have learned in school and through my experiences working with young people have influenced my work and how I think about art. One of the most important things I have learned about being an effective art teacher, which has changed the way I make art, is that students should make work that is meaningful to them. I try to remember this when I am making my own work. Book illustrations continue to be an inspiration to me and I feel that my love for narrative art has led me to really enjoy learning about art history. I am especially amazed by relief sculptures from the Romanesque period. The artists of this time used perspective and hierarchical proportions in unique ways to translate their messages into a visual form, often defying conventions of pictorial space to further their storytelling. I try to include some of these techniques in my own work. The illustrator Edward Gorey is a major influence on my work. He is an artist that I keep coming back to for inspiration again and again. His work has a timeless quality to it and he finds humor in the macabre. His unique style and characters are drawn using pen and ink with precise cross hatching and fine lines. I have been lucky enough to see a few of his works in person; they are surprisingly small and delicate. Esther Pearl Watson is another artist who inspires my work. She paints in a naive style that is humorous, but also expresses a sense of wonder and joyfulness. I love her series of paintings depicting her fathers homemade spaceships. She has a unique approach to painting that has a simple charm that I strive to find in my own imaginative paintings. When someone looks at my work I would like them to feel curious about the story I am trying to tell. This is why I like to work from my memories and experiences. I think that many people share similar experiences or feelings about the world. Maybe my work will remind someone of a place they have been, a person they have met, or an interesting experience they have had.
Rebecca Williams; Mike Martin
This is a collection of work I have created as a student at Murray State University. Storytelling inspires much of my art, whether from personal experience or from literature. I am fascinated by illustration and creating scenes where there is an implied narrative. Developing technical skills in several mediums has also been a goal of mine as an art student. I believe that drawing from life enhances the more creative work that I have made, so that is a skill that I enjoy and will continue to practice. The work included here is done in oil paint, charcoal, photoshop, and ceramics.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Crabtree, Michael, "Michael Crabtree Art399 Portfolio" (2022). Professional Practices (ART 399). 126.