Collection Title

Unique Perspectives

Author/Artist Name

Michael CrabtreeFollow



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Academic Level at Time of Creation


Date of Creation

Fall 11-18-2022

Artist Statement

Michael Crabtree

Artist Statement

I make drawings that communicate my experiences through the lens of illustration and narrative artmaking. Drawing is a foundational artistic practice, and I enjoy its simplicity and practicality. Pastels have become a direct means to add expressive color to my drawings and create the atmosphere that I aim to capture. My process begins with a memory or feeling about an experience. I will usually have a picture in my head that I am trying to capture. The next step is to start making the drawing. As I am working, more ideas fall into place and something new and different than what was originally envisioned ends up on the paper.

These drawings are made to be looked at with wondering eyes. My drawings communicate a narrative about places, moods, and human experiences. The meaning of these drawings can be open to interpretation. The story is not clear, leaving room for the viewer to imagine the narrative for themselves.

I am influenced by the work of many artists and illustrators, but Quintin Blake continues to be one of my favorites. I have learned so much about telling stories by looking at his work, how even simple images can communicate a full story and expand on a text with humor and wit. I am also greatly influenced by the work of David Hockney, especially the landscapes and more recent ipad drawings. I am drawn to his bold use of color and ability to capture the essence of his subject. His color sensibility reinforces my own, inspiring me to bring my visions to life in multilayered hues.


Katie Knoeringer; Michael T. Martin


The general themes in my work for this exhibition are storytelling and personal experience/memory. I have been working on several drawings in which I have tried to translate my memories or experience into a visual representation. I have exaggerated the elements of the places, settings, or figures, to emphasize the moment. This means that I am basing what is shown mostly on a feeling and not always based on reality. I want the work to feel like someone is telling tall tales.

The art is mainly 2D. There will be 1 graphite drawing several pastel drawings. All the work is around 18x24 inches. The graphite drawing is of an encounter with a crane at Kentucky lake. It is a memory of that place and moment. The drawing is of my wife and I canoeing and startling a resting crane. I exaggerated the scale of the bird to emphasize its importance to the narrative.One of the pastel drawings is also based on a memory. This drawing shows a strange encounter I had with spiders while in the park one morning. The location plays a big role in the narrative of this piece, so I wanted to translate my feeling of the place into the artwork more so than what it actually looks like.

Photo Credit

Michael Crabtree

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

Unique Perspectives



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