In the past when I have seen a landscape of an open field or a rural farm I tend not to pay much attention, I stop briefly but quickly continue on my way. To me, some depictions of landscapes seem contrived and overdone. There are fields, mountains, flowers, may be the occasional bird or two, but they feel constructed from a “landscape recipe” rather than the creative being that designs them. When I first saw Trish Crowe’s breathtaking watercolor landscapes my view of traditional landscapes was turned inside out and upside-down.
Crowe, founder of the Firnew Farm Artists Circle, which opened nearly 10 years ago, is a studio she shares with group of 30 artists. The group of local artists initially met in the milking parlor to paint together while Crowe facilitated an afternoon critique of new works on a weekly basis. As the Circle grew, gathering more painters and photographers, Crowe converted the barn and silo into an exhibition space where this group of artists continue to work with students and local art teachers.
The Firnew Farm Artists have two exhibitions each year. One in the Firnew Barn Gallery, and others in local venues that include vineyards, Montpelier and this fall Woodberry Forest School in the Walker Fine Arts Gallery. The Circle’s focus is the natural Virginia Piedmont landscape that surrounds them. As Crowe states, “It is the perfect muse. It is line and color. It is ever changing and precious; and each artist has a unique and individual response to it. My watercolors of local fields and farms are a testimony to those artists who continue to challenge and push each other and me.”
Trish Crowe will be exhibiting her wonderful watercolor paintings in NIH’s North Gallery from September 7th until November 2nd. Working with the strength of line, translucency of color, and depictions of local fields and farms, Crowe has built a body of work that is both, vibrant and timeless. Her work focuses on how creating art has been a journey to understand herself and world around her.
The visual texture and excitement Crowe creates in her paintings brightens the rooms at NIH. Standing in front of one of Crowe’s watercolors you can get lost in the scene, transported to a rural sunny field where butterflies move feely and the breeze is ever so slight. The transformative powers of these works are why they are such a perfect fit as one of NIH’s rotating exhibits. Patients and visitors alike can enjoy the playful uplifting watercolor paintings by Crowe.
I encourage you to visit Trish Crowe’s exhibit at NIH and view for yourself the magnificent exploration of self and nature that her work holds.
Written by: Erica Kempler