In the Studio with Louise Crandell

October 4th, 2023

Louise Crandell virtually sat down with us to discuss her practice, creative process, and what inspires her work. Crandell is a painter whose ethereal, luminous landscapes hover somewhere between representation and abstraction, reality and memory, dealing with vague, fleeting recollections of places witnessed in the past and the powerful emotions they can evoke. Using a unique mixture of oil paint and wax, Crandell’s works are imbued with a translucent quality which perfectly complements the vague, barely discernible details of her pictures.

How is this work made? What materials?

My paintings are made using first linen on a wood stretcher, then hide glue is applied, followed by several layers of oil ground. For the painting itself I apply layers of a mixture of oil paint and wax to create a depth and translucence to hopefully convey the illusiveness of light and time. I hope they are evocative and easily entered.   

What thoughts go through your mind when you create?

I listen to techno, dubstep and trance music while I’m working and I try not to think too much; not to force anything in particular. Mostly I’ll put down a few colors and shapes and see where they lead me; some sort of transcendent state. I don’t want my paintings to shout. 

Describe a real life situation that inspired you.

I visited the San Marco monastery in Florence some years ago and was moved by the frescoes painted by Fra Angelico in the monks cells. Their solemnity and quietude were inspiring to me.

What artists have influenced your work?  

When I was in high school many years ago, I wrote in a notebook ‘Wyeth vs Motherwell’. I had seen Wyeth’s Christina’s World while on a visit to NYC from South Bend, Indiana and bought a poster of the painting for my bedroom back home. I loved Wyeth’s hyper realism and use of color and Motherwell’s bold, expressive abstractions.
Later I’ve loved Kiefer, Richter, Lewitt, and Vermeer…..I could go on……

What do I do to procrastinate? 

I sweep – with a broom. 

Hold Up My Arms
Louise Crandell
Louise Crandell, "falling floating flying," oil, wax on linen
Falling Floating Flying
Louise Crandell
Louise Crandell, "shadows aren’t always gray," oil, wax on linen
Shadows Aren’t Always Gray
Louise Crandell
Louise Crandell, "the way is so long - do you know the way," oil, wax on linen
The Way is So Long – Do You Know the Way
Louise Crandell
Louise Crandell, "a matter of time," oil, wax on linen
A Matter of Time
Louise Crandell
Louise Crandell, "dancing ghosts of dreamland (series)," oil, wax on linen
Dancing Ghosts of Dreamland
Louise Crandell