September 9, 2011
Tina Crabdree holds up a photo she will work from when she begins her latest commission piece.
Stories this photo appears in:
Biologist and teacher turned artist discovers that with oils, as with life, sometimes you have to listen to the painting
Most people figure artists live in some alternate world — cutting an ear off to impress a girlfriend and living lives of outrageous strangeness. Perhaps we embrace that stereotype so we can ignore the artist that lurks in our own hearts. But then along comes a painter like Tina Crabdree. Suddenly, you have to rethink your assumptions about artists — and maybe even yourself. If you look at her dense, moody oil paintings now, you’d assume she has painted all her life. Instead, her path includes incarnations as a wildlife biologist, science teacher, alternative school founder, full-time mother — and even a stint in the insurance business. All of that proved perfect preparation, as it turns out, for life as an artist.