22 Questions with Mary Crowley
1. Name: Mary Crowley MRC
2. Age: 6, A.A. Milne, last line of poem The End “But now I am six and I’m clever as clever, and I think I’ll be six now forever and ever.”
3. Hometown: Haddonfield, New Jersey (Philadelphia, my city)
4. How would you describe yourself in three words? creative, procrastinating, up-for-a-good-time
5. What’s something a lot of people don’t know about you? When I was a girl, I’d go to the woods and build a fire and roast a few potatoes. I think I thought of the whole ritual as my personal religious practice, involving worship of a sun god. I didn’t practice this ritual often, for I thought it was not OK, even wicked.
6. How do you start your day? Usually, I eat cereal, blueberries, and bananas. I drink coffee. I go for a walk to the pond. (Except for those days when I get engrossed in something else and do not walk for awhile.) The pond and environs are different every day. Walking there and just being there are a wonderful way to Be in Vermont.
7. What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done in your life? I think the most adventurous thing I do, present tense, is to start a new drawing or painting. I have a certain lack of confidence, a fear that a particular work of art will not be as I would like it to be. This description may not resonate with those who take physical risks. However, as an artist, I enter a new world with each drawing or painting. I must muster courage to begin, continue, and complete a piece.
8. What’s your favorite food? Tea with Lemon and Sugar, hot or cold & A Cookie to go with it. ( I know, strictly speaking, tea is not a food. Lemon and Sugar & A Cookie are though. ) ** Favorite flowers ? Sunflowers and Carnations.
9. Do you have a day job? No. However, I always seem to be involved in a project. Right now I am happily getting ready to do a drawing show/class on PEGTV, 1075, to air starting in early January. The name of the show is just one word, draw. I think there will be two shows a month in January, February, and March. See it Mondays at 3PM, Tuesdays at 11AM, and Thursdays at 7PM. In addition, anyone can get the show, draw , by going to PegTV.com, going to Video on Demand and typing in the four letters, d-r-a-w. After the first three months of 2021, I will decide whether to have one or two shows a month. I am learning some facets of the creative process that I did not know about before. Also, I am having fun with lines, squiggles, scribbles, doodles, and drawings.
10. What medium do you work in? Water Color, Pastel, Pencil, Charcoal, Conte Crayon. Essentially Drawing and Painting. Pen and Ink and Water Color for the two children’s books I wrote and illustrated.
11. Why these mediums? I like variety.
12. What inspired you? How did it start ? I think I started the way every other little child starts, by making lines and then deciding that I would like to scribble and then try to make lines that went together that looked like something I could see — a person, a tree, the sun. My mother put a drawing I did when I was 2 1/2 or 3 in my baby book. It is delightful and shows people done in different ways. How do I know they are people? They have faces, of sorts, and arms and legs drawn with lines. I smile when I think of this drawing my mother saved. I framed it and am happy to have it as a reminder that children’s drawings are expressions of the creative spirit, which needs to be acknowledged and nurtured.
13. Do you have a process for creating? Not really. I have to Figure Out a process to get myself started. Warm up exercises I think are crucial. Answering these questions has made me aware that I want to have a beginning routine for creating art.
14. When are you the most inspired/ What is your favorite time of day to work? I am inspired when I see or feel anything that touches me. I like working in the morning best. Any time of day is fine, really, if I am creating with one other person, and we are each focused on our work.
15. What artists inspire you? Sooo many artists inspire me. Off the top of my head — Van Gogh, Sargent, Picasso, Homer, Turner, Matisse, Monet, Leonardo, Chagall; the Cave Artists of Europe; Field, Huntoon, Huebner, Seward, Shattuck, McFarren, Holmes.
16. What do you listen to while you work? Nothing. Maybe I will try Rachmaninoff some day. I had a good time and made a really good leek and potato soup while listening to Rachmaninoff.
17. What are your thoughts on being an artist in Rutland? I think that as long as there are artists in the greater community and a place like The Chaffee Art Center (775-0356), that artists have the opportunity to grow, metaphorically speaking. I think Marketing, which has such broad outreach nowadays, makes the difference between selling and having work languish at home. The Carving Studio is also a beacon of Hope.
18. What’s your earliest memory of making art in Rutland? When I moved here in the 70’s, I was in a Creative Stitchery phase, drawing lines and making shapes with yarn. I soon left that phase because of a workshop I took from Sabra Field at Castleton (now CU).
19. Why do you think artists are attracted to Rutland? I think it is because we are a diverse and welcoming community with a thriving art location, The Chaffee Art Center. Sherri Birkheimer-Rooker is a dynamic and creative E.D. She keeps the mansion open with her work ethic and grant writing skills. Carol Driscoll of The Carving Studio is also a driving force.
20. Which arts organizations in town are you involved in and how has it impacted you? I have been involved with The Chaffee Art Center for many years, as a past board member and as an artist member. The Chaffee has given me a place to support the arts, to connect with other artists, and to show my work. I love the building with all its details from different periods of architecture. I rejoice that Art in the Park took place this summer and that there are continuing exhibits in the mansion. Right now, until early January, there are works by member artists and Gingerbread creations.
21.What is your favorite art exhibit /project you’ve seen in Rutland? I loved being involved in the 2 street art projects — All Aboard Rutland (trains celebrating the present and the past of Rutland) and The heARTs of Rutland. I also was happy that Emma (East Mountain Mentoring Artists), of which I am a member, had both floors of The Chaffee for our show. Oh, yes, there was an IBM exhibit many years ago, with models of Leonardo da Vinci’s work. One more favorite, the Sabra Field show, with many prints of her home state of Vermont.
22. What would you like to see for the future of the arts in Rutland? I would like to see an outdoor venue, so vital now, where all the arts could be showcased.
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