The Messy Studio with Rebecca Crowell

The podcast at the intersection of art, travel, business, philosophy, and life in general.

About the show

Artist Rebecca Crowell shares experiences and thoughts from three decades of painting, teaching and traveling, as well as her conversations with other artists. She is joined by her co-host, producer, and son, Ross Ticknor, who brings an entrepreneurial Millennial perspective. The conversations are broad and eclectic, focused on ideas, information and anecdotes that other artists may find helpful in their work and careers. A new episode is uploaded every Saturday!

The Messy Studio with Rebecca Crowell on social media


  • Episode 119: Staying Focused

    April 4th, 2020  |  28 mins 44 secs
    art, focus, rebecca crowell, self improvement

    One of the challenges of maintaining a creative practice is keeping focused in the studio; it can seem like daily life is constantly pulling us in other directions. This podcast was recorded before the COVID 19 pandemic, and for many artists, focus has become more important than ever as a way to lose ourselves in our work. Yet even if we have time to work, it can still be difficult to find a rhythm and path to follow.

  • Episode 118: The Life and Work of Agnes Martin - Interview With Henry Martin

    March 28th, 2020  |  39 mins 5 secs
    agnes martin, art, henry martin, ireland, rebecca crowell, travel, writing

    Rebecca interviews Irish writer Henry Martin about his book, Agnes Martin: Pioneer, Painter, Icon, discussing her life, character, and work. About this biography, museum curator Jina Brenneman wrote “No other book on Agnes Martin has been researched as thoroughly and honestly as Agnes Martin: Pioneer, Painter, Icon. Its sensitive and poetic nature makes it a must read for those truly interested in understanding the artist.”

  • Episode 117: COVID-19 Outbreak: Coping With Isolation

    March 21st, 2020  |  53 mins 35 secs
    art, covid-19, isolation, learning, new mexico, personal development, quarantine, rebecca crowell, travel

    When the news media first mentioned the coronavirus spreading through China, few of us in the rest of the world realized the huge impact it would have. A few months later we face quarantines and severe economic consequences, and many of us are facing isolation, boredom, and anxiety, as well as financial stress. In this episode we address how the current measures implemented to contain COVID-19 have affected our lives as artists, as well as ideas for coping in this time of uncertainty and change.

  • Episode 116: The Writing Process: Interview With Henry Martin

    March 14th, 2020  |  32 mins 39 secs

    Rebecca sits down with writer Henry Martin in Dublin, Ireland to talk about his writing process in general, and his research for his book, Agnes Martin: Pioneer, Painter, Icon.

  • Episode 115: Art: A Conversation With Your Viewers

    March 6th, 2020  |  29 mins
    art, audience, conversation, rebecca crowell, voice

    Most artists would agree that their work is an attempt at communication, even if a non-verbal one. The idea of a conversation with viewers is a helpful perspective because it implies that this communication does not exist in a vacuum, going in one direction only. We use the term “personal voice” in reference to what we are trying to communicate, but we should grant a “voice” of sorts to our audience as well.

  • Episode 114: Art Conservation

    February 29th, 2020  |  36 mins 52 secs
    art, art conservation, conservators, museums, new mexico, rebecca crowell, restoration, travel

    Rebecca interviews Jill Whitten and Robert Proctor of Whitten & Proctor Fine Art Conservation. They discuss the process of art conservation and restoration, as well as their paths into the field and some of their projects with museums around the world.

  • Episode 113: Inner Voices

    February 22nd, 2020  |  28 mins 8 secs
    advice, art, inner voices, rebecca crowell

    When sorting through advice and opinions, not all of the voices influencing us are spoken by others. We also have inner voices that comment on our work. They may be insecurities that originate in past negative experiences and these can sap our creative energy. Others are rules and formulas that we've accepted without question but don't serve us well. But we can also cultivate positive inner commentary and learn to control what we tell ourselves.

  • Episode 112: Surrounded By Advice

    February 15th, 2020  |  29 mins 28 secs
    advice, art, learning, rebecca crowell, teaching

    As artists, we all want to grow and improve our own work, and we are often surrounded by the advice and opinions of other people. While some advice is helpful, it can sometimes undermine our unique, personal voice. It can be hard to sort the good advice from the bad. It is also important to realize that our own accepted opinions may need to be challenged in order for our work to advance. Unfortunately there is a lot more bad advice than good advice out there. A mentor of Ross’s once told him “if you follow the advice of 90% of the people you meet, you will end up where 90% of people end up”.

  • Episode 111: BONUS EPISODE: Statement of Intentions for 2020

    February 14th, 2020  |  2 mins 18 secs

    Here's what we want to do with the podcast going forward...

  • Episode 110: Balancing Acts

    February 8th, 2020  |  27 mins 39 secs
    art, balancing acts, rebecca crowell, style, teaching, technique

    We often talk about finding balance with aspects of the creative process that seem to be opposites. For example, finding the balance between working intuitively and working with control and intention. The way each of us finds this balance between different approaches helps to develop the unique character of our individual work and process.

  • Episode 109: Interview with Paula Roland: An Uncharted Journey

    February 1st, 2020  |  41 mins 18 secs
    art, encaustic, entrepreneurship, interview, monotype, new mexico, paula roland, rebecca crowell, travel, workshops

    Rebecca Crowell interviews Paula Roland about her life as an artist and entrepreneur.

  • Episode 108: Ideas For Your Bookshelf

    January 25th, 2020  |  33 mins 19 secs
    art, books, reading, rebecca crowell

    We talked last time about the role that art-related books play in the lives of artists, and the importance of continuing to educate ourselves in various ways. This week we turn our attention to the specific titles and authors recommended by Rebecca, as well as other artists who weighed in on our Facebook poll asking for input about significant art-related books. Many artists are very passionate about their books and recommendations, which were wide-ranging.

  • Episode 107: The Importance Of Art Books

    January 18th, 2020  |  32 mins 7 secs
    art, books, reading, rebecca crowell

    Art related books play an important part in our lives, and many artists have enormous collections. These collections are an investment in the growth of an artist’s creativity and career. They demonstrate curiosity and a desire for deeper understanding. Some artists joke that collecting books is a bit of an addiction. Even a small collection of relevant books can have a profound impact on your thoughts and intentions, and can help us understand our own work, as well as other’s work better.

  • Episode 106: Interview With Betsy Williams - The Microseasons Project

    January 11th, 2020  |  39 mins 14 secs
    art, betsy williams, collaborations, interview, new mexico, rebecca crowell, travel

    In today's episode, Rebecca interviews New Mexico artist Betsy Williams about her work and recently published book.

  • Episode 105: Why Walk?

    January 4th, 2020  |  28 mins 48 secs
    art, creative process, rebecca crowell, travel, walking

    While this may seem to be an odd topic for the Messy Studio, it is something that is important to Rebecca's creative life and that of many other artists. Walking has numerous and well-known benefits for physical and mental health, but what can it contribute to our lives as artists? In this episode, we explore walking as one of the ways that daily life and art are integrated.

  • Episode 104: Questions And The Creative Process

    December 28th, 2019  |  30 mins 59 secs
    abstraction, art, creative process, questions, rebecca crowell

    The questions we ask ourselves as artists are at the root of the creative process. As artists, we are driven by the unknown. Contemplating various possibilities brings energy and change to our work. It keeps our work dynamic, and exciting, and it keeps us engaged in the creative process.