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 weekend!

The Messy Studio with Rebecca Crowell on social media

Episodes

  • Episode 127: Visual Language

    May 30th, 2020  |  33 mins 47 secs
    art, creativity, elements, fundamentals, principles, rebecca crowell, visual language

    Learning to use the visual elements and design principles in your work is often compared to acquiring vocabulary and then being able to use those words to communicate. It also means being able to understand better what other artists have to say in their work. This understanding is basic and contributes to your growth for your whole artistic life. It also grows in tandem with intuitive responses and understanding. Yet many artists do not progress much beyond a limited vocabulary, used in only a few repeated combinations. Today we will give a perspective on the benefits of growing your visual vocabulary.

  • Episode 126: Handling Critique

    May 23rd, 2020  |  39 mins 36 secs
    art, creativity, critique, rebecca crowell, teaching

    It can be very unsettling to put your work in front of someone else for a critique. We may fear harsh, judgmental comments. Yet the value of critique is exactly that, the chance to gain an outside perspective and insight, and very often criticism can be given and received in a supportive way. Today we’ll talk about the positive aspects of critique as well as handling negative criticism with regards to our work.

  • Episode 125: Art As Therapy

    May 15th, 2020  |  29 mins 10 secs
    art, quarantine, rebecca crowell, therapy

    As we record this episode, a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, there is so much we don’t know—what the situation means in our own lives and in the world at large, how long it will last and what we will endure before it is over. How can our art practices help us through this difficult and anxious time? Today our podcast includes thoughts from two art therapists, Mimma Della Cagnoletta and Barbara Bagan, who generously shared their ideas about this topic via email.

  • Episode 124: Voices Of Experience

    May 9th, 2020  |  37 mins 16 secs
    art, experience, rebecca crowell, teaching, wisdom

    If you have ever had a really good art class, whether, in school or a workshop, you probably retained some real gems of wisdom from the instructor. These may be specific things that were emphasized or their overall teaching philosophy. These positive ideas and words have the power to shape our studio practices for our entire creative lives. We reached out to some art instructors, all friends of the Messy Studio Podcast, to ask them to share their insights and approaches to teaching, as well as how they motivate and inspire students to find their own direction.

  • Episode 123: A Call For Change

    May 2nd, 2020  |  35 mins 2 secs
    art, change, creativity, quarantine, rebecca crowell

    Many artists are feeling stuck right now--not only in their homes in the midst of the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders but stuck in their work as well. We not only contend with our own worries and struggles but the constant drumbeat of bad news from the media. Our usual ways of working may no longer seem suited to what our lives have become.
    Historically, art reflects the times in which it is made. Today, we are considering this aspect of creativity in light of what we are all experiencing. The way in which we handle the current situation creatively can also be applied to other traumas that we experience in life.

  • Episode 122: Sell More Art Online, Interview With Dave Geada

    April 25th, 2020  |  1 hr 8 secs
    art, business, dave geada, marketing, rebecca crowell, sales, social media

    Dave Geada, CMO at BoldBrush, teaches us how to generate more sales online by telling stories.

  • Episode 121: Working with Place...While Sheltering in Place

    April 18th, 2020  |  35 mins 22 secs
    abstraction, art, places, quarantine, rebecca crowell

    Many artists working in both realism and abstraction explore ideas or emotions through the lens of unique or moving aspects of a particular place. This place may be as close as the artist’s own backyard, but it is often more distant. At this time we are encountering many challenges in our daily lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including being unable to visit the places that motivate our creative practices. In this episode, we talk about how to continue accessing special places through memory and other references.

  • Episode 120: The Creative Urge

    April 12th, 2020  |  31 mins 4 secs
    art, creativity, rebecca crowell

    Even under difficult circumstances, humans have always had a strong urge to create, to make things that embody thought, emotion, spiritual and cultural beliefs. Those of us who work in fine art media have a drive to create even when there is no practical purpose for what we make. This urge can range from an occasional desire, to a very strong passion, an almost uncontrollable compulsion. Today we are going to explore the creative urge along with some inspiring quotes from artists of the past.

  • 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”.