With a strong sense of place, Alyson McCrink’s paintings evoke the rich landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. Alyson’s use of texture draw viewers into her paintings with their almost 3-D effect, taking everyone with her to the places she loves.
How long have you been painting, and how did you get started?
I’m an abstract painter who is inspired by the natural landscapes of the Pacific Northwest region. So I translate those landscapes, colors and textures into an abstract representation through my acrylic, ink and resin paintings.
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Did you have a “gateway craft” as a kid? If so, which creative projects led you to the work you do today?
I have been painting and creating my entire life. My parents always bought me art supplies as a kid and nurtured the innate curiosity of creativity in me.
Do you think that creativity is part of human nature, or instead something that must be nurtured and learned?
I think that creativity is a part of human nature, so every child becomes overly excited at a box of crayons and watercolors with fresh white paper.
Humans have a need to create. I think that certain people take that need for creation and want to harness it further by gaining more knowledge and education in the art field. I received my BFA in painting and have always been obsessed with creating things that don’t exist.
What inspires you? Are there recurring themes in your work? Do you do series work? If so, how does that affect your approach?
Nature inspires me, and so living in the Pacific Northwest is a constant source of wonder for me as an artist. I try and replicate the water, rocks, plants, and weather when I create thick textures and vibrant colors in my work.
What medium do you use? Do you have a favorite?
I primarily paint with acrylic paint, heavy texture and gold or silver leaf on canvas, as well as ink and resin on wood panel. I love playing with various acrylic mediums to build up a variety of textures in my paintings. The resin pieces are smooth and glassy with an almost 3D effect because you can see into the resin layers.
Do you have a dedicated space for creating? If so, what does it look like?
I have a studio in my home that is just for creating my artwork, so I fill it with a whole world of paint, mediums, canvases, pallet knives, paint brushes, spray bottles, heat guns, glitter, gold leaf, tables, saw horses and a large canvas drop cloth, filled with paint drippings.
What plays in the background while you work? Silence? Music, audiobooks, podcasts, movies? If so, what kind?
I love working to music and podcasts. I listen to spiritual podcasts about harnessing ancient creative energy.
How do you get unstuck creatively?
I can stumble creatively from time to time, and when this occurs, I enjoy trying a brand new (to me) technique. I research and play, so I discover things about the new effect and about myself in the process. It’s always nice to try something you’ve never done in order to unblock yourself.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
I think the best piece of advice I’ve received as an artist is to just create what you absolutely love and then people will love what you create.
Learn more about Alyson McCrink Fine Art.
Interview posted July 2020
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