Lilac Trees, Rooks & Snowdrifts
By Victoria Crowe

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Year
1996
Media
Mixed Media and Collage
Subject Matter
Landscape
Reg. Number
L220
Size
61 x 49.5 cm

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This piece by Victoria Crowe is very distinctive of her work; the natural scene being portrayed, the use of strong colours and the subtle use of shadow. Showing exactly what it says in the title, the scene displays a tree with some rooks in it, a snowdrift and a little house in the background. Despite the fact that it has been painted quite thickly and without precision, the use of shadow gives it a depth which conveys the sense of reality, an image not from the imagination but one that has been seen and experienced. Heavy outlines have been used, but the edges are quite blurred, suggesting perhaps movement, or a series of moments in time. It is quite clearly winter time, so perhaps the blurriness is created to imply snow falling. Mostly earthy tones have been used, but there is a stark contrast between this and the whites and light blue hues used to create the snow. The sky is also a blended haziness of colour conveying a wintery sensation and relaying to the viewer again the time of year.

The painting is full of imagery, all constrained within a small space, where everything is colliding or on top of each of the other items. It could possibly be seen that Victoria is trying to include everything she likes about the scene into a small space for maximum impact. The snow drift is packed tightly to the left in the foreground, the rooks are in the tree just behind in the mid ground, and the house is then behind the tree in the background, slightly obscured by the branches.

The work of Victoria Crowe focuses very much on natural form, including the human form, and the outdoors in general. She is a very strong colourist and enjoys working with paint, mainly watercolours. Her use of reflection and shadow makes Victoria's work very recognisable. These elements are a key feature throughout her work and she uses them in a way that suggests movement and memory.

Victoria Crowe, a British artist, was born in 1945 and raised in Kingston-upon-Thames, where she also studied at the Kingston School of Art. After further study she went on to lecture in drawing and painting at the Edinburgh School of Art from 1968 to 1998. From 1998 onwards she has focussed on her own personal work and exhibitions. Victoria has acquired many awards and even received an OBE for her services to art. Victoria's work is widely known, specifically in Scotland and she has made a massive contribution to our art scene. Her work is very recognisable and surrounds many themes such as landscapes, portraits (including self-portraits), and interiors. She mainly uses her studio in Edinburgh now, and works between Scotland and Venice. Much of her work is housed in private or public collections. Currently, she is working on creating a tapestry from natural and non-dyed wools in association with the Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh. There will also be a book released in 2012 based around the artist and her work.

With thanks to the Scottish Gallery for artist information

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