Considered the top realist painter in the United Kingdom, John Crawford, hails from five generations of fishermen on the East Coast of Scotland. After demonstrating remarkable visual aptitude at the age of five, on the advice of his teachers, he was encouraged to break family tradition and develop his gift. His beloved town of Arbroath and its coastline are the subject of his paintings. Using the gift of photographic visual memory, a typical day of work would find Crawford strolling the countryside and coastline, taking mental “pictures” to be later “developed” in his studio. Critics have alikened his passionate approach to realism to that of Andrew Wyeth, who acquired Crawford’s major painting, “WinterTracks.”
An accomplished scholar of literary, as well as of visual arts, Crawford has been decorated with virtually every major award in his field: An elected member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour;the Royal Society of British Artists, the Royal Society of Marine Artists and recipient of the Hunting Major Art Award, London, just to mention a few.
His work resonates with the warmth and complexity that only a lifelong understanding of his subjects can summon. Crawford finds his inspiration and vision within a five kilometer radius of his studio home. Revisiting many of his subjects from new angles time and again, the artistconsiders a lighthouse, a barn, even a stone to be like an old friend.Working in acrylic and watercolour, the work of this visual genius betrays a compelling and dynamic mastery of composition and light. Marrying an intimate knowledge of his subjects with his vast comprehension of the history of visual art, Crawford opens our eyes to the mystery of the natural realm and our curious, but rightful place therein. The work of this accomplished master transports us a step closer to an understanding of the power of the imaginationand the wonders of the human spirit.
John Crawford has exhibited internationally since 1965 and is represented in Edinburgh by the Scottish Gallery; in New York by the Hammer Galleries and in Canada by Beckett Fine Art. He has shown with Beckett since 1988.