Carolyn Crawford

My interest in botany began over 30 years ago when I subconsciously became interested in plant taxonomy. Twenty-five years ago I decided to illustrate plants from a scientist’s point of view. Plant and flower minutiae had always fascinated me.

In 1982, a seminal exhibit of the botanical artwork of the late Ida Hrubesky Pemberton (1890-1951) became my greatest inspiration and continues to be so. Her collection is housed permanently at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History in Boulder.

My goal in depicting any plant is to make it appear as though it were alive on the page, as if it were three-dimensional. No detail is too small; and lifelike, intense color is absolutely necessary to achieve this end. To me, being a colorist means depicting all of the subtle nuances of highlights, backlights, shadows, and chiaroscuro. This has been my primary focus for the last dozen years. My media are watercolor pencil, colored pencil, and pen-and-ink.

One of my more recent exhibits was held at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History (2002-2003) in Boulder. That exhibit later led to what I consider my greatest honor of all. In the fall of 2003, The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation in Pittsburgh held a retrospective exhibition of the work of Ida Pemberton. I assisted in curating the exhibit with other CU Museum personnel and subsequently was privileged to write the biography of Mrs. Pemberton for the exhibit’s catalog.

1474 Kennedy Avenue
Louisville, CO 80027