The works of acclaimed West Side artist Katherine Crinklaw can be found on traditional canvas, pillows and art cards.
Now, her thriving downtown Gustine gallery also features Crinklaw’s latest line: Unique, hand-painted table top ceramics which debuted about a month ago.
Crinklaw, whose vibrant, nature-inspired work has developed a wide following during her more than 40 years as an artist, ventured into an entirely new realm in creating Crinklaw Fine Art Table Top Hand-Painted Ceramics.
“I have thought for years about tabletop items, how I could do it and in what designs,” Crinklaw explained. “I love the paintings on the pillows, but when it came time for the ceramics I didn’t want to repeat the process of having the same image. I decided I wanted something new and fresh.”
The artist launched the new division of Crinklaw Fine Art on her 60th birthday, traveling to Modesto to paint ceramics at The Pottery Place and More, where after painting the platters are glazed and fired to finish the process.
“I haven’t had butterflies paintings since I was 12 years old,” she shared. “I was a little nervous. I had to tell myself that I was just painting, and to paint the design that I had created. After the first 10 minutes I was fine.”
The question at that point, she said, was how the final product would look.....but when pottery store owner Sandra Ligon brought out the ceramics, tears of joy flowed.
A new product line was born, one which Crinklaw considers a natural extension of her work.
“I love functional art. I think fine art can be functional,” she told Mattos Newspapers. “I want people to use the art and enjoy the art.”
The ceramics, sturdy and substantial in size, reflect Crinklaw’s unique approach yet stand alone in their elegant style.
Each is hand-painted as Crinklaw reproduces designs she has painted on paper.
Because each is done free-hand, she noted, no two ceramic pieces will ever be the same even if drawn from the identical pattern.
The designs are drawn from the beauty of nature....depicting olives, blossoms, grapes and more in single line brush strokes.
“They are very modern and refined. I wanted them simple yet elegant, with very clean lines. I want them free-flowing and natural,” the artist explained. “They don’t conflict with anything else anybody has in their space.”
The ceramics have been well-received, Crinklaw added, and clients have started to commission custom designs.
Her gallery, which opened about a year ago at 377 Fifth St., Gustine, has been thriving.
“It has exceeded my expectations,” said Crinklaw, who said the support of her family and professional associates has been essential to her success. “Clients are coming from everywhere, and I’m shipping paintings everywhere. I have sold more paintings from this gallery than anywhere else combined that I have had my paintings in 42 years.”
The gallery gives clients the opportunity to see Crinklaw’s art in person.
“For years, the number one question I am asked is where they can see the art,” said Crinklaw, who is a Newman resident. “They want to see everything in one place. Now that I have a place where people can see things, I have the opportunity to keep expanding into different areas. It is very important to me that the gallery has something for everybody. I feel like it is very well-rounded.”
Her paintings have always been and will always be her primary focus, but visitors to the gallery will also find art cards, pillows and fabric by the yard with prints derived from the ceramic patterns.
For Crinklaw, the ceramics represent one more chapter in a successful career and reflect her belief that art knows no limits.
“I don’t see boundaries with art,” she concluded. “I see possibilities.”