When I was a child, I said I would grow up to write and illustrate books. I always found solace and healing in painting and drawing. I studied both seriously in college but early on, I was drawn more to text. For three decades I taught creative writing at Louisiana State, all the while publishing novels, short stories, and science fiction nationally and regionally. Meanwhile, I took classes at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts where I met people from many walks of life who devoted free time to the sketch pad and the canvas. In New Orleans, self-expression is seen as part of the necessary technology of joy, an incitement to wholeness. Over the years, it also happened that several of my novels and stories were narrated by a fictional, first-person woman painter. Deep down I knew that voice was eventually going to have her say. After a health crisis in 2017, I took up a serious studio practice.
In my visual work I am moved by the principles of palimpsest and discovery. We are always writing over the old with the new—and the next thing penetrates the last thing. Life in New Orleans is a constant reminder that the past isn’t even past, as Faulkner told us. And the future is already here as William Gibson said, just “poorly distributed.” Our precarious present, the very temporary-ness of existence brought home by the vulnerability in the Gulf Region, now shared by much of the world, is increasingly a subject of mine.
I often edit my paintings the way I edit a story. When I use oils, acrylics, and oil pastels, I wash the canvas often and paint the ghost, finding new images in what was left behind. Very often the painting that is the finished product was completely discovered while I was working on another image. The German and Austrian Expressionists, Chaim Soutine, the Nabis, Graciela Iturbide, Grace Hartigan, Romare Bearden, and Jean Michel Basquiat have all been an inspiration. Collage elements from my digital photographs register a past and a context sometimes, providing metaphors, and parallels. Drawn as I am to character, figure, and the dramatic moment captured in line, shading, and vivid color, my art is beginning to tend again toward narrative. The “background”--- the landscape, and images that “peek through” or emerge of their own account--- intrudes and impresses a statement beyond the transitory.
Native of tobacco country in Eastern North Carolina, Moira Crone has been painting, teaching, and writing in Louisiana for several decades. Former director of the creative writing program at LSU, and author of over fifty short stories, three books of stories, and three novels, she lives in New Orleans. Since she began a studio practice in 2018 paintings have been exhibited in juried shows in New Orleans, Grand Isle, Baton Rouge, Los Angeles, and Norfolk, as well as one and two women shows at 912 Julia and Second Story Gallery. She lives in the Bywater neighborhood with her husband, poet, and essayist, Rodger Kamenetz. View more at https://m-crone-art.com, https://www.theneworleansartcenter.com and The Second Story Gallery, New Orleans. For direct communication about sales and showings: write firstname.lastname@example.org, text: 9173099644, or the website m-crone-art.com.