WetINK Quarterly (Winter) – Isabel Crause
Isabel Crause is a self-taught artist and freelance writer from Cape Town. Her art explores the beauty of the unknown through the fluidity of watercolour and ink – creating abstract landscapes and botanicals painted in a free, intuitive style that allows the work take on a life of its own.
“The water and pigment take to the page already in a state of equilibrium. My hand holds the brush but the painting decides what it becomes,” says Isabel. “Except for the colour palette, I don’t paint with a plan. The imagery appears out of nowhere – unfamiliar to memory, known only by imagination.”
Through her art, she hopes to create a moment of pause for the viewer, to find joy in the present and escape from the noise of life.
We recently caught up with Isabel for a quick Q&A :
Did you have anyone that inspired you to take up painting or was there a moment that made you think, yeah this is something that I would like to do?
My mother is a very talented, inspiring woman and I owe my love for watercolour painting to her. I’ve painted for pleasure all my life but pursued a career in copywriting. After too many years in the (brutal) advertising landscape, and with motivation from my mom to ‘do it afraid’, I started painting again. Now I ebb and flow between freelance writing and painting – the perfect combination.
What is your favourite artistic medium and why?
I love the light, luminous quality of watercolour and ink – the immediacy and movement of the medium, and how the resulting painting is both bold and delicate. This paradox creates continuous visual interest, revealing new details every time you look at the work.
The elusive and unpredictable nature of watercolour and ink challenges and teaches me to let go of perfection and surrender to the process. That’s when the magic happens. I’m learning it’s true in art and in life.
Besides landscapes, is there anything else that you like to paint?
Abstract botanicals make up the majority of my art practice. I follow the same intuitive process as my landscapes, painting fast, free and loose. The plants, blooms and winged creatures that take shape on the page are pure serendipity.
To date, what is your favourite project/piece that you have worked on?
Every commission, new collection or random weekend painting is my new favourite. Creating something that never existed before is a joy in itself.
Do you have any projects/exhibitions in the pipeline?
I always have a lot going on at the same time. At the moment, I have a string of workshops lined up and just joined an independent art gallery in Noordhoek. Exhibitions are on the list.
If you could swap a piece of work with anyone, who would that be?
There are many artists whose work I admire, but if I had to choose one, it would have to be Renee Tohl – an Australian abstract artist working mostly in watercolour and gouache, with a contemporary twist.
Isabel’s work will be on display at Wetink Cape Town from 10th July – 10th September 2023
Check out Isabel’s Instagram profiles
@Isa__Beau__art & @Isabelcrause_watercolourist
Prints available 📍 www.isabelcrauseart.co.za