Nancy Crow gallery
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Artist’s Statement

I have made over 300 quilts.

The purpose of my quilts is to make something beautiful for me. They are a means of expression. They represent my deepest feelings as a response to my life. My quilts are how I see color; how I see shapes; how I see line. They are about complexity, sadness, hope and always beauty. My style of quilt-making is contemporary in that I want to express my experiences now and not copy old quilts. They are traditional only in that they are machine-pieced and quilted.

I work in a 5200 square foot studio (two stories) that is attached (by an enclosed walk-through) to my house on an 104 acre farm east of Columbus, Ohio. The studio represents the environment in which I want to be in … large open spaces, 10 large pin walls on which to work, 12 foot ceilings, excellent LED lighting, a library, a great stereo system, sycamore floors, many tables, enough large north windows to give me a sense of the out-of-doors, wonderful storage for finished quilts, a bathroom, a separate office, an archival storage room for photography and collected textiles.

When I work on a quilt, I put away all thoughts that are not helpful and channel my energies towards relaxing and becoming one with my fabrics. Since I work intuitively, this is absolutely important. I begin to see shapes in my head and think about how to cut them out of my huge palette of colors that I have hand-dyed in my basement dye studio. Never, ever do I think about what others expect or want or what will sell, but rather I look at my time in my studio as a process of discovery. I love being inside my brain and pushing myself to think in ever more complex ways because I know the ideas are there for the taking. It’s all about being focused and disciplined and making use of one’s abilities. And about being alone, in solitude, so one can think and feel deeply without interruption. I have definitely grown far closer to myself rather than to others because I see my quilt-making as my experience which has nothing to do with other people.

I identify who I am with my art work ... in other words, I love the work, the experience of making each quilt. It’s my life, my life’s work! I feel lost not doing art, unsatisfied, anxious, bored. Everything else in comparison seems not terribly important. That is not to say I don’t love my family or my husband; I love them dearly. But I cannot live through other human beings. Rather, I feel I can live only through using the talents or gifts I was given and, to that end, I have always had a sense of time running out.

I believe in just doing it and not looking for excuses because who really cares in the end?

No one but oneself.

Images of Nancy’s work taken by photographer J. Kevin Fitzsimmons.