Renee Crouser is an American artist whose work is characterized by candid moments and quiet contemplation. She has tried and continues to experiment with multiple media in her work, from acrylic to pastels, oils and even mashed potatoes, always grabbing what is on hand. She works to share her connection with the world through intimate portraits, still moments and explosions of color.
Renee's artwork is directly influenced by her upbringing and her father. Her father was a military serviceman who took his family with him around the world. He also was an avid photographer and took many slides of the areas they lived in and everyday life around them. Growing up, she was able to experience many cultures and environments which opened her to change and experimentation. It was her father who noticed her interest in art early on and he brought her everything he could get his hands on to try, as he regretted that he was not a painter himself.
Renee became immersed in the beauty of the world and the different cultures and environments that she lived in. She graduated from school in Greece, lived in Belgium and traveled all of Europe. As well, she has lived in the Midwest and eastern coast of the United States. Everywhere she has traveled and lived added to her perspective and influences her creative processes, whether it be from the hustle and bustle of cities, to the colors of fields of tulips or the shape of fruit at the farmer's markets.
Renee professes that she “is a drawer, not a painter.” Under every painting is a drawing and the largest swatches of color are in the under-painting. Graphite is the one medium that she returns to in order to center herself and all of her work, whether done in oils, pastels, acrylic or watercolor all start with a detailed sketch. For her, the artwork comes in layers and small pieces like a puzzle and when she begins the work, she is able to visualize the finished piece in a specific medium. Some of her works of art use her father's photographs as a reference, painting from his eye. Her floral paintings exude movement and colorful energy. With her portraits of people, she chooses to take really quick snapshots to avoid the stiffness of posed figures. Although she admits that painting people can be intimidating, her work demonstrates emotional vignettes that capture the intimacy of the unaware subject.
When asked what she wants to impart to the viewer of her work, Renee said “I enjoy the fact that each piece can have a myriad of meaning to those who behold it.” Her art is not relegated to one single theme or emotion, rather it is a cornucopia of color, emotions, themes and figures.
Currently, Renee Crouser resides in Henry County, Georgia with her husband. She has studio space at Hood Street Arts Center and Gallery at Hood Street and a private studio at home. Her work is on display now at Rue Colline in Griffin, Georgia.