Artist: Billie Crain

Billie Crain
Charlevoix, MI
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I am a native northern Michigander and a self taught artist. I began as a graphite artist in 2005 but was always drawn to watercolor as a medium. In 2007 I took the leap and began painting.

For references, I often look for subjects that project an attitude, whether it be an animal, a certain plant or a person. I also like to play with anthropomorphism when painting animals. I love painting an animal caught in the act of being 'human' or the titles I choose may suggest a certain human quality or situation. An example might be a group of young bovines. Cows are often featured in bucolic rural landscapes but wouldn't it be fun to suggest those same young cows might be a gang of thugs? I thought so! Finding humor in odd places and indulging in a little whimsy appeals to me very much and I wish to express this in my artwork.

I discovered a new medium a few years ago...alcohol ink, which gave me the impetus to try working on Yupo, a synthetic paper extruded from polypropylene pellets and completely 'tree-free'. It's a tricky substrate because of it's slick, non absorbent surface but it's perfect for these inks. I truly enjoy experimenting, taking a medium to new places. During one of my experiments with these inks I created a unique technique I call 'waxed paper faux batik'. It produces a similar look to true batik but without all the hot wax, ironing and so forth. This technique is featured in Cathy Taylor's softcover book, Pigments of Your Imagination currently on sale on Amazon and is going to be available in hardcover soon.

Always on the lookout for a new technique or original idea, I find my art changes and evolves as times goes on and I'm loving the journey. I can't wait until I see what I come up with next. I hope my patrons feel the same.
Media: Watercolor Painting , Pencil Painting , Mixed Media , Pastel
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