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Artist Spotlight: Aleta Crawford

Born into an artist family, Aleta Crawford, a Vancouver Island artist was introduced to art before she could walk by her father. “It was from him that I would learn an unapologetic love of line, movement and colour, as well as how to grow in my human and artistic expression”. Her world is inspiringly rich with colour and texture-from the ocean’s shores to the rainforest green to the geometry of geology and architecture. An award winning educator in earth sciences and after a lifetime of art, as she works into the night in her studio, she believes that she is only the messenger. “Without an emotional response from the viewer, art is empty. Regardless of genre, images I create are part of the deeper human experience-from melancholy to contemplation to joy.”

Aleta’s work submitted for our current online exhibition, Stories of the Forest, features artwork in cold wax and oil paint. She began her journey in this medium after taking a workshop with Rebecca Crowell that was offered by Vancouver Island Workshops owned by Mary Stewart.

“It is an extremely versatile medium and I have many examples of what can be done with it.  I usually work with large geometric examples. In painting, I’m often pushing the edges of what a medium and various surfaces can produce.”

Aleta’s three pieces in our currently monthly exhibition, Forest Dusk, Forest Dawn, Forest Light, showcase the beauty of light and tranquility.

From left to right: Forest Dawn, Forest Light, Forest Dusk by Aleta Crawford, exhibited currently in 'Stories of the Forest' exhibition

“As an artist on Vancouver Island, I have always been so appreciative of our natural places, some of the most remarkable being our forests.  I usually do non-representational art, but in this case, I choose to go to abstract, my other favorite place.  The glory and wonder of light in the forest was my inspiration.  I don't know how many times I have stood in wonder in the Rathtrevor Provincial Park and quietly spoke words of appreciation and gratitude for the joy of these moments.  I know that I am not alone with that feeling.”

From left to right: Abstract in Red, Cold Wax & Oil on panel board 12x12" and Spirit of the North, Cold Wax & Oil on panel board 36x36"

When asked about her artistic style and journey for her three pieces, Aleta says “I love to experiment with cold wax and oil paint.  They are so versatile and forgiving to work with.  My experiment this time was to introduce Gamsol to the mix and it resulted in some very nice light scenes.  I consider myself a process artist.  I love the process of challenge and discovery.  Every new discovery usually comes after many attempts.  I am a patient person and this has proven to be a heaven sent.  If I was product oriented, I would never have made the new leaps I have been able to make.  Bob Burridge once said, "Jump and the net will appear." I have learned to jump and eventually the net does appear. I love the obstacles and push back that happens in my art studio at times.  I hope that it is something that will always keep me fresh and out of my comfort zone. My grandmother once said, "Every penny has two sides".  I think the same is true for art.  have often said that art is the greatest self- indulgence and the harshest critic.  Maybe these are the two sides of the penny.  I've never thought of that before, but it does make sense.”

Aleta’s cold wax and oil pieces are being used to produce reusable face masks as protection during the current COVID 19 crisis. 

To purchase Aleta's work from this exhibition, please head to:

View more work by Aleta

To view and purchase Aleta’s reusable face masks:


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