Exploring the ever-shifting landscapes of the wild Southern wetlands, Memphis artist Maysey Craddock creates intricate gouache-on-paper paintings.
The artist: Craddock grew up in Memphis and lived in New Orleans for many years, where she received a BA in sculpture and anthropology from Tulane University. She also earned an MFA from Maine College of Art in Portland.
In the beginning: After graduating from Tulane, Craddock worked odd jobs for several years before finding work as a welder for another artist. At the same time, she was developing her work into a full-time studio practice.
The studio: Craddock’s studio is in The Medicine Factory, an old warehouse building in downtown Memphis, which houses nine other artists’ studios.
The goods & materials: Mostly landscape-based works on paper ($5,000 to $20,000) in sizes from 16 inches by 20 inches to 60 inches by 80 inches.
- Craddock works from imagery based on her own photographs of Southern wetlands. Abstract drawings are rendered and then transferred onto a layer of sewn-together fragments of ordinary paper bags.
- Layers of gouache are laid over the paper, conveying atmosphere and a recollection of the story of these spaces.
Inspiration: Ecology and geology, plus the rhythms and light of the natural world.
“My work mines the in-between spaces in the diminishing wildernesses of southern wetlands, chasing captured moments in the life cycles of forests, marshes and estuaries and illuminating transition and transformation in a dissolving world,” she said.
Fun, special or unusual requests: Invited to create a 68-foot-long outdoor sculpture for St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis, where she went to high school.
The powder-coated aluminum sculpture features five intertwining rivers, referencing the historical meanderings of the Mississippi River and the generations of alumna passing through the school.
Big break (s): Having the good fortune to find representation with:
- David Lusk Gallery in Memphis and Nashville
- Cris Worley Fine Arts in Dallas
- Sears Peyton Gallery in Los Angeles and New York
- Tennessee Artist Fellowship, Austin Peay State University
- Individual Artist Fellowship, Tennessee Arts Commission
- Artist in Residence, Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus, Schwandorf in Germany
- Serving as a graduate advisor for the MFA program at Maine College of Art
- Serving on the board of ArtsMemphis
What’s next: Working on larger scale pieces.
Where to buy: mayseycraddock.com
Get social at:
- Facebook: Maysey-Craddock-Studio
- Instagram: mayseycraddock