This watercolor still life painting depicts a setting decorated with a vase of flowers. The artist's deliberate marks pool and bleed color across the surface of the page, mirroring the improvisatory aspects of jazz. In addition to her work as a visual artist, Crawford is an internationally renowned jazz singer.

① Artwork:

Figures & Flowers

This watercolor painting exemplifies the artist's continued exploration of still life composition. Crawford arranges and paints “artificial flowers” in vases alongside fruit and various objects that she collects for their beauty. Her deliberate marks pool and bleed color across the surface of her works. About this process, Crawford remarks: "You can't control it—you can try, but watercolor does what it wants. In most mediums, paint stays where you put it. Watercolor complies with gravity and parallels the improvisation of jazz.” This comment evokes Crawford's internationally renowned work as a jazz singer. Throughout her decades-long career as an artist, Crawford has repeatedly revisited the conventions of still life composition. At the age of 78, the artist discovered renewed inspiration in her memories and the past; the walls of the artist's home studio, where this work was made, are layered with photographs, drawings and ephemera from her life. Crawford describes her studio's wall decor as “memories, remnants, trinkets, objects d'art and keys to the past.”


11 inches
15 inches

③ Artist:

Stephanie Crawford

Stephanie Crawford creates her still life paintings in her home studio, a domestic space with layers of photographs, drawings and ephemera from her life on the walls. The artist’s deliberate brush marks pool and bleed color across the surface of the page; the improvisational quality of watercolor parallels her technique as a world-renowned jazz singer. Crawford frequently revists the conventions of still life painting, returning to a composition within a series and thereby exploring the generative possibilities of artmaking.


Stephanie Crawford was born in 1942 in Detroit, Michigan. The artist received an MFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and a BFA from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

Exhibitions of Crawford’s work include: a solo debut at Gordon Robichaux in New York City; (Nothing but) Flowers at Karma in New York City; and a two-person exhibition at Rebecca Camacho Presents in San Francisco, California. The artist’s work has been covered in Hauser & Wirth’s Ursula magazine.

In addition to her work as a visual artist, Crawford is a celebrated jazz singer. In the 1980s, the artist performed regularly at the Blue Note and the Pyramid Club, both in New York City, in performances that bridged the world of blues, trans and drag. From 1989 to 1996, Crawford taught jazz vocals in Paris and received the prestigious Django D’Or award for Best International Jazz Vocalist in 1993.

Crawford lives in Oakland, California, where she paints, performs, teaches and practices Buddhism.

Stephanie Crawford:
Figures & Flowers, 2020
Watercolor on paper
15.0 × 11.0 inches /