Cataclysmania Inspiration

Cosmos Ring - Side View - Wax Original

Cosmos Ring – Side View

Cosmos Ring - Wax Original

Cosmos Ring – Wax Original










Having just sculpted a new Cosmos Ring, I am reflecting on where my inspiration for this design came from. Van Gough’s Starry Night, thick with swirls of cosmic paint, and one of my favorite paintings is an obvious influence. However, the greatest influence to my work, style and choice of subject matter comes from my mother.  Below are just a few illustrations from a short narrative poetry book that my mother began writing and illustrating in the early 1940’s while attending Pomona College in Claremont. Many of the pen and ink illustrations are of whirlpools, waves, fiery comets, and ethereal cloud-engulfed landscapes.

Cataclysmania - Betty Crowell 'Celestial Cosmos'

Cataclysmania – Betty Crowell ‘Celestial Cosmos’

Cataclysmania - Betty Crowell "whirlpool"

Cataclysmania – Betty Crowell ‘Whirlpool’










Cataclysmania - Betty Crowell 'Exodus of the Animals'

Cataclysmania – Betty Crowell ‘Exodus of the Animals’

Cataclysmania - Betty Crowell 'Sore-line Ripples'

Cataclysmania – Betty Crowell ‘Shoreline Ripples’










Prior to my mother’s passing, my husband Art diligently formatted my mother’s prose and illustrations to be published in book form. Unfortunately the book was not printed prior to her passing but she was pleased that the project was progressing.  Several years later, Alisha spent hours carefully formatting her grandmother’s original pen and ink drawings into an archival notebook.

Alisha archiving the original illustrations for Cataclaysmania

Alisha archiving the original illustrations for Cataclaysmania

John was so taken by his grandmother’s artwork that he choose one of her drawings as a tattoo. I don’t know if his grandmother feels honored about this or is turning over in her grave.

Grandson John - Wave Crest Tattoo

Cresting Waves Tattoo

Cataclysmania - Cresting Waves

Cataclysmania Illustration – Cresting Waves







The Inking - Cataclysmania

The Inking – Cresting Waves



Betty Crowell - Early 1940's

Betty Crowell – Early 1940’s

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