The Crowell home and yard in northeast Jackson constitutes an elaborate easel for the products of Robert Crowell's fertile creativity. He discovered his artistic abilities early in life, taking after his father in a way, who painted. Robert's father's death had an affect on his decision to be more serious about sculpting.
Robert Crowell: At that time, within that year, I made up my mind that if I was going to do my art work that I needed to go ahead. I needed to get started. Because he didn't start till he was later and a lot of people don't.
Walt: Starting sooner than later has given Robert Crowell more time to devote to the creative process and to evolve as an artist.
Robert: I started with terra cotta, with clay and I started working with human forms. And also at that time I started having some of those pieces cast in bronze. I wanted, it really, I guess where it really started for, Walt, thinking back, is I wanted to make something for each one of my children.
Walt: From clay and some bronze castings, Robert moved to carving wood. Then stone. Alabaster at first, then marble. Next, to concrete creating massive sculptures and experimenting with shapes and how light plays across the angles and textures. And now, to metal. Knowing nothing about metal working at the time he decided to take up the medium, learning welding by taking a class at Hinds Community College. To be this prolific in so many different mediums, Robert Crowell has established some rules he follows.
Robert: Do something everyday. And that means maybe not just physically doing it but think about it, put thought to it, read it, but spend some time everyday doing it. Always finish what you start. You can't do anything wrong, you know? There's no rules about it. And uh, be bold about it. Be strong about it.
Walt: And maybe the most important element in a productive career in art or anything, always have something to look forward to.
Robert: I have so much to do I can't get to it all.
Walt: And such is the life of the happy artist. Sculpting a pattern of living that would help us all in whatever we are doing in life.