Blog Post by Deanne Dutton.
Do you know about Waterfall Arts? Well, if you are reading this blog post then there is a good chance you have… or have at least made it to our website. The real question is, do you know how Waterfall Arts came to be? Well, it had a lot to do with 2 individuals named Alan and Lorna Crichton.
Alan got his start in art at a young age, copying the cartoons of Charles Addams. Soon after, his mother sent him to drawing lessons. “Jean Bean and I would walk across Westmont to her house once a week and use charcoal sticks, kneaded erasers and chamois to draw still life, learning about how circles turned into ovals, how things looked smaller the farther they were away and how to shade and smear and erase. And then, best of all, the fixative was blown from a little jar onto the finished drawing through a hinged silver contraption that magically sprayed the stuff onto the paper and made me dizzy, wanting more.”
Alan decided in 6th grade the he wanted to become an architect and went on to college at the University of Pennsylvania, studying pre-architecture. It was there that he met the famous Neil Welliver who ended up being a drawing instructor of his. He said the following of Welliver. “He would come down from Yale every two weeks. Sitting next to the model stand while we stood nervously around him in a circle, he would challenge us to throw down a sketchbook for a crit. This was like taking your life in your hands; he was not a teacher who sweetly soothed your anxieties. He was a savage.” By the second semester Alan felt like he was getting the hang of it. It was then that he received the best compliment he could hope for from Welliver. Welliver said, “You got it. I don’t want to see you for a month. Go out and draw on your own.” Alan later decided that he didn’t want to become an architect after all, but drawing is something that has stayed with him, influencing his many other art forms.
Alan went on to study sculpture at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and later received a B.A. from Goddard with a major in Painting. He now focuses on sculpture, painting, assemblages, music and old radio designs. I asked him what type of art he would like to do more of and he said that he used to carve wood and stone and that he wished he had more time to do that. He spends his time here at Waterfall Arts thinking of big picture things. He recently stepped down as the Board President and will now begin a new role within the organization.
Lorna got her start in art behind a camera. She loves photography and would like to get more into assemblage. Her favorite artist of all time is Giotto. Lorna does a lot more than photography here at Waterfall Arts though. She works on the website, designs promotional materials, deals with all publicity, is an ambassador for the organization, dreams up new ideas, acts as the board secretary, is a fantastic party organizer, and just plain gets things done around here. She loves the challenges of working with Waterfall Arts and the people. Her dream is for Waterfall Arts to one day be self-sustaining, vast, and more ethereal. She believes that the greatest struggle we have here is “getting people to realize they can make art and that we can help them with instruction.” I asked her what she would like for a super power and her response was, “super spit – whatever it touches turn to gold.” Hey, we could use that around here!