Origins: By Josephine Crawford

I have had three names: my father’s, Lisle; my first husband’s, Spinedi; and my current husband’s, Crawford.  So, I prefer to sign my paintings (if I sign them at all) simply Josephine, or even the date.

Like the paintings I make, things change from day to day. I have no favorite style or subject, and to be frank, I paint for my own amusement.

I started drawing and painting as a child of five and remember my artist father telling me “never erase.” I didn’t see him again as he died in the war, but feel his spirit in me as I paint.

My career was as a dancer, and later as a costume designer, so my paintings often reflect those themes.

I have maintained studios in San Luis Obispo, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica. My current studio is in my house in the railroad district of San Luis Obispo.


My work reflects and is influenced by my environment (when I have a large space I paint big and when it’s simply the edge of my bed, small!) Music on the radio, politics, the weather, my feelings, memories and mood, all go into the work.

At the moment I feel that small things painted in my garden are the thing. They have no meaning except the wonder and uniqueness of every blade of grass, every leaf. I also love to do portraits of people, and of course, always the lines of dancers often dancing in nature.

Come and see the large variety of work I have and be surprised both weekends of the ARTS Obispo’s Open Studios Art Tour. I look forward to meeting you.

You can also see more of Josephine’s pieces in ARTS Obispo’s Visual Artist Directory.


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