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Juliette Crane

I am a painter, storyteller and adventurer. As often as possible, I paint outside in nature, mostly in the grass surrounded by flower gardens and the tallest trees – my main source of inspiration.

I’m also an avid gardener and enthusiastic cook and would be delighted to have you over for dinner. When I am not teaching, travelling, and painting in gardens around the world, I live with my bluegrass singing husband on 10 acres of pine woods in the Wisconsin countryside.

My art is a form of visual storytelling. Working primarily in mixed media with oils, acrylics, inks, pastel, pencil, pen and non-traditional materials like spray paint and origami paper, my paintings are a way to resolve and clarify the emotions I feel and see every day and translate them into the colors, expressions and gestures you see in my backgrounds and characters.

I choose to allow the marks and patterns to overlap so the layers underneath show through as a way to mirror the human condition. Every painting ultimately then becomes a deeper understanding of the world and a hope to reveal a universal truth I can never quite express well enough with words but feel deep in my heart.

I’m the founder of The School of Happy Painting, a series of online business and painting classes that encourage thousands around the world to get creative and live their dreams.

My work has been published in, Glamour Magazine UK, and Stampington Publications, just to name a few. Exhibitions include solo shows at The Madison Arts Commission and Absolutely Art in Madison, and a group exhibition at The Overture Art Center in Madison and The Katherine E. Nash Gallery in Minneapolis.

Juliette Crane
My Story

For years I stopped painting. All of my artwork ended up in the basement or trash, so I thought, “What good is it to paint?” I knew I needed to create for myself rather than a big company, but I never thought anyone would want to see my work.

When I went to college I planned to study environmental biology, but I couldn’t help myself from painting on everything and anything in my dorm room. I found a huge sheet of paper and pasted it above my bed and whenever I could, I’d work on that drawing. When it was done, I started in on a white cabinet. I drew colorful abstract scenes with colored pencils, crayons and markers. I’m sure that giant drawing and cabinet got thrown in the garbage as soon as I moved.

Then in the summer of 2009 I lost my job. It was the first job I ever really loved (as a landscaper). To heal my spirit, I went back to what I adored most as a child – cutting out outfits for characters and making up their stories. My sister-in-law gifted me with a few fabulous vintage wallpaper books, and I fell in love with the colors and patterns. I knew I had to do something with that gorgeous paper. And that’ s what started all of my whimsical paintings.

As friends stopped by and saw my work, they encouraged me to have a local show. I asked at the library and in a few months hung my paintings and hosted an opening. It was mostly friends and family, but little by little people I didn’t know began complimenting and buying my work too.

I’ve had all sorts of jobs- arts and technology journalist, editorial assistant, photographer, gallery manager, graphic designer, floral designer, landscaper, web developer and computer programmer. Nothing ever seemed to fit. But having all of those jobs helped prepare me in different ways for my life as an artist and entrepreneur.

Juliette Crane
My Classes

Painting has always been a healing process for me. Yet I struggled whenever I came to covering up the white space and knowing what to paint.

Having fun, learning to let go and not being afraid to cover up my paintings have now become essential to my creative process. I’ve fallen in love with mixed media painting and out of all of the painting techniques I’ve ever tried, the one thing I always return to is remembering to have fun with whatever it is I’m creating. This brings joy into the process, which inevitably gets infused into your artwork and always makes anyone who sees it smile.

It wasn’t until I snapped in-progress photos of my paintings that I realized every painting has an ugly stage. And at that stage, I’d always get frustrated and feel like I couldn’t finish another painting. That negative self talk completely took the fun out of painting. But once I realized it happened to me every time, I learned to turn off my inner critic.

My hope is that in sharing my creative process it’s easier for you to paint, so you can let go, add color and whimsy to your life and paint in a style that is unique to YOU.

Read more about my courses here.

Say Hello
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I’d be delighted to meet you. The best ways to stay in touch are in the comments of my blog or on Facebook.

For free desktop backgrounds, new artwork and creative projects, sign up for my newsletter. I also adore Instagram and post real-time photos of my work in progress and inspirations every day. And I’m always posting new inspirations on Pinterest.

Find me in these other places too: Flickr, Tumblr, Twitter and You Tube.

jill locke
“I absolutely loved your class. Loved it. I love the owls that I painted and the process that I went through painting them. I learned so much, and really was able to listen to my own heart in the process. It was a fantastic experience and I would recommend it to anyone who loves to paint!” – Jill Locke

Read Jill’s lovely blog post and see more of her owls here!

Christy Nimeh
“I appreciate the growth that I have experienced from taking this e-course. I really feel like it has helped me learn to love the process, good and not so good. Juliette, was wonderful at awnsering my questions right away. She gave me great tips for the times when I was feeling stuck, to move forward! I would recommend this course to anyone!!” -Christy Nimeh
Julie Nutting
“Juliette’s class structure is simple, easy to follow and visually pretty. I was pleasantly surprised when on week 2, I totally got into painting and letting go….somewhat. If you want to take a fun online class, I would totally recommend hers.” -Julie Nutting

Read Julie’s lovely blog post here!

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