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Beautiful Mistakes & Layers :: An Owl From Start To Finish

Seeing The Light. 9×12 on canvas. (Sold)

Click here to see original paintings available in my shop.


I started taking photos of my paintings in progress to remind myself that every painting has an ugly stage (or at least a phase where I feel I can’t possibly make it work).

I’m so happy I have photos of this owl in progress.

Sometimes when I look at a finished painting, I forget just went into making in work. It’s easy to assume it just fell right into place.

It’s also easy to forget that it took painting hundreds of other pieces first to even get to being able to create that finished painting.

This owl started off as a girl with wings. I loved her, but she seemed to evil.

I didn’t feel like I was getting her right, so I added one of my favorite colors… blue. When that still didn’t work, I tried covering up parts that I wasn’t liking and adding lines to her hair (which sometimes works).

Often times it helps for me to walk away from a painting. It gives me a fresh perspective.

But usually when I wait more than a few days to get back to a piece, I’ve moved on from its initial energy and end up covering it up. For this painting, I covered up the girl with a lion.

Most of the time when I am stuck I can paint a lion and like it. It helps that the lion comes from my imagination and I know there is no wrong or right way.

But I hated my lion.

So I covered up the lion and started to paint an owl.

Almost always, I love the owls I paint. I’d resisted painting an owl though because I felt like that’s all I could paint anymore.

But painting an owl really got me back to enjoying the creative process. It got me to the point where I was happy with what I had painted.

And, if I want to keep on painting, I need to be happy with the outcome.

I’d love to hear from you… what helps you to enjoy your creative process? Do you have any tips and tricks?

As always, I will be sure to look for your suggestions in the comments section of this post.

Happy painting!

Juliette Crane

Ps. The Early Bird spaces for my new online workshop Whimsical Animals – A Mini Course Sold Out super fast, so I’ve added a few more. Thank you to everyone who has already registered!

Click for more details on Whimsical Animals class.


  1. Interesting reading about the many changes you paintings may go through. That is why they are so wonderfully deep and rich 🙂 Stepping away helps me as well. But it is true that sometimes I have lost the original vision, or connection the the art. Funny how some thoughts last forever, and others are brief. Enjoy 🙂

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