Look for the “Signs”

Look for the “Signs”

If you know me, or have come across my work before, then you are probably aware of my deep need to create joy and connection through my art. I sit in a place of constant gratitude that my work resonates with so many of you, and continues to find a new audience as well. My need to bring color to this life is not driven with a Pollyanna attitude, but instead a deep seated urge to inspire, uplift, and celebrate the ordinary. I am also keenly aware that my own personal tragedies have driven many of my decisions as a creative. 

I first started painting angels in 2012 after my little sister passed away suddenly, leaving my family in complete devastation. I painted many things through the pain, but also through the joy of honoring her and her unborn baby girl, Olive. The spirit figures or angels that emerged in my work all found homes whenever I released a series. I set my intention now that as I begin these type of paintings, that I be lead to create a little image that embodies someone specific. It comforts me to think I might be a vehicle of peace, no matter how small. I definitely learned that from my parents, who walk each day in grace, love, and strength despite their enormous pain of losing Jill. 

With the help of a friend whose idea planted the seed, I began sketching for a future series that could also serve as a touchstone of those who have passed. Whenever I see a hummingbird (they are everywhere all year round in Phoenix) I can’t help but think of my sister, or my grandmother (or other dear family members) who have crossed over.  It feels like a happy fleeting visit that lifts me out of the motion of my day, allowing me to hold them in my heart, real and present as ever, reminding me they are still with me. I created this special collection for anyone who resonates with the hummingbird and longs for the signs that connections of deep love never die. We must always look for the signs, waiting to be acknowledged and discovered. They will be so proud of us.


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1 comment

Julie, I can’t wait for the hummingbird collection. Your words regarding your loss of your sister brought to me an understanding of why your art touches me so. I will explain later , but I can’t wait to see the hummingbird collection. The bird has been a sign for us after our loss of our grand daughter Larson the day before her due date. She is with Olive, and your dear sister. 💕

Melissa Cranwell

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