Juliana Crownover

Creating art to inspire mindfulness and value beauty

When I was in 8th grade I tried out for advanced theater in High School. The audition included memorizing a monologue, and doing a site reading. I chose Emily Webb’s monologue from Thorton Wilder’s play “Our Town”. Perhaps you are familiar with the play. Emily leaves her grave and goes back to look at the world, and she notices how much life she missed while she was living.

Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? Every, every minute?” -Emily Webb

And so began my attempt at mindfulness.

You know the feeling? You got up in the dark and hiked to most amazing spot to watch the sunrise, you stop out of breath, you made it with 6 minutes to spare. You crack open your thermos of coffee to wait, and watch. The blue slowly turns to yellow and then pink, you are aware of every whistle of the wind, and song of the birds around you. You are in the flow, the moment, fully alive and fully present.

You might also know when you have not been mindful, you stop and ask “what were you saying?” or you drive somewhere and arrive, not really knowing how you got there because you were so lost in thought.

It is my practice, my daily struggle to be aware of the gift of the moment: it is even called “present.” Everyday I try to taste the coffee, watch the sunrise, notice the flowers, smiles, and changing light. Everyday I try to capture something beautiful in paint, to remember, to remind myself and others to slowdown and smell the roses.
Juliana Crownover plein air artist
My art is a combination of practice, visual reminder, and record. My hope is to be aware of the beauty around me so that I can remember and record it, and through the process of making art, perhaps inspire others of the beauty that surround them in their daily lives.
Juliana Crownover is an award-winning pastelist who has been painting in pastels for over 20 years and teaching for 10 years. She has a BA from Austin College in biology, art, and environmental studies. A member of the Southwest Pastel Society, she describes her passion this way:
Juliana Crownover artist
“In my own art, I use light and color to bring out beauty in everyday life, whether that is a trail I have hiked 100 times, or my son hanging laundry on a line. In that way I use my art as a reminder of where to find beauty all around us, and to slow down in our daily lives so that we may see it. In my classes I strive to create a balance that allows enough freedom so that students can create their own art, and enough direction to ensure success. Aside from the end-goal of finished art, I think the process should be enjoyed, and I work hard to create an environment that allows for that.”

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