Monday, September 05, 2022

Tracking down an artist, Julia Crainer

We brought all our artwork to Columbus on Saturday from our recently sold Lakeside home.  One I had always enjoyed, but didn't have the provenance, had defeated my internet searches. From the signature on the original painting of hot peppers I bought at Cottage Accessories, a little resale store in Lakeside in 2008, I was looking for Julia Grawer. I did find other paintings by that signature, at an Minnesota auction site of radishes, garlic and lettuce.  It had been sold but it did have an enlargement feature for the signature.  When I clicked on that, I could see that the name was Crainer, not Grawer.  The i and the n looked like a w without enlargement.  So I kept looking, and finally found an auction site where someone had left a comment about her:

"Julia Crainer is a lovely artist from Texas who has taught at Coastal Bend College and Concan Porcelain Art School. I have been lucky enough to take a watercolor class with her 3 times. Loved EVERY minute of learning from her. She painted this watercolor of corn which she either grew or bought at the market. Her signature style in some of her prints... is to watercolor...and when finished....add fine ball point pen marks on top in black ink." :D

Once I'd tracked her to Texas I looked for an obituary that mentioned "art teacher," and I found one, very lovingly written by a son. She died November 19, 2015 at 90.
"Julia was born in Bay City, Texas to MacMillan and Gladys Ballard Arrington on November 29, 1924. In Passing, She was undoubtedly greeted after hugging her Soulmate husband Everett, by many of the family, friends, and students that she loved, taught, mentored and inspired in her long, productive, and inspiring life that crossed over previously.

Julia’s life was centered on family and art. When at three she was given paints, her natural gift for art was discovered and encouraged by her gifted parents. Later her talent was recognized by several artists who mentored her. A short autobiography written for a 2010 gallery display of Crainer’s multi-media artwork states,

“…. My life has been too long and full for me to include everyone who has been significant in my life and career, but I must mention Everett Mac and Jim, my dear sons who, along with my Everett, have been the center of my adult life. I thank my family, teachers, students, and friends for all they have done to enrich my life.

I also want to thank God for giving me my gift and a family that encouraged me to use it. As a two time cancer survivor, I also thank God for restoring my health. I believe God gives each one of us gifts that he expects us to use for others and for Him. I was put here to have two sons. As a teacher, I try to help others develop their gifts as many helped me develop mine. I hope to teach as long as God grants me health and life.”

The Lord gave mom over 70 years as a Teacher, 56 Yrs as a wife, 70 yrs as a Loving Mother and almost 92 years of living Life making so many new loving friends along the way.

Crainer’s joy was creating special Art works for her family, but her Artwork is known far beyond her family, friends, and state. Many of her paintings reside in foreign countries and other states. 
More here.

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