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Meet Molly Cranch of Molly Cranch in Edgewater

Today we’d like to introduce you to Molly Cranch.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Molly. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. My mother is an early childhood educator and she encouraged creative expression at a young age. As a child, I drew typical things like flowers, rainbows, and endless family portraits. My subjects weren’t particularly unique, but what was unique to me was the feeling of contentment and peace I felt when creating.

I continued to study art throughout high school and went on to complete my BFA in painting from Washington University in St. Louis, College was an important time developmentally, as it was when I learned to articulate my own style of painting and personal vision. Upon graduation, I moved to Chicago and decided to pursue my K-12 certification from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. At this point in my career, I was learning how to teach and how to support others in their own artistic development.

For the past 20 years, I have taught both art and yoga to children in a variety of venues such as museums, art
centers, and the Chicago Public Schools. I even spent a year teaching art in Spain. My most profound life experience occurred when I became a mother, as I am now a proud mother and stepmother to four boys.

Throughout all of these life experiences, I have maintained a strong commitment to working in the studio. Simply put, I love to paint. I have grown from being a very shy and reserved artist to one who exhibits and shows all across the country. My paintings have been in galleries in California, Oregon, Wisconsin, Illinois, New York, Michigan, Massachusetts and North Carolina.

Has it been a smooth road?
The road I have taken has been one of slow and steady progress. My biggest struggle along the way has been believing in the value of my work, from both a monetary and a cultural point of view. I think this is a feeling shared by many artists. My success has come from hard work, from continually choosing to learn and grow, and from taking a lot of risks.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Molly Cranch story. Tell us more about the business.
My work is inspired by motherhood, meditation, and nature. I create acrylic paintings on canvas depicting small moments in nature. Subjects might include: a mother bird caring for her young, a butterfly touching down on a branch, or a seed pod unraveling. I work in a variety of sizes, however, I am known for arranging groupings of smaller canvases of a similar subject.

Stylistically, my paintings navigate the line between abstraction and realism, they are infused with light, air, and atmosphere. I spend a lot of time studying how light hits complex forms, such as a pine cone or a flower bud. Gestural marks and soft colors are also a characteristic feature. In order to create my paintings, I combine a scientific and observational mindset with a more open and responsive approach that I learned from meditation.

For me, nature is a place of refuge and a source of healing and wisdom. As someone who is concerned about the well-being of the natural world, I believe that sharing my paintings is a small but worthy contribution.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I try to stay informed about where the industry is headed by connecting with other artists, taking classes and conducting research. However, I make a conscious effort to keep the focus on myself. I think this is important in the studio but also in terms of how and where I present my work. Success is unique to every individual and what might prove successful for me might not prove successful for another.


  • Small acrylic paintings on canvas, $75-$105
  • Medium acrylic paintings on canvas, $325-$550
  • Large acrylic paintings on canvas, $900-$1500

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Molly Cranch

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