Sunday, April 29, 2018

Meet the Artist

Just thought you might like to meet the artist behind this crazy feed. I put my hair up a lot at home, 1) to keep it out of my face, and 2) then I don’t have to fix my hair! Two really good reasons.  But some of my scarves are kinda cute so I decided to break free and wear them out in public.  Here I go! Don’t laugh when you see me, just nod and smile to yourself and think, ‘there goes one crazy lady.’ You won’t be far off the mark.

Honestly, it’s been a really tough week for our family with a few things, actually three (trouble often comes all at once,doesn’t it?) hitting us. Tough decisions to make.  But... I can be thankful for life and for this day, and remember to treat every single person I meet with special kindness. I can pray about problems, act, and then forget about them.

AND...I can put on my happy scarf and smile.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Golden Acrylics Painter

Well, I guess this makes me a Golden Girl. I did this little piece with Golden’s QOR colors and have to say they’re the best, most highly-pigmented watercolors in the business. Added to that touches of Golden’s fluid and high-flow acrylics to brighten and deepen the whole thing. I like this little piece, and was inspired to paint it the other day on my bike ride.  Noting the smashed mulberries on the path, I looked up to behold my afternoon snack.  Post snack I took a couple inspiring shots,and here you have it. Mulberry love.  Ah... I just named the painting. Mulberry Love. Let me know if you want me to paint your mulberries.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Flowers for Sale!

You never know what you’ll find on my website. You’ll find acrylics on canvas, watercolors, mixed media, posters, magnets and all kinds of fun stuff.  Check it out at 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Painting of Memories

This chickadee painting, done several years ago, is a tribute to my parents. If you look at the closeup at the end, I collaged in events they enjoyed from their weekly calendar. Rummikube. Never missed that with good friends. Wii bowling; precious memories of all those times we had together with them beating our pants off. Bingo; man, that game bores the crazy out of me, but they loved it. 


were in the Teeny Weeny Theater group too, and put on hilarious plays! The plays would begin like this:

“Well, we’re too old to remember our lines, so we’re going to read them.”

“We’re too old to act and move around a lot, so we’re going to sit in our chairs to do this.”

“We can’t hear very well, so you guys are going to have to be really quiet so we can hear each other’s lines,”

“We can’t speak very loudly anymore, so we’re going to pass these microphones around...”

The comedy was always a delight, and dad, of course, was the star of every show.  I remember one show where all the widows were after him and he liked them all. 

And of course, the black capped chickadee, my dad’s favorite. They instilled a love of birds in me, with their feeders and field guides. Right now, Gary and I are sitting outside celebrating the fact that we just saw a hummingbird and a woodpecker.   So many good memories. All wrapped up in one little painting.

Mom and Dad, I loved you well.  I don’t know how you did it, but you loved me through all those unloveable times. Today, I am thankful.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Student Winner

And this year’s Official Most-Improved Student Paint Bucket Award goes to... da da da da.... Megan Savaso!  Wow, Megan, way to go!  This award is no small thing.  Megan came in to my class timid and unsure of her work, striving for perfection (which is a really difficult and extremely frustrating, sometimes crippling problem in art).  I’ve seen her grow into an artist who can lay down paint that moves the wrong way and adjust with the flow, producing painting after beautiful painting.  I am REALLY, REALLY proud of you, Megan!

Art Teacher’s Car

What’s in your front seat?  This is very typical for me.  Art Supply and Art Teacher Transport Vehicle is at your service.  There is paint all over this car, in and out. What do you carry in your car? 

I teach classes in two locations, The Woodlands and Conroe.  In The Woodlands it’s with the HIS Classes,

And in Conroe it’s with The Training Center.

I also teach private lessons in my home and will be offering summer classes.  The summer class schedule will be coming out very soon!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Painting In Studio

Here’s a typical scene in my studio. My Yeti filled with tea, of course, and some acrylics ready to start a new painting.  As you can see, I also have my sketch pad out. I often keep a pad nearby to work out problems or record colors. Often I’ll clean off my brushes onto the pad as well, or do a mini painting similar to the canvas. Anyway, as you can see on my IPad, I’m looking at some photos of kalanchoes from our garden. Spring is inspiring!

What you see on my sketch pad is the first layer of paint.  On the canvas and on this pad I plan to do many layers with clear glazes, so that you can see through the colors. Not sure at this point, but I’m guessing there will probably be about 12 layers.  I’ll know when I get toward the end, of course. 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

My Art Studio and Paintbrushes

Today is National Honor Your Brushes Day. Or at least statewide.  Or maybe Houston-wide.  All right, all right, it’s The Johnson Household Honor Your Brushes Day!  Yippee!  Love these three; they’re Fleur brushes handmade in Italy.  Best paint-holding brushes I have ever owned.  They soak it up and hold it.  My biggest one (not pictured) even has a center reservoir. 

Paintbrushes in My Studio

You know, these are the unsung heros of my studio. I have ... I just counted... twelve containers of paintbrushes. Mostly arranged by size and purpose. Some are for students to use, and then there are some that STUDENTS MAY NEVER TOUCH OR EVEN LOOK AT.  This particular broken urn holds my faves. Most often used, they find their way here for easy access. The square one at the base is also my go-to, and it hangs on a nail on the wall directly to my right. Here I’m using one of my paintings for a backdrop.

By the way, I always use broken things to house my brushes.  Broken favorite coffee mugs, broken pitchers without handles... it’s a good place for them. :)

Friday, April 13, 2018

Collie Painting Finished

Yay!! I just finished a commission and they love it!  Here’s a little sneak peek at a small portion of the painting; it’s of three gorgeous collies.  It was such a pleasure to paint these beautiful animals - I fell in love with them as I worked.  And now, it’s varnishing time.  Looks like the weather’s going to be sunny and good for that this week. Happy! And yes, I do commissions.  Just ask.  My email is

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Paintbrushes in My Studio

I own a lot of brushes.  So why is it that I always seem to prefer these goofy self-shaped brushes to all those others sitting in my studio having mini brush conventions? I can’t answer that question.  I guess what I really should do is go into the custom brush business, huh? 

Come one, come all.  Bring me your brushes! I will customize them for you, tailoring them perfectly to your needs.  riiiight...  

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Work in Studio

Dang.  I was going to drink that. Paint water coffee.  This happens on occasion and you would think I’d learn.  ApparentlyI never do. Well, it wasn’t wasted; I just used the coffee to cover a couple pages to get a nice background neutral stain going.  Art that not only looks good, but SMELLS good!  Coffee artists arise!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Lion Postcards, Posters and Magnets

I took my Dad to the doctor expecting to go in as well.  When the doctor slammed the door in my face I paged through magazines looking for a good picture to draw. I happened upon an old, grizzled lion and had a good old time drawing him. Later I thought, “I could paint a lion...” Since that time I’ve painted lions and tigers and bears, oh my! ... and so much more. This painting has long been sold, but I have postcards, posters and magnets! Check my website.

Hitler’s Art and WW2

Who knows how the world would have changed if Hitler had gotten his first wish - to be an artist.  Denied entrance to art school he was forced to change direction. They maintained his work was not original, his people needed work, and his work was inconsistent (some good, some not so good, as the dog sketch example I have here.) They suggested he go into architecture. 

It is a most fascinating study to see how his attention was divided in the 30s and 40s. 1. Conquer the world; 2. Identify, pinpoint and specifically plunder Europe’s art; and 3. Plan the building and planning of his hometown, Linz, Austria, which would feature the Fuhrer Museum.  To the very end, he and his architects poured over the scale models of this town.  It has been said many times that the world would be a different place if he hadn’t spent so much time stealing art.

This week my students and I wrestled especially with this painting of Mary and Jesus. First, to imagine that Hitler painted it, and second to remember that in God’s eyes, all sins are equal.  That means my sins are equal to those of Hitler. Also reminds us that no man can judge another’s heart. We couldn’t, for instance, look at this painting and judge a person’s heart by the work he produced.

Joseph Goebbels - “The Fuhrer loves art because he himself is an artist.  Under his blessed hand a Renaissance has begun.”

These are a couple postcards Hitler painted when he was 19. He copied them from tourist postcards and sold his watercolors to make money to eat.  He was trying to live the artist’s life, and it didn’t turn out very well.

It’s illegal to buy and sell Hitler’s art in many European countries.  These little watercolor cards didn’t sell for much.  One of my students said she’d like to buy them to burn them.

In Studio Today, Working

A tiny bouquet of baby bay leaves to help me stay out of the garden and in my studio today. If you EVER need bay leaves, ask! My tree grows so fast that I’m always trimming branches off. Wonderful flavor, pretty in bouquets. Even looks pretty on a palette!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Pennants Painting

Since it’s spring, it’s certainly time for celebration! I popped this painting outside so you could get a sense of scale.

You know, artists usually can’t walk or drive directly from point A to point B; many times I have found myself making a u-turn to double back and sit under some nice, flapping flags.  It’s just one of those things that makes me feel happy and hopeful! It gives me a thankfulness for freedom, blue skies, and now and then a free afternoon.  I named it ‘Breezy.’ 

Just thought you needed to see a picture of my lovely shoes...

More pics are on my website, tho try as I might I haven’t been able to photograph the truly bright reds and oranges.