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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Barn & Springhouse

"Barn & Springhouse," 9x12, oil/panel, en plein air.
The leaves between our house and the in-laws' have all fallen, and from almost anywhere on our properties, you get interesting views of this large complex of old buildings. Barns, springhouses, expanded Capes -- you name it. These buildings are sided in the traditional narrow clapboard and painted white. (And, to be honest, many of these buildings are in sore need of scraping and painting! Winter ocean storms do a number on them.)

When it's overcast, the yellowed and greyed buildings provide a soft backdrop for the deep maroons, russets and tawny bushes. However, when the evening sun breaks out upon these white buildings, the light is dramatic, and the white glows incandescently. And, if you look at the detail, you'll see that white isn't necessarily white! There's very little pure white in this painting.

You can see details on my website in the Maritimes section.

Friday, November 24, 2006

In the Shadow of the Big House

My in-laws recently bought the old 1860's Cape next to us here on the island. One of its interesting points is this little structure.

Campobello Island had some grand hotels on it at the start of the last century, but they didn't last long, and when they were torn down, bits and pieces of them were distributed across the island and incorporated into many of the homes. Some of the houses here have doors -- still with the room number on them -- from the hotel.

Anyway, one of the hotels had a pair of these little structures. Our house has one, and it has fallen into ruin and is covered with lichen and moss. My in-laws' house, however, has this beautiful one. It's still in good shape probably because it, unlike ours, which is deep in the firs and brush, sits in the open.

I love the evening light as it plays across this scene. "In the Shadow of the Big House," 8x10, oil, en plein air.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Sedona - Final Thoughts

After the Sedona event, I drove over to New Mexico to see my mentor, Ann Templeton ( to visit and show her a few of the paintings. Ann was weary from two back-to-back trips -- a trip to California, and then to North Carolina, where she taught a workshop. Despite her weariness, Ann looked over my work and gave them largely unqualified praise. It feels great to get that kind of praise from a mentor.

(Above is a photo of me at the Quick Draw event, courtesy of Stephen Sanfilippo at

Now that Sedona is over, what would I do differently?

First, I would have done even MORE paintings that very first day. Even though I did three on the second day, I just did one on the first. At least two on the first day really would have gotten the motor started. (Not that 11 "done" paintings is a paltry number, by any means!)

Second, I would have done a few larger paintings. Although ultimately it would have meant perhaps FEWER paintings, a couple of larger ones would have allowed me to capture more of the panorama that is unique to Sedona. It also would have given my work more visual impact on the day of the final show.

Third, rather than run helter-skelter to almost a dozen different locations within a 20-mile radius of Sedona, I would have settled on simply a couple of places. For example, Red Rock State Park had a wealth of painting spots, but I spent just a day there. The pace would have been a tad more relaxed.

Other than these differences, I wouldn't have changed anything else. And I certainly wouldn't have changed much about the event itself -- it was very well-organized with a great support staff and wonderful sponsors! Would I do it again next year? You bet!