Thursday, May 16, 2013

May Newsletter from Michael Chesley Johnson

 "Mabel's Gate" 9x12 oil - $300 unframed, contact Michael
A view of Mabel Dodge Luhan's historic front gate in Taos, New Mexico

May Newsletter from Michael Chesley Johnson

May, 2013
Campobello Island, NB, Canada

 We logged another 3600 miles on our cross-country trip from Arizona to Campobello Island, New Brunswick.  Looking back, it seems like it was an easy trip.  Having stops along the way broke things up, and life slowed to a leisurely pace.  We spent a week in Santa Fe exploring galleries and taking photos of buildings in the historic parts of town; and then we had a week in Taos, where I led a painting retreat with five talented artists.  Next, I taught a workshop at the Art Barn in Valparaiso, Indiana -- this was my fourth time teaching there -- and followed that with a second workshop in nearby South Bend for the Northern Indiana Pastel Society.  I also had the pleasure of giving a lecture for the Society at the South Bend Museum of Art.  I was honored when the Museum made me their featured "First Friday" speaker.  I had over 50 in the audience!  Finally, we ended our travels with a visit to family in Vermont and then a day in historic Castine, Maine.  (By the way, you can always find details of my trips on my blog, plus tips and techniques for the outdoor painter.  Follow to stay current.)

Upcoming Plein Air Events in Castine and Pemaquid Point, Maine

I wanted to stop by Castine on the way home because I've been juried into the first annual Castine Plein Air Festival and wanted to scope it out.  The Festival lasts only one day -- Saturday, July 27th -- but there'll be many good painters plus prizes and a sales event.  If you've not been to Castine, you're in for a treat.  It's off the beaten path, which means it is quiet and still unsullied by the modern world.  I love to paint architecture, and you can bet I'll be on the street painting some of the beautiful, old buildings.  (For details on the event, visit

Another event I'm participating in this summer is the Pastel Painters of Maine's annual retreat at Pemaquid Point.  This is in late May, and about 30 of us will be based at Hotel Pemaquid and painting at the lighthouse.  Also, I have been asked to give a demonstration to the group as well as do an evening critique of participants' work.  This will be exciting for me because I love that lighthouse and look forward to demonstrating for this group of serious painters!

Here Comes the Judge

In June, I'll be jurying in work and giving awards for the annual Great Lakes Pastel Society Members' Exhibit.  I'll be doing the same for the annual national show for Pastel Artists Canada in August.  Finally, in October, I'm serving as juror and judge for the Southern Appalachian Artist Guild National Show in Blue Ridge, Georgia.  All three organizations have wonderful artists among their membership, and it'll be exciting to see the work they send to the shows.

The Geometry of Nature: Two Visions, August 14-September 3, Lubec ME

Trina and I will have a two-person show in Lubec, Maine, August 14 – September 3, at Lubec Landmarks.  The show is called “The Geometry of Nature:  Two Visions.”  Trina will be showing some of her wonderful kaleidoscopic art; I will be showing new and smaller paintings of the area.  Work will be priced to sell!  If you're in the area, we hope you'll visit!

I'll be Featured in The Artist's Magazine

I am pleased to announce that I will be featured in The Artist's Magazine in the upcoming September issue.  This is a real coup for me.  Although I've written for TAM and Pastel Journal for over a decade, I've never had an article written about me. The article will show several new paintings plus at least one new demonstration.  Additionally, both magazines have articles authored by me "in the hopper" and should appear in the next few months.

Paintings for Sale - Online!

For those of you wondering where my online store has gone, have no fear.  Now that we're settled at the summer studio, I've restocked my Daily Paintworks store and have begun posting to the Friar's Bay Studio Gallery blog.  As before, the Daily Paintworks store offers affordable art -- demonstrations and sketches.  The Friar's Bay Studio Gallery blog offers finished gallery-quality pieces.  In both cases, the paintings will be unframed to save on shipping costs and to keep the price down.  I'll continue to post work to both locations over the summer.

Books Now Available at Amazon

I'm proud to announce that all of my books are now available at Amazon!  You can visit my Amazon author site here to buy the books:

The books are:

Prices are the same as they have been through  I don't make much money on these books; I wrote them for painting students and collectors so they can become more knowledgeable about the process of painting and also about the places I live in and travel to.  These books are eligible for free "super saver" shipping, and Amazon being what it is, you can order them at the same time you buy your health and personal care items (among other things.)

At this point, I only have the paperbacks.  (Kindle versions will be coming once I have time to work out formatting issues.)  In the meantime, you can still order digital versions (ePub, PDF) from my Lulu store.

Registration for Paint Campobello Is On!

My Paint Campobello plein air workshops are starting to fill!  Similar to Paint Sedona, Paint Campobello workshops are four half-days with time left to explore or paint, and it's been very popular with painters who bring along family or friends.  Campobello Island has some of the very best maritime scenery.  Think quiet beaches, bold cliffs, broad meadows, working harbors, lighthouses and, of course, lobster!  Workshops run from July into September.  For details, please visit my Paint Campobello plein air workshop site.  Also, don't forget that Friar's Bay Studio Gallery will be opening in July, but we're also happy to have visitors before then.  (PS We'll be open Memorial Day Weekend.)

By the way, I am reserving one week for a "US-Only" workshop, which will be based in Lubec.  For those of you in the US without passports, you can rest assured that we will not leave the country!  Dates are September 10-13.  You can register through

I'm also teaching a four-day workshop in St Andrews, NB, September 5-8.  This is my 7th year teaching for Sunbury Shores Art and Nature Centre.  Over the years, I've taught there in mid-August, but some of the local students asked if I could switch the date to September, when the weather is cooler.  If you are one of those local students who asked, I am expecting you to sign up! You can find details on this and all the other workshops at the end of this letter.

Albert Handell Workshop - A Rare Opportunity with a Master Painter

I am hosting a studio/plein air painting workshop with master painter Albert Handell in Lubec August 26-30.  If you're not familiar with Mr Handell, he has been teaching for many years and is a much-sought-after instructor.  In 1987, the Pastel Society of America inducted him into its Hall of Fame, and in 2000, the Pastel Society of the West Coast honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Pastel.  He has won Master signature status from Oil Painters of America, Pastel Society of American and the American Impressionist Society.  You don't want to miss this rare opportunity to work with Mr Handell in Downeast Maine!  The workshop, which will be based in Lubec, Maine, will cost $675 and run from August 26-30.  For full details, please visit  I am very excited to have him here.

So that's all for now!  Have a great summer!


Michael Chesley Johnson
575-267-2450 /


Prepare for Plein Air:  Not sure how to go about painting outside? 
Check out my online course! Great for beginners.  Visit

Remaining 2013 Workshops

July-September:   CAMPOBELLO ISLAND, New Brunswick - All media.  Michael's 7th summer!  $300/4 half-days.  See website
September 5-8: NEW BRUNSWICK, St Andrews.  All media.  Four-day.  Price: $295. Contact:  Sunbury Shores Arts & Nature Centre,,,  506-529-3386
September 10-13: MAINE, Lubec.  Price: $300.  See website
October 8-10:  PENNSYLVANIA, Millheim.  Price:  $300 (also 2-day option for $200).  Contact:  Green Drake Gallery, 814-349-2486.
October 12-13:  MARYLAND, Towson.  Price:  $150.  Contact: Diane Margiotta, 410-664-1004,
October 18-19:  GEORGIA, Blue Ridge.  Price: $160.  Contact:  Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association, 706-632-2144,
October 21-23: FLORIDA, St Augustine.  Price: $350.  Contact: Lyn Asselta
October 2013-April 2014:  ARIZONA, Sedona.  Paint Sedona resumes! For full details, see

2014 Workshops

January-April 2014:  ARIZONA, Sedona.  Paint Sedona continues!  For full details, see
April 21-27:  UTAH, Zion National Park. Painting Retreat.  FULL, waiting list only.
September 29-October 2:  MAINE, Acadia National Park.  Price: TBA.
October 4-5:  NEW HAMPSHIRE, Monadnock Region.  Price: TBA.
October 13-15:  TEXAS, Amarillo.  Amarillo Art Institute.  Price: TBA.

2015 Workshops

May:  NEW MEXICO, Santa Fe.  Painting Retreat.
October 6-9:  MAINE, Acadia National Park.  Price: TBA.

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