Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring Newsletter from Michael Chesley Johnson

A Day in Jerome, 9x12 oil - Available

March, 2014
Sedona, Arizona

I can't believe it's time to make our cross-country trip yet again! As I get older, time seems to pass terrifyingly faster. Months and days compress to weeks and hours. I understand it's a percentage thing. That is, when you are 20, one year is a full 5% of your life; when you are 80, it is a little less than 1% of your life. Thus, a year when you are 80 seems much less significant than when you were younger. (That's why we remember summers - and the school year - being so much longer when we were kids.) I feel like we just got to Arizona yesterday.

In few weeks, Trina, Saba and I will be packed up and heading north and east. Our first stop will be Utah's Zion National Park, where we will be leading a painting retreat for some advanced past students. (We've had a cancellation, so we have a spot left - contact me immediately if interested. One room with two beds available.)  This is our second time doing this at Zion, and we're eager to get there and explore the Virgin River and its canyons with paintbrush in hand. After that, we'll be traveling to workshops in Batavia, Illinois; Valparaiso, Indiana; and Toledo, Ohio. I've taught in Batavia twice now, and Valparaiso, I think, four or five times, and I always enjoy both locations. Toledo will be new for me, but I'm looking forward to that, as well. You can find details on these workshops on my website.) I have openings in all of these workshops, so if you live in the area, I'd be delighted to have you join us.

Before we get home to Campobello Island, we'll be spending almost a week in Cincinnati at the offices of F&W Media, publisher of The Artist's Magazine and Pastel Journal, both of which I write for. There I'll be shooting a series of three instructional videos for Artists Network TV. I'm excited to have a team of professional videographers shooting these - no more holding the camera with one hand while painting with the other for me! Once the videographers and post-production folks have worked their magic, the videos will be available at I'll send out a special press release when they're ready. The videos will feature both oil and pastel and several of my outdoor painting techniques.

Once I'm home, my first task is to start painting my small pieces for my "50 for the 50th" exhibition, which celebrates the Roosevelt-Campobello International Park's fiftieth anniversary, which is this year. Many of you supported me in this Kickstarter project, and I am delighted to say that I am on schedule with the project and will be very busy once I get to the island. For those of you who have not signed up for a painting (or some of the other "rewards"), don't worry - there will still be many paintings for you to choose from. I'll send out a newsletter once the painting is done.

It's going to be a full season this year, as I have not one but four plein air invitationals to attend.  Two are in the east, and two are in the west. I'll be in Montague, Prince Edward Island, at the "Montague - Paint It Beautiful" event, June 24-29. This is a new one for me - and the first time for the event - and having not been to PEI before, I'm really looking forward to it. I've also been invited back to the Castine Plein Air Festival (July 24-26) for a second time. I did well at Castine last year and enjoyed it. After having taken a short sabbatical, I'll also be back at the Grand Canyon "Celebration of Art" (September 13-21) and the Sedona Plein Air Festival (October 18-25). This will be my third time invited to Grand Canyon and my seventh to Sedona. Grand Canyon and Sedona are, of course, dear to my heart, as they are virtually in my back yard and really fun events. If you're in any of these areas, I'd love to see you!

Speaking of the Grand Canyon, you can now find my work in Grand Canyon National Park's Kolb Studio gallery. The gallery asked me to send them some small (6x6) framed paintings for their gallery. They have quite a nice selection of my paintings for sale now. If you visit the Canyon, you'll find the prices very reasonable.

For those of you in Arizona, I have two museum exhibitions. The first, on from now until July 13, is "Architecture in Art" at the prestigious Phippen Museum of Western Art in Prescott. The second runs from June 14 through November 30 at the Phoenix Airport Museum in Terminal 2. The exhibition title is "Verde River," and several of the artists who participated in last year's Verde River Artist Challenge are in it. I am delighted to have two more museum shows on my resume!

I'm sorry for the length of this letter, but I have a few more things to mention. First, I have judged several regional and national shows and in some cases have even taught workshops in conjunction with the judging. If you are part of a group that puts on a show and needs a judge, I'd be happy to talk to you about it. Second, if you have bought a painting from me, I would love to have a photo of the painting in its honored place in your home or office for my scrapbook. I am so gratified to have you all supporting me, and this will be nice to have as a reminder of your support.

Here are some important workshop/retreat updates I'd like you to know about:

-April 8-11, 2014: Paint Sedona Advanced Retreat. For this special retreat, I've arranged lodging for students. Space includes, besides bedrooms, a full kitchen, dining area, plus studio. Students will live together for a true "immersion" experience. Please contact me right away if you're interested, as it is a small workshop with only two spots left.

-April 26-May 1, 2015: Santa Fe Painting Retreat. (Please note, this is in 2015!) In our ongoing series of annual retreats in special places, we will be in Santa Fe. For details, please visit We are still working out arrangements, so please bookmark that site. This retreat is only for advanced painters who have studied with me previously. Let me know if you are interested!

I want to remind you of Albert Handell's mentoring workshop in Sedona, Arizona, November 2-7, 2014. We are already getting signups for this special event and registration is limited. You can find details at

Don't forget that, in addition to my usual Paint Campobello workshops, we are offering lodging at our Artists Retreat Studios and Gallery for painters, writers and other creative types. We are already getting signups for the summer. Visit for details or to reserve your own quiet, creative time!

Finally, all of my books are now available at Amazon! You can visit my Amazon author site here to buy the books:

That's all the news. Have a great summer!  For more workshops, see my website!


Michael Chesley Johnson

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