Saturday, December 26, 2015

Holiday Newsletter for 2015

In case you aren't subscribed to my newsletter, here is the newsletter I sent out yesterday.  (By the way, you can sign up for my newsletter here.)

"Noon on the Verde River" 
9x12 oil by Michael Chesley Johnson
$575 includes frame, shipping to U.S. - Contact Michael

December, 2015
Sedona, Arizona

Now that we've passed the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, we can look forward to earlier sunrises and later sunsets. For the outdoor painter, the prospect of longer days is good news indeed. I plan to get out as much as possible this winter to paint—but as you'll see in a moment, I also have a few projects that will keep me close to the studio.

Grand Canyon Celebration of Art
I'm pleased to announce that I've been invited back to Grand Canyon for what I consider to be one of the best plein air events today. This will be my fourth time as an invited artist to the Celebration of Art. If you're going to be in Arizona in September, look for me on the South Rim from September 10-18. I always enjoy visiting with collectors and students during that week, and I hope to see you there.

There'll be something a little different at the 2016 event. Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. To celebrate this anniversary, artists, who are always asked to include a studio painting for the exhibition, are being asked to paint a picture of one of the country's 59 other parks. I've chosen to paint my other favorite park, Acadia. (Acadia also celebrates a birthday next year! See below.) For more details, please visit

Grand Canyon Miniature Paintings
The Grand Canyon Association, which organizes the Celebration of Art, has asked me to create a set of small paintings featuring the Grand Canyon landscape. These oil paintings will be available at the Kolb Studio gallery on the South Rim starting in February. I've just finished painting the series, and I think this is some of my best small work. I really enjoy painting these small pieces. You can get a preview of them here:

100th Anniversary of Acadia National Park—and a Special Exhibition
As I mentioned earlier, 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of two entities that are important to me as a painter: the National Park Service and Acadia National Park. To celebrate Acadia's birthday, the Argosy Gallery—one of the best galleries in the Northeast and located in Bar Harbor—has asked me to create a series of small paintings. I'll be painting these over the winter. There will be an opening on July 1st, about which I'll have more details later this spring.

Argosy has also asked me to participate in Acadia Invitational III in 2017. The two previous Invitationals have been popular, high-profile sales events. I participated in the second one in 2010, and I'm very pleased to be asked to join the other artists for the third.

Judge of Awards for Arizona Plein Air Painters Exhibition
Arizona Plein Air Painters have given me the honor of judging their annual Juried Members' Show this spring. I'm very excited about this, as there are many fine plein air painters in the group, and it'll be uplifting to see their work all in one place. This show, which will be at Scottsdale Artists School in Scottsdale, AZ, happens this April. In conjunction with it, I'll be teaching a three-day workshop, coordinated by APAP and Scottsdale Artists School, Friday-Sunday, April 22-24. I'm looking forward to taking a group of good painters to some of the beautiful spots nearby. I may also do a public demonstration before the workshop. Details are still being worked out, so go to for updates.

Juror of Selection for Upcoming Pastel Exhibit
The Arizona Pastel Artists Association has asked me to be the juror of selection for their 2016 Open Arizona Spring Show, which will run April 13-26 at the Sedona Arts Center. If you're an Arizona pastellist, I encourage you to enter this show. The deadline is March 8th. You can find the prospectus here: Many fine painters are in this group, and I'm sure I'll have a hard time choosing for the show!

Who Wants to Join Me in Italy?

June 16-23, 2018, I will leading a workshop in Florence, Italy. Imagine a week of painting the Tuscan landscape! Our group will stay at the Villa Fattoria Bac├Čo in Certaldo Alto with painting excursions to Siena, La Meridiana, San Gimignano and Barberino. Price starts at € 2,200 (about $2400 USD) and includes transportation to/from the Florence airport, daily transportation to locations and all meals. The group sponsoring the trip has run many such workshops there with some big names, so I was very excited when they approached me about teaching. If you're interested and would like details as I get them, please let me know.

That's all for now. As always, please follow my Plein Air Painter's blog for painting tips and techniques, and my Michael Chesley Johnson website for new paintings, videos and books, workshops and announcements.

Happy Holidays!

Michael & Trina & Saba

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