Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March Newsletter from Michael Chesley Johnson

Afternoon at Otter Cliff 12x24 oil by Michael Chesley Johnson
March 2016
Sedona, Arizona

Spring is still a few weeks away, but here in Sedona we've been enjoying springtime weather for over a month. Everyone's saying spring has come early this year. Cottonwoods are filled with green catkins, fruit trees are blooming, and along the creeks songbirds are busy making nests. Personally, I think this weather is getting hot! It won't be long before we'll be heading back to Campobello Island.

Exhibition News

I am hard at work on a series of 24 small paintings of Acadia National Park that will be exhibited in Bar Harbor this summer. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Park, Argosy Gallery will unveil these paintings on July 1. I'll be posting images of these paintings once they're all done to my studio page on Facebook and elsewhere. Details on the exhibit will be available at http://www.argosygallery.com

Plein Air Painting Festival News

I'm pleased to announce I've been invited to two more plein air painting events this year. I'll be returning to both the Castine (Maine) and Sedona events. This will be my fourth year at Castine and Grand Canyon, and my ninth at Sedona.
Workshop News

If you've been holding back on coming to my Canadian Paint Campobello workshops because you didn't have a passport, this summer I will be shifting the program entirely to Lubec, Maine. We'll have plenty of great scenery: bold ocean cliffs edged with storm-blasted trees, quiet marshes and inlets, and—yes!—lighthouses. If you've not been to that part of Maine, Lubec is a historic fishing village with lobster boats and beautiful old homes.

I am offering a package deal for my Lubec workshops this summer. You get to stay in our Artists Retreat Studios & Gallery, which is just a short walk from the beach and also the shops and restaurants on Water Street. Total package price is $800. (The workshop by itself is $300.) The house is a traditional Cape built in 1867 with water views and a delightful cliff-top sitting area. For full details, please visit http://www.PaintCampobello.com.#workshops

See the end of this newsletter for a full listing of workshops, including my April 22-24 workshop in Scottsdale, Arizona, at Scottsdale Artist's School, as well as others in Illinois, Indiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan and even Italy!

Painting Retreat News

Who Wants to Join Me in Italy? 

I know this sounds like a long time off, but it's not. June 16-23, 2018, I will leading a workshop in Florence. 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, and 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. We are now taking deposits for the trip.

Zion National Park Painting Retreat

Each year, Trina and I host a painting retreat in a beautiful place. April 22-29, 2017, we will return to Springdale, Utah, and Zion National Park. If you haven't painted in Zion before, you are in for a real treat! Zion has several paintable views at every bend in the road. This will be our third time hosting this particular retreat, and it just keeeps getting better. If you're interested, please let me know. Because this is not a workshop but a real retreat, I do reserve space for previous students. If you want to go but haven't taken a workshop with me yet, do so now! Details are at http://www.pleinairzion.com/

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.

-- Michael 


  • April 22-24: ARIZONA, Scottsdale. Three-day workshop for Arizona Plein Air Painters, hosted by Scottsdale Artists School. Price: $400. Contact: Scottsdale Artists's School, (800) 333-5707 or http://scottsdaleartschool.org/course/plein-air-painting-workshop-with-michael-chesley-johnson/
  • May 6-7, 2016: ILLINOIS, Batavia. At Water Street Studios in scenic, historic Batavia. We will paint in the beautiful parks along the Fox River. Price: $250. Details:http://www.waterstreetstudios.com or 630-761-9977
  • May 9-11: INDIANA, Valparaiso. At the Art Barn. Over 80 acres of fields, woods, a pond and barn, and chickens! Price: $325. Details: www.artbarnin.com or 219-462-9009 or artbarnin@aol.com
  • July-August: MAINE, Lubec. Plein air painting workshops for all levels of painter in pastel, oil or acrylic. See some of the world's best maritime scenery! Price: $300. Details:www.PaintCampobello.com
  • September 6-7: NEW HAMPSHIRE, Crawford Notch. All stay at historic Bartlett Inn. Price: $285 to $600, depending on lodging choices. To register and for details: NH Plein Air, Sharon Allen, pleinairgal@gmail.com
  • September 26-29: MAINE, Acadia National Park. Price: $595. To register and for details: www.acadiaworkshopcenter.com/MCJohnson.html
  • October 4-6: NORTH CAROLINA, Wilmington. Wilmington Art Association. Price: $350 WAA Members, $385 non-members. Contact: Ann Lees, WAA Education Chair,annfittonlees@yahoo.com
  • October-December: ARIZONA, Sedona. Paint Sedona continues! Price: $300. Details:www.PaintSedona.com
Coming in 2017!
  • May 5-6, 2017: OHIO, Columbus. Two-day workshop. Details TBA.
  • July 17-21, 2017: MAINE, Rockland. Five-day workshop at a new venue for me, Rockland, Maine. Price: TBA. Details: Coastal Maine Art Workshops, 207-594-4813,info@coastalmaineartworkshops.com
Coming in 2018!
  • May 7-9, 2018: MICHIGAN, Lowell. Workshop for Great Lake Pastel Society. $400. See Michael's website.
  • June 16-23, 2018: ITALY, Florence. For full details about this exciting trip to Italy,contact Michael.  Now taking deposits!

Michael's THREE NEW full-length oil and pastel videos are now available from North Light Shop!
  • The Secret to Oil Painting with Light and Color
  • The Secret to Oil Painting Wet-into-Wet
  • The Secret to Pastel Painting En Plein Air
The videos are about two hours each, and are available as either DVD or streaming download.

All available from Amazon! Visit www.Amazon.com/author/johnson

Outdoor Study to Studio: Take Your Plein Air Paintings to the Next Level
Print: $24.95 / Kindle $19.95
Learn how to gather reference material in the field and then take it to the studio to create finished works. 114 pages, 146 images with 13 demos in oil and pastel.

Backpacker Painting: Outdoors with Oil and Pastel
Print: $45.00 / Download: $20.00
How to paint outdoors (en plein air) by minimizing the hassle and maximizing the fun. 12 demonstrations in oil and pastel, 72 paintings and 125 illustrations. 164pp.
Also Available as a Download from North Light Shop!

Through a Painter's Brush: The American Southwest
Print: $40.00 / Download: $20.00
Artistic interpretations of the American Southwest in oil and pastel. In addition to a wealth of images (26 pastel paintings, 81 oil paintings plus 55 photos and illustrations), it includes essays on the landscape and on his artistic process. Two painting demonstrations are included along with a chapter on materials and techniques. 130pp., full color.

Through a Painter's Brush: A Year on Campobello Island
Print: $40.00 / Download: $20.00
Essays on the process of making art along with notes about painting on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, and in Downeast Maine. Over 150 images including 55 oils and 20 pastels of maritime scenery complete with detail shots and illustrative photos, two demonstrations in oil and pastel. 140pp.

Paint Sedona! A Plein Air Painter's Field Guide to Sedona, Arizona, 2nd Edition
Print: $10.00 / Download: $7.00
A plein air painter's field guide to Sedona, Arizona. 43 pp, 35 black & white photos with map. Also includes useful plein air tips and supply lists for oil and pastel plein air painters.

Fifty Paintings: Roosevelt Campobello International Park's 50th Anniversary.
Print: $25 / Kindle: $12

Artist as Steward: Landscape Paintings of Michael Chesley Johnson
Print: $15 / Kindle: $10
49 paintings in this portfolio.

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