| 02 April, 2016 14:28
Advice from a Sunflower
Advice from a Sunflower: Turn your face to the (Son). Be fruitful in life. Bring joy to others. Don’t be afraid to stand tall and shine.
Clara Johnson’s artwork will be shown at the Dallas Arboretum’s Artscape Event April 22nd to 24th. Johnson, a Texas native and 24 year resident of Midland, moved to East Dallas to be near her only child three years ago. Johnson’s newest artwork, the ‘Advice from a Sunflower’ series, will be featured at Artscape. The series is dedicated to her first grandchild, who is due to be born in April. The inspiration for the series comes from Johnson’s sweet childhood memories of her father and grandfather tending their respective sunflower gardens in the open fields of rural Mississippi. As a child, the sunflowers towered over her, seemed larger than life and filled her with joy. Each time she visited her father’s and grandfather’s gardens, the sunflowers celebrated her homecoming like old friends. Even to this day, when she sees a sunflower, she feels joyful and gets the sense she is being welcomed home. If there are sunflowers along the road when she travels, they assure her she is on the right road, both physically and spiritually. A calm comes over her when sunflowers are growing around her. Just as the sunflower positions itself to face the life giving rays of the sun, Johnson looks to the heavens for spiritual energy from God. The sunflower reminds Johnson that God has this old crazy world in His hands. You might be surprised to know that many other cultures are drawn to sunflowers in much the same way. For example, in Native American culture the sunflower is a symbol of the sun, and is likened to the life giving force of the Great Spirit.
Johnson is a mixed media artist and enjoys working primarily with acrylic pours, collage, silk dye, and watercolor. Her artwork is expressive. She likes to just let the creative juices flow and see what happens. Johnson said, “We are all different so why shouldn’t art be the same way … a little mixed up, a little crazy, but beautiful in its own way. “
By Amy Lewis, March 30, 2016
Artwork by Clara Johnson ‘The Master Bedroom’ www.artbyclarajohnson.com
| 24 July, 2015 14:52
After being encouraged by one of my artist friends, I decided at the last minute to enter this year’s Southwestern Watercolor Society’s Annual Members Exhibition. I selected three pieces of work that met their criteria, submitted the work, and hoped for the best!! I have just been notified that one of my pieces made it into the show…. WOO HOO!! The Awards Reception will be Sunday, September 20th (6-8pm) – Eisemann Center , 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson, TX. This year more than 139 artists submitted 326 paintings to this show. Only 75 pieces were selected so I feel much honored!! If you are able to attend the reception please let me hear what think of the show!!! Be sure to look for my piece “Rainy Day Tulips” Hopefully it will be the one with the BEST OF SHOW ribbon next to it!!!
| 28 June, 2015 12:05
| 09 April, 2015 17:45
I am putting the final touches on paintings and getting organized for this years show at the Dallas Arboretum. If you haven't attended this event before .... it is a don't miss !!! Look for me at booth 55. If you would like a free pass to the preview party send me a note so I can get a pass to you. This will be one of the new pieces featured !!!! I hope to see you there.
Walton's Garden Center --- What a beautiful setting for wine and art! Thursday - Sept. 25th 5:30 - 7:00.
| 24 September, 2014 16:50
I am looking forward to gathering with friends and patrons at Walton's Garden Center again this Thursday. I will be bringing some of my newest pieces ... I can't wait to show them. Hope everyone is planning to come see me, walk around the garden, have a glass of wine, and enjoy the artwork!!
| 11 July, 2014 13:31
'Hang Up' is the latest painting in the series 'Ocular Vibrations' ... This series was inspired by The Midland Tall City Blues Fest and my love of music. It is a series that I started about a year ago. It has been a practice of mine to paint while listening to music since I first started painting. Music influences my work and sets my creative energy free ... it pulls me away from my never ending "to do list" and allows me to get in touch with thoughts and feelings that are floating around in this crazy brain of mine. That little bit of crazy finds it way to the canvas!! As is often the case this painting named itself after it was finished. Once it has found its new home .... and made a personal connection with its intended I will share with you the rest of The Story Behind the Art ... I hope you will attend the Tall City Blues Fest this year, it is a wonderful Blues Festival!!! This painting will be in the Tall City Blues Fest Art auction so you can see it up close and personal .... it has much to say to you ... Enjoy.
| 10 May, 2014 21:56
| 05 May, 2014 18:09
| 29 April, 2014 14:32
My first outdoor event was this year at the Dallas Arboretum ... Artscape 2014!! I am feeling so lucky to have been invited to do this show. The amount of work that went into getting ready was substantial but with the help of my wonderful husband and friends ... we made it. Friends and family from all around Texas came to see me and support my efforts. I met wonderful people, the weather was perfect, I gained insight and enjoyed the comments that the public made about my work and was blessed to sell several pieces of artwork over the weekend. I can't wait to do it again next year!!!!
| 26 March, 2014 13:37
This painting is titled "Psalm 23" ... an emotional journey. A huge thank you to all my friends and family who traveled far to make this show. It was wonderful to see you there!!!
| 25 February, 2014 19:23
This 2012 painting is not a painting at all as no paint was used on this canvas. The artwork was inspired by my love of tulips. In December of each year the Dallas Arboretum is planted with thousands of tulip bulbs which bloom in March and April of the following year. This blooming season is commonly referred to as “Dallas Blooms”. The last week in February is the official kick-off for Dallas Blooms at the Dallas Arboretum and during that time the flower garden is covered in tulips of all colors and sizes. Frequent trips to Dallas, Texas over the last few years and visits to the Dallas Arboretum inspired me to start painting tulips.
This piece of artwork was my first torn paper collage experience. From a distance most viewers believe the artwork to be an oil painting. However, as the viewer is drawn in they discover there is more to this piece of artwork than originally imagined. All of the torn paper used comes from recycled magazines. What a wonderful way to repurpose magazines!! This process is much more time consuming than you can imagine and tends to be very messy. By the time this painting was finished my home studio resembled the streets of New York City on New Year’s Eve after the ball drops. The time spent finding the right magazine, and the right page, that has just the right value and texture … for an area that would normally be covered with a one second brush stroke, is extensive. Much time is also spent reading … or at the very least fighting the urge to read an article in the magazine that looks interesting or that you have read and want to read for a second time. All in all the thrill of the hunt easily becomes spell binding and the results are well worth the effort.
The thrill of the hunt is something the viewer experiences too. There are many hidden images in the collage that a painter might not normally think to put into a painting. This surprise element keeps the artwork exciting. In this “painting” you will find words, and flags, and even little people hidden in the flower garden. The longer you look the more secrets you may uncover. The painting brings the viewer to a magical place …a secret garden …and isn’t that what a flower garden should be?
This process is very different than anything I have done before but it allows me to express myself in a new way while still providing the mystery, color, and excitement that I long to see in a piece of artwork.
Although I continue to save special magazines I have not attempted to do another torn paper tulip collage. I expect there will be more popping up in the future though. With each new spring there should be a fresh crop of magical tulips in the flower garden … don’t you agree?
| 23 February, 2014 22:56
This 2012 painting is the first in the Huginn and Muninn series. It is painted with latex house paint, on canvas. This series was inspired by a photo that was taken by my nieces’ fiancé on his trip to the Grand Canyon and by their upcoming marriage. As a wedding gift I was asked to do a painting about their story and their connection with the ravens in this photo …. Huginn and Muninn, (a sweet inside joke for the couple). After doing research on ravens and the story of Huginn and Muninn I decided to play … to let the feelings simply explode on canvas and see what happened. The painting developed and the thoughts running through my head poured on to the canvas, Huginn began to take form. It must be noted that this painting was not always a raven. The under painting is layered. The original painting on this canvas was of a female figure which lacked the emotional element and mystery that are important to me as an artist, as M. Douglas Walton, a very special artist and teacher might say “the painting failed to reach its potential.” Although the female figure is now painted over her presence is still there and a part of the final painting. The second layer was applied as an exercise in color combinations. I explored putting colors together that I enjoyed and let them mix together, building values and textures along the way. Each step of the painting was a process and an exercise in experimentation. With this process came the realization that we as individuals are going through a process of development too. We are not always reaching our true potential or our best self. The journey is a necessary part of the evolution. After all, Michelangelo’s ‘David’ was once just a hunk of granite.
Huginn sits on a hint of a perch, high in the sky; he is timeless and knows no limits in space. He watches and studies the domain below him, not resting but deep in thought. You may eventually notice the mountain far into the distance. Like Mount Ranier its summit is so high that the atmosphere clouds your visibility. Notice, Huginn is perched higher still.
The layering of blues and darks and building of texture keep Huginn interesting to look at and alive while the use of texture used in his feathers show the wear and tear of time. The warm colors in the background hint of landscapes and figures that are more lost than found … they sneak up on you as you spend time looking at the painting. Are those the fiery furnaces of hell and tormented souls you are seeing or simply past generations finding their way through time? The mystery is there and the emotional statement made. It is up to you, the viewer, to enter the painting and have the painting tell its story. The story changes with each new day and each viewer’s insights. The conversation between the viewer and the painting are never the same. It is this ever changing conversation that keeps this painting fresh and timeless.
| 05 February, 2014 14:48
Look for me on page 64-65.
| 28 January, 2014 11:06
This painting was a very emotional painting for me to do. I am wondering if it speaks to you in an emotional way as well? I wish I had better photos of this work .... The original will be shown for the first time at Artists' Showplace Gallery in north Dallas on February 14th at the Arts for the Heart reception that will be held that evening. I hope you will come and we can discuss this piece. I would love to hear your thoughts!!
| 26 January, 2014 09:38
What and unexpected suprise to discover I was selected by Visual Language Magazine to be honored as the Artist of the Day!
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Calendar Of Posts
- Advice from a Sunflower
- Southwestern Watercolor Society 52nd Annual Member Exhibition Opening September 20th 6-8pm
- Artscape 2015 Dallas Arboretum
- Artscape 2015 .... April 24th-26th at the Dallas Arboretum .... look for me at booth 55
- Walton's Garden Center --- What a beautiful setting for wine and art! Thursday - Sept. 25th 5:30 - 7:00.
- Tall City Blues Fest 2014 - 'Hang Up'
- Wearable Art ....everyone wants one!!!!
- Artscape 2014 at the Dallas Arboretum .... a few pictures from the Friday Night Preview party!!
- Dallas Arboretum . Artscape 2014
- Art from the Heart Exhibition at Artists; Showplace, Dallas, Tx 2014