An Artist looks at the world differently, viewing the world in lines, shapes, value, colors, textures and edges, finding even the most mundane surroundings interesting, beautiful and full of character waiting to be painted. Artist Teresa Lynn Johnson revels in the inspiration she absorbs from her surroundings. Each of her paintings is a unique window viewing the private life of nature and animals. Johnson grew up in Coleman, Texas on a four hundred acre farm. The farm with its bordering creek and many wild pecan trees was a haven for wildlife such as turkey, deer, rabbits and of course farm animals such as cows, horses, chickens, cats and dogs. “I love dogs and horses, they are such wonderful companions.” Aside from school Johnson spent her time helping with farm chores, such as bottle feeding baby calves, riding horses, reading, exploring along the creek bank, sewing, and spending time with her family. Johnson learned to sew and design at a very young age. “Rather than play with dolls, I would prefer to sew and design clothes for them.” She loved working with raw materials such as fabric, yarn, wood and colors to create projects of all types. Growing up in a farming community did not provide much opportunity for exposure to Fine Art at a young age. Always creative, though it was inevitable Johnson would stumble into the world of art at some point in her life. Johnson began a career after school that led to becoming a software analyst for a worldwide company and she married and began to raise a family. Wanting to find a creative outlet she took an oil painting class at the local college. ” From the first swirl of paint on the canvas I was hooked.” She decided to learn all she could about oil painting and started developing her technique and skill through workshops, DVD instruction, books, studying the history of master artists and of course hours of practice. Johnson, always loving a challenge, realized that while she had a successful career, she wanted to change her path and move into the world of art. Her dedication and skills for learning along with her excitement and passion for art would be the key to becoming successful as an artist. She was selected as one of twelve artists, after applying for a one year mentor-ship, with artist, Kevin MacPherson in his 2012 AMO Pro*D*J Program. She completed the extensive program giving her added skills and knowledge to apply to her work. ” Kevin was a wonderful mentor, giving me the knowledge, tools and optimism to purse my journey of becoming a professional artist.” She has also taken workshops with Matt Smith , Kathleen Dunphy, and has taken online classes with the Tucson Art Academy, and the CGMA (Computer Graphics Master Academy). “I love learning and strive to always move to the next level in my painting process.” She continues improving her skills with workshops and seminars. ” Always I am learning and pursuing excellence.” She is a member of OPA- Oil Painters of America -Associate member, PAPNM – Plein Air Painters of New Mexico, Four Corners Artist Association and PAP4C – Plein Air Painters of the Four Corners. When asked who her influences were Johnson stated: “My first introduction to the world of art was Pat Leppart, my instructor in a college class I attended several years ago. Artist, Kevin MacPherson was very influential in my development through the one year mentor-ship with him. He taught me to see, view, and create art at a new level. I love the wildlife work of Bob Kuhn, Carl Rungius. Others artists, such as T Allen Lawsen, Clyde Aspevig and Sherrie McGraw, keep me completely mesmerized when viewing their work and of course the masters such as Sargent, Sorolla and Degas, one can only marvel when standing in front of their great work in a museum.” It is obvious throughout her unified body of work that Johnson draws inspiration from her surroundings, as well as all hidden life in nature. Johnson feels life mirrors the natural landscape. “A struggle in the landscape speaks to me of the struggle of people to survive and thrive in life. The peaceful landscape reminds me of the peace and contentment we sometimes have. The changing of the seasons show me how our lives continually change and evolve. Chance encounters with wildlife fill me with excitement, and the joyful fun of domesticated animals , like art, enriches my life daily. ” In asking why she chooses landscape and wildlife as her subjects she said, “I especially am drawn to tree’s , nature, back roads and mountain roads. Places that are quiet, isolated and secluded. I have always loved and been surrounded by animals. I suppose my happy childhood, growing up on a farm is one reason I connect with landscape and animals.” Johnson loves the challenge of developing a work of art that others will connect with. Those that have connected with her work have stated:
*I know I have stated this before but you capture such beauty in a moment of time. The shadows and lighting are wonderful.
*Your work is always beautiful and peaceful.
*Your trees look so realistic and natural.
*It seems as if I could just walk into your painting.
*I feel I could reach out and touch your wildlife.
*If I had the money, I would have my entire house filled with your paintings. I love looking at them.
Johnson’s passion is painting, but she also plays piano, guitar and is the music leader for a small church. Aside from art and music, she loves spending time with family, reading, hiking with her dogs, bike riding and exploring mountain roads. Currently Johnson lives and creates art in the Four Corners Region of New Mexico. Along with creating art, she continues to work part time as a software analyst as she develops her full time art career. She states that the skills to be a software analyst are some of the same skills needed in creating art.” Both are like working a puzzle, finding the right design so pieces fit together to create projects that connect with people. One endeavor, software, adds functionality and the other, art, adds pleasure, so both enrich the lives of others” My love of nature, animals and the way light falls on many subjects showers me with inspiration daily. The challenge of painting to capture a moment in time, a place or beautiful light falling on a subject fills me with excitement and at the same time I am lost in thought, intrigued with the possible stories of history, mission or purpose of the subject at hand. We can never really know all the stories, struggles or successes surrounding a particular subject, so it is exciting to discover and develop a story or thought from my own observations. My hope is my work will connect with others, if not with my story, then their own story. I start with a vague idea or sometimes with a strong idea of what I would like to see the painting reveal, but often find that in the process of creating, the painting starts to reveal something different than my initial idea and if I like it , I go with it. I paint exclusively in oils as I love the richness of the colors and texture of oil. I paint both outdoor and in the studio. My outdoor work allows me to study nature and capture color notes, lighting, inspires ideas and gives me practice time. I use outdoor studies, notes and photo references to create studio paintings. My process involves creating thumbnails for design and a small value study, using a very limited muted palette, then moving to a full color studio painting. My work continues to evolve as I continue to study and learn more advanced skills. I want to keep my work fresh and exciting. I believe one should never stop learning and increasing their skill level. My nature is to be happy and optimistic, so I prefer to paint landscapes and animals in a peaceful, content or joyful environment and or an environment of success after a struggle, such as a flower blooming in the struggle of the dry desert. Even with its struggles and darkness life is beautiful and full of light and joy. I want to capture and preserve that beauty. I paint subjects that many artists over hundreds of years have painted and many artists currently paint today, but we are all unique and our brushstrokes and color choices, like handwriting, are completely our own. Our experiences in this journey of life develop our unique story in the subjects we paint.