Penny Johnson

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Featured Artist’s Painting:


Watercolor Lilies

Description or Inspiration:

I love painting flowers. I use my paints to sculpt a flat piece of paper into a three dimensional image. Conveying the curves and contours of flowers and foliage is an ever-changing challenge, as no two petals or leaves are identical.

I paint realism, but I try to add a touch of fantasy and whimsy to my work. In this piece, I’ve used salt to create a lacy, textured background with some Cadmium Yellow and Yellow Ochre.

I also used a shadowing technique to give interest to the background. Using soft, muted tones of the background, I added lots of subtle foliage shadows. The shapes aren’t detailed, but they add complexity to the background. Using this technique relieves broad expanses of otherwise uninteresting background. By using subtle colors that relate to both the background and the foliage, their presence doesn’t detract from the focal point of the painting.

In this painting, I used Terre Verte as one of my greens. Even though this color is not highly colorfast, I love the waxy texture of the paint. I use that characteristic to push the paint out of the way when creating the veins of the leaves. I used Hooker’s Green and Ultramarine Blue to create the darkest shadows of the leaves. Cadmium Red, Cadmium Orange and Alizarin Crimson complete the colors on my palette for this work.

Paints & Brands Used:

Windsor & Newton Watercolors

Detailed Painting Information –

Painting Name: Lilies
Dimensions: 16” x 20”
Style: Realism
Support: 120 lb Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper
Year Made: 2002
Price: Not for Sale

Contact Info –

Artist Name: Penny Johnson

Artist Bio:

Like most artists, Penny Johnson’s interest in art began at a young age. She began studying oil painting with Coeur d’Alene, Idaho artist, Opel Brooten in 1969. She continued painting sporadically as career and life’s demands allowed.

Penny resumed painting after moving to Cleveland, Ohio. She studied with watercolorist Betty Woodworth Clark, and as she progressed in her studies, she began entering juried art competitions. She won awards at regional and national competitions before setting aside her brushes to pursue a business career.

‘Even though I haven’t touched a brush in many years, I primarily think of myself as an artist. Being an artist is a state of mind, as well as the vocation of painting, drawing or sculpting,’ states Ms. Johnson.

As retirement nears, she plans to dust off her tabouret, pick up some new paints and dig out her favorite brushes.

Additional Paintings:

Watercolor Bird

Watercolor Window

Watercolor Fish

Watercolor Tulips

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