American, b. 1947, Kellogg, Idaho. Contemporary | Established | Mid Career female Artist | Kauai | North Carolina | USA | Abstract Expressionist.

With a distinct style that merges abstraction with representation in increasing degrees, her work brings together instinctive compositions while revealing her precise powers of observation. Remarkable for their compositional rhythms, bold coloration, and sweeping gestural brushstrokes, Johnsons’ paintings bring alive the fundamental quest to express something personal, subjective and emotive, in a poetic, abstract way.

American Artist, Cheryl Johnson is a painter best known for her strong use of color, and intuitive mark making. Resonating with the Abstract Expressionists, as well as the language of figurative painting; interested in creating paintings that invite viewers to spend more time with an artwork to expand their ways of seeing. She has created a body of work based on gestural energy and the intuitive expression of deep inner emotion.

Cheryl considers herself more in line with Abstract Expressionism since her work flows from the deep well of her inner emotion.

Johnson’s art consists of abstract paintings more often made of mixed media; oil, acrylic, latex, pastel, charcoal, oil crayon.

In a career that has thrived through multiple evolutions in style, she combines brushwork with bold splashes and drips of color that encompasses mark making that is poetic and gracefully formed and at times boldly colored––that emerge in an uncanny, perfect balance. Her large-scale portrait paintings investigate the potential of big, aggressive brushstrokes and vivid color to convey emotion.

Johnson’s subjects range from abstract themes inspired equally by the landscapes to intimate figurative studies and poignant faces. By presenting two suites of paintings from her disparate styles in dialogue with one another, Cheryl Johnson will offer viewers a concise and rare opportunity to examine how one artist explores media, technique, and style — developmentally, artistically, and spiritually — through two seemingly oppositional, but nonetheless complementary, bodies of work.

An established artist, Cheryl Johnson is defined as an individual who has a lifetime of painting and who has more than 50 years of experience and is at a mature stage of her career, with an extensive body of work and a history of public exhibition.

Large-Scale Painting, Large/Loose Brushstrokes, Women Artists, Contemporary Figurative Painting, Gestural, Splattered/Dripped, Painting, Line, Form, and Color, Mixed-Media, Oil Painting, Sculpture.


Cheryl Lynn Johnson (born February 12, 1947) is a female American Abstract Expressionist Artist. She was born in Kellogg, Idaho. In her early years, she lived in the Rocky Mountains on the border of Idaho and Canada surrounded by immense beauty. Nature was her playground and inspired her to create art from a very young age.

She is of Finnish, Swedish, and Scotch-Irish descent.

Her family migrated from Kemi Finland and settled in Canada in the 1800's, working a farm in Hughendon, Alberta. Her parents moved to the U.S. and ran a small motel in Eastport, Idaho on the Canadian Border. Yearly family vacations across Canada from the states kept her interested in the beauty of nature that has influenced her work to this day.

In her early artistic career, Cheryl painted both under her familiar and family names: Cheri' and Cherah Boryl Jaurvaii. Cheryl graduated with a BFA from Oral Roberts University, MFA from Oklahoma State University, and an MA from the University of Tulsa. She began painting professionally in 1969 and has had numerous shows throughout her career. She studied and worked in her early career as a Teacher, Video Producer, and Director. Skilled as a videographer, commercial artist and designer she moved to North Carolina in the early 1980s. She has continued to paint throughout her varied career while working in the corporate world and retired from IBM to paint full time in 2010.

Cheryl Johnson lives and works with her partner, Carol Ann Washburn in Kauai, North Shore and also in Charlotte, NC. Cheryl is very connected to her family and is blessed to keep studio spaces in her sisters properties in Montana, Vancouver Canada and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. These environments clearly inspire her vibrant and layered works. She effortlessly moves between oil and mixed media. The bright colors and multiple layers of her paintings create energy, space and psychological impact, while the figures are staged like actors in a play.

© Cheryl Johnson 2017

Looking beyond herself, often into the majesty of nature, Cheryl Johnson's art is known for reflecting the energy, joy and startling beauty of her surroundings. She shares her time between her studio in Kauai, Hawaii where she is surrounded by the ocean’s inspiration. Her valley home shimmers with waterfalls and rainbows. In contrast, her studio in Charlotte, NC is near a secret forest nestled in the vibrant energy of a beautiful cosmopolitan city. Both of these places energize and influence her style and creations. The exploration between city living and the freedom of island life is evident in her work.

Cheryl Johnson Kauai Home

I am an Abstract Expressionist Artist specializing in eclectic abstract and contemporary works of art.

Fill your Life with Beauty. Make each day a Masterpiece!

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"I wish to ignite a sense of joy. I create paintings that reflect the people and moments that touched my life. I allow imagination and emotion to commingle into memorable creations. My works are a collection of memories, philosophies, and experiences. I hope to enliven a sense of connection and optimism."

Welcome to my ever-evolving space.

Designed to connect with art that touches and inspires you.

Mentors and Inspirations

In 2011 Cheryl studied design with the German contemporary artist Werner Haker, who catalyzed her ongoing passion for art making.

I have followed closely the work of Brian Rutenburg who has influenced my Secret Forest Studies. I have had the pleasure to attend his speaking engagements at Jerald Melberg Gallery in Charlotte, NC.

I am an avid learner about art in general and in some ways, my work is a compilation of my love affair with artists: Joan Mitchel, Cy Twombly, Rothko, Whistler, William de Kooning and a new favorite Anslem Kieffer the list goes on an on.

The primary purpose of my extensive travel is to visit great museums around the world and study the masters from many fields of art.

Tate, Guggenheim, Royal Academy, Louvre. MOMA - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York I could spend a lifetime perusing.

The Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy holds the world’s finest collection of Renaissance paintings. All the famous names of Italian art are here—not only the Renaissance masters, but also painters from the early medieval, baroque, and Mannerist heydays. My Main attraction: “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli.

The National Gallery in Prague is a state-owned art gallery in Prague, which manages the ... Rodin, Gauguin, Cézanne, Renoir, Schiele, Munch, Miró and my favorite Klimt.

Gustav Klimt “The Maidens (Virgins)” 1913, unfortunately, under glass so there is always a glare, but simply magnificent.

Cheryl Johnson is an ART IN EMBASSIES ARTIST

Art in Embassies, a program within the U.S. Department of State, creates vital cross-cultural dialogue and mutual understanding through the visual arts and dynamic artist exchanges. Where is the art exhibited: The art is installed in the representational spaces of U.S. embassy residences,, chanceries, consulates, and annexes around the world.