Cheryl Johnson contemporary painter exploring the connection between realism and abstraction, balancing bold gestural art with sensitive expression. 

Cheryl Johnson is a contemporary painter exploring the connection between realism and abstraction, balancing bold gestural art with sensitive expression. 

Resonating with Abstract Expressionists, her non-objective and figurative early works transitioned into abstract representational themes. Cheryl creates abstract oil paintings, drawings, and prints. She works in various mediums—including oil on canvas, pastel on paper, and lithographic printing—and is widely recognized as a significant contemporary artist. Her work is inspired by world travels, the landscape and cultures of her homes in North Carolina, Hawaii, her Idaho birthplace, and her Finnish heritage. 

Cheryl's pseudonyms are Cherinow and Cherah Boryl Jaurvaii. Her family and friends affectionately call her Cheri'. Born in Kellogg, Idaho, on February 12, 1947, she shares the Aquarian birthday of her inspiration, Joan Mitchell. 

Cheryl's transcendent eye propels her to explore the emotions of place. As a strong environmental awareness advocate, nature often energizes her canvases and resonates with a deftly modulated palette of translucent and opaque colors. Her acute visual observations of form, space, and color in life are part of the visual memories she draws upon while painting. Light hues bleed into darks with a sense of expressive, fluid movements reflect the harmony and tenacity of the natural world. Cheryl's studios are in Charlotte, NC, and Hanalei, Kauai, HI. 

"I paint from remembered landscapes that I carry with me—and remembered feelings of them, which of course become transformed. I could certainly never mirror nature. I would like more to paint what it leaves me with." - Joan Mitchell


In the fall of 2019 Cheryl desired a shift in her life and recently returned from a summer studio in Kauai to her familiar setting of her NC studio. In 2021 she moved to the Mountain Island Lake Area North of Charlotte, NC and began sharing her home and space with her nephew artist, Jim Wildman

During this innovation period she reaffirmed her individuality and released boundaries and explored or transformed her work to be freer leaving past emotions behind. For the previous decade her work included brighter jewel tones.  In the autumn of 2019 inspired by her daily inspiration and photography of a solitary mountain out her window in Kauai covered by various veils of clouds moving across the Wainiha Valley she started a new series of both Paintings and Photography called: “Quiet Reflections.”  This shift in her art and photography work, inspired by the beauty of space around us, prayer, meditation and  living our dreams. 

This series allowed her to reexamine her own emotions and search for a new approach to her daily life of meditation writing and creation. She consciously explored a refined composition, embracing softer warm colors, a new utilization of space and a personal time of self awakening.  

Now in 2023 Cheryl Johnson prefers to paint boldly on large canvases bringing an enormity of emotion to her painting, whether in individual gestures—juxtaposing the large and sweeping, with the small and delicate—or pouring oils freely in the style of Color field artist onto the canvases themselves.

Her paintings can be found in private homes throughout the US, and her commercial work can be seen in hotels, restaurants, and streaming across most media platforms.

"My work leans into the emotion between the strength of the natural world and the fragility of the self."


Allure N°2019016

Cheryl Johnson

Painting: Mixed Media Oil on Canvas

Size: 48 W x 30 H x 1.6 in

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Cheryl Johnson Bio_11/2019