Cheryl Johnson (Cheri), (b. 1947, USA)


About me


1801 Thomas Avenue

Charlotte, NC 28205

Website 1:

Website 2:


1971     MA, Vocational Education, Oklahoma State University, OK

1970     BA, (Teaching Certification) Tulsa University, Tulsa, OK

1969     BA, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, OK

2019 Selected for Grant with Arts Science Council Charlotte NC

2017 Selected for  Green Hill Center of Art Greensboro, NC Pop-Up Residency program with the ArtQuest Studios at GreenHill. October 25-November 3, 2017 residency. 

"Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all." 

Helen Keller


Primary Website:


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 Northwest 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.  Today Cheryl lives in Mecklenburg County, Charlotte, NC. 

Cheryl Johnson is of Finnish, Swedish, and Scotch-Irish descent. 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 continuing with two years of study toward Doctorate Degree. She received an MA  in Education and Teacher Certification from the University of Tulsa. 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. 

Johnson’s family moved a number of times during her childhood, finally settling in Spokane Washington. She was involved with art through high school and college. Cheryl’s early work was realistic and focused on portraiture and then she moved to a strong abstract orientation. A formative experience, especially for her color sense, was the summer following college graduation Johnson spent painting the landscape in France and then traveled to her family homes in British Columbia Canada to continue her en plein air work. She currently maintains studios both in Charlotte, NC and in the island of Kauai in Hawaii.

Cheryl Johnson 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, photographer, 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 2012. 

Cheryl Johnson has an intuitive and deliberate style of oil, mixed media and acrylic paintings that build and unfold through layers of lush colors, aggressive brushwork and drips pushing and pulling off the sides of her canvases. Her paintings are based on memory, photographic references, momentary impressions of interactions with nature; a synergy of the amorphous changes in her surroundings. She focuses on emotion and experiences, discovering life’s little moments of energy and inspiration. Rather than focusing in on familiar or notable locations or landmarks, she pauses and considers the special aha! moments of life and nature. She records the intimacy of being a part of an experience. Observing with no preconceived idea or agenda, she attunes her senses focusing on the sounds and smells that bring back memories. The exploration of city living and the freedom of island life is evident in her work. She studies faces and the friction of people’s emotions. She notices movements in trees as familiar as wind passing her skin and remembers the tones and adjacent colors filling her visual eye field. Only after the reference to memory or experience, does she start to visualize a painting.

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.

Selected Featured Exhibitions

2/2019 NC Arts and Science Council CSA Community Supported Art Grant Recipient Charlotte, NC (created 50 paintings given to sponsors, shareholders)

10/2018 The Other Art Fair Saatchi Art Brooklyn, NY (100 Juried Artists Show selected from over 2500 artists)

2015-2016 9th & 10th Annual Princeville Fine Arts Show Princeville, Kauai, HI

2010- 2019 Art Source & Design Featured Artist, Charlotte, NC

2009-2019  Carolina’s Got Art annual juried art show, Charlotte, NC (one of the largest juried art shows in the country in the Queen City)

2011 Elder Gallery Group Abstraction Show, Charlotte, NC 

2010 Charlotte Art League Featured Artist One Woman Show, Charlotte, NC (oldest nonprofit art gallery and organization in Charlotte)

Selected Public and Corporate Collections

IBM, Charlotte, NC

Carillon Building, Charlotte, NC


Saatchi Art 




Art Finder


2018  Kathy Cravier " Caliente", Charlotte, NC

2015      2 Works, "Train-Walsh Road "and "More" 

Client: Dr. Thomas G.Walsh, DDS Oral Surgeon & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Coeur D Alene, ID 83814 

2015       Triptych, "Sea Memories" 

Dr. Traselynn Anderson, American Pharmacists Association Member


"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 and strive to create beauty and a moment’s pleasure."


Cheryl has painted professionally since 1969 and has had numerous group and individual shows in galleries while pursuing a corporate career. She has exhibited her works in North Carolina, Oklahoma, Massachusets, Canada, Hawaii, Montana, Idaho and Washington States.

Additionally, Cheryl is well traveled and lives in winter months in Hawaii and shares a home and studio on Kauai showing her work in island galleries. 

Cheryl has a thriving Online Presence where she sells her work directly as well as with Gallery Representation.



Cheryl Johnson Studio Blog - Blogger:

Writes on Medium:


STUDIOS-CHERYL JOHNSON Paints prolifically in both her studio and enjoys En Plein air painting. Cheryl is very connected to her family and is blessed to keep studio spaces in her sister's properties in Idaho, Montana, Vancouver Canada, England. These environments inspire her diverse, vibrant works, and her focus on Abstract Expressionism. She works in series and has a large body of work focusing on Secret Forest Paintings and Abstract Landscapes. She effortlessly moves between oil, acrylic, watercolor and mixed media. The bright colors and multiple layers of her paintings create energy, space, and psychological impact, while the faces and figures are staged like actors in a play.  Cheryl completes many commission works and is also a skilled portrait artist and photographer and has shot many corporate videos, also weddings and corporate affair events. 


Elder Gallery (Larry Elder) Group Show 2011-2017 1520 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28203

Art Source & Design -1950 Abbott St # 604, Charlotte, NC 28203 -(704) 344-9736

On the Road to Hanalei -Hanalei, Kauai

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.

Participated in CHARLOTTE ART LEAGUE. The oldest nonprofit art gallery and organization in Charlotte offering monthly exhibits, working studio spaces, outreach programs.



"My work is an attempt to channel and express my thoughts often revealing my inner emotions. My paintings are personal.  Conscious thinking is eliminated and I get lost or perhaps found in the pure enjoyment of creating. I paint what I have seen and what moves me. I create to provoke emotion,  thinking, and discourse.”


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 workflows 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.


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

Cheryl Johnson is clearly a modernist painter whose work has its style and roots in abstract expressionist traditions. Her style is uniquely her own. Layers of color and line are elegantly composed and delicately balanced. Her work is mesmerizing, as colors bend and shift like seasons, subtle lines morph in and out of focus, imagery whispers beneath the surface.

Johnson remains devoted to the craft of paint on traditional surfaces. Her early years of working realistically with the figure provided a strong foundation as she moved into non-objective work. Working intuitively, allows her to favor emotion.

In her most recent body of work you sense, the beauty and impermanence of nature. Her travels to her home in Kauai surrounded by ocean waves, open taro fields, and dramatic mountain views, allows her to interpret the constantly changing scenery. Balancing surface texture and form, passages of serenity and calm contrast activity. 

Using Encaustic technique as well as glazes create translucent areas next to opacity and luminosity, richly textured surfaces seem stitched together with a line and vibrate with the elusive qualities of natures seasonal change.

“Abstracting from nature has unique rewards and challenges” according to Johnson. “— I desire to create mood and emotion by not giving away too much, by implying and suggesting the poignancy of light and the mesmerizing qualities of a world in constant change and flux. I believe nature is abstraction in its purest form creating simple beauty and after all that is what remains.”



Professional Career Resume



ABC Broadcast Television Producer, Tulsa Vocational Education Instructor, First Commodity Corporation of Boston, Commodity Director, McDonalds Corporation-Play&Paint Contractor, Owner Video Works

2001 - 2004 OWNER and Sr. Consultant and Independent Contractor, CLJohnson Consulting - Charlotte, NC

2004 - 2012 IBM

Multiple Roles with IBM as Senior Leader, Management Team- C+ Level

IBM Titles: Training Director

IBM Sr. Instructional Designer

Professional Corporate SKILL QUALIFICATIONS

Eternal optimist

Studios in Charlotte, NC, and Kaua'i. Artist, writer, photographer, and Imagineer. I paint emotions, people, places and things. I write about Feelings. I am an American Abstract Expressionist Painter and Photographer.

Changing the world one great idea at a time.

As Ansel Adams says... “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” And to quote my favorite painter, Joan Mitchell. "Feeling is something more; it’s feeling your existence. It’s not just survival. Painting is a means of feeling ”living”… .Painting is the only art form except still photography which is without time. Music takes time to listen to and ends, writing takes time and ends, movies ends, ideas and even sculpture take time. Painting does not. It never ends, it is the only thing that is both continuous and still, Then I can be very happy. It’s a still place. It’s like one word, one image." I agree...I want my work to exude joy, celebration, measured clarity and a sense of self. Creating art is more about communicating what I’m feeling than what I’m seeing.