"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.
“My philosophy is a very simple one: I believe in creativity, imagination and self expression. I am a painter. I think art can have something important to say about the human condition. At its best, and in any era, great painting is exciting. It can take us somewhere we remember or haven’t been before, provoking us into new areas of thought and feeling."
Art leads to compassion and sensitivity and the world needs that.
Creative Process - Finding my voice
Once I feel the painting, artwork or sculpture piece is complete, I walk away from it for several days or even a week or perhaps months or more allowing me time to see it with fresh eyes. I then decide if I need to refine details and makes any desired changes to this final form. I then make an effort to place it in a gallery or online to sell or chose to keep it for myself, family or friend. Each piece is dear and like a child and often I become very attached. I then begin the writing process (the second element of my creative voice), with the finished artwork as my companion and inspiration. Inspiration, Description and Companion writing accompanies all my work – as an integral part of it. I offer words to share my inspiration of the piece as it was created, the possible symbolism (overt or apparent) as well as facts about the process, medium or technique. It is my hope that this writing will be offer the viewer an insight into my work and spark deeper reflection and inspiration. My writing process will continue to be edited and released. There are times however, dear reader when the piece I hope speaks for itself.
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. Glazes create translucent areas next to opacity and luminosity, richly textured surfaces seem stitched together with line, and vibrate with the illusive 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.”
Kauai - Hawaii, and Charlotte, NC United States: Contemporary Fine Art. Abstract Expressionist.
Cheryl Johnson is an American Abstract Expressionist painter of eminent artistic talent, creating richly layered canvases filled with calligraphic marks and animated by an unequaled material quality of color. She creates rich and profoundly original paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures that are alluring, spontaneous, and beautiful.
"Her art projects an air of optimism, lightness and joy and is infused with both a sense of uniqueness and universality."
“I primarily choose to create abstract non-objective paintings because I find the creative process honest and satisfying. A single mark or line on a blank surface provides a starting point for an intuitive exploration of the visual language found in abstraction. Working in mixed media: graphite, oil, acrylic and collage, allows me to layer and rework textured surfaces - with each painting resulting in a delightful discovery of things explored in the heart, perhaps unseen, but now visited for a while.”
Cheryl Johnson describes painting as "a way of sharing my internal dialogue in an external way." Her commitment to a dynamic yet sensitive, lyrically beautiful and sometimes aggressively stormy vocabulary of form, line, and color have evolved over her career as a painter. Her work resonates with a passion for color, line and light. Her painterly space clearly evokes the space of Abstract Expressionism—often disjunctive, yet grounded in the physical nature of the canvas and the materials deployed on it. Her paintings are an expression of the magnitude of our interior emotional worlds released and at play on the surface of her canvas overlapping time, memory and reality. A painting may start out with layered cloud or sea colors in oil, pastel or mixed media which are then overlaid with white or muted grey. Colors might be left to stand on their own in a combination of soft and stronger tones. Expressive marks and lines are her personal calligraphy. Spaces are self-contained emotional vortexes.
Focus on "What you Love" and all else will follow.
Art is my passion, my joy and my life pursuit. It’s best to do one thing really, really well. I am a painter.
I do love photography and carving or sculpting; however, my first love is painting.
I enjoy the process of layering and glazing and placing colors with brush or palette knife or even my fingers and entire hand. At other times I enjoy the fine detail of representational and portrait work.
I believe that work should be challenging, and the challenge can be fun. I find that wonderful exciting art is inspirational.
I desire to take things that work well and improve upon them in unexpected ways.
"I want to give the viewers a real sense of color and process.
I invite them to step closer to the images and ask the question: what's behind all this beauty?"
"Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life."
Cheryl Johnson's paintings invite prolonged observation and repay with glimpses of intimate emotions that shift and grow with each viewing. In recent works Cheryl has moved back to vibrant colours that are reflective of many of her previous canvases but now have been layed next to sections that are pared back to relatively muted or subdued shades of grey, blue and grey heightening the work’s graphic qualities. During the journey through the work we might pause on shapes and lines, variations of touch and tone, layers of paint contrasting areas of atmosphere. Her compositions mix strong linear elements, areas of void and rich bursts of colour. Cheryl employs a variety of techniques including washing, layering, scraping, and working directly applying the paint with palette knife directly from paint tubes.
"My paintings are like random thoughts, however I make marks with intention. I spend my days studying works of art, learning, exploring -Designing Dreams. "