St. Lawrence River

Commission work by Cheryl Johnson

Own a one-of-a-kind art piece tailored to your dreams!

Cheryl Johnson, Artist, creates custom paintings in your preferred colors, style, and size. Imagine a piece that reflects your unique personality and perfectly complements your space

Why commission a painting?

Bring your artistic vision to life. Contact Cheryl Johnson Artist today! 

#commissionart #abstractart #contemporaryart #supportartists

st lawrence river painting by cheryl johnson

Persistent Memories


“Persistent Memories” is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Hoadly Wilson (1933-2021) and John (Jack) Lewis Wilson (1933-2023) by their children PK Donson, Dawn Wilson, and Terry Wilson, along with their grandchildren Annelies and Carolyn Fryberger, and Brian Archer.

Jack and Sarah Wilson held a deep love for art and the theatre, and they recognized the vital role of investing in creativity. Their generous donations to the Cain Center for the Arts have helped sustain and enrich Cornelius’s flourishing arts scene.

Beyond financial backing, Jack and Sarah actively promoted cultural enrichment and artistic excellence. Their legacy hopes to inspire future artists, ensuring Cornelius remains a dynamic hub of creativity and cultural vibrancy.


To honor this and their lives, Jack and Sarah's children and grandchildren commissioned a stunning and bold painting for the Cain Center, a permanent installation that not only pays tribute to their parents but also strengthens our local art community.  


Under the executorship of their son, Terry Wilson, local artist Cheryl Johnson was commissioned to create this mural-sized painting as a permanent art installation for the Cain Center for the Arts. The Wilsons entrusted this local artist, known for capturing nature’s beauty, to depict the many summers the Wilson family spent on the Saint Lawrence River in upstate New York.


In creating “Persistent Memories,” Ms. Johnson envisioned the river as a vibrant symphony, a constant performance by nature. The sunlight’s playful dance on the water, the shadows waltzing across the islands. Lush greens hint at the serene and endless islands, while deep sapphire blues mirror the river’s depths. Delicate white lines hint of waves licking, sometimes crashing against the granite shores. Bold strokes of red evoke fiery sunsets or blood left in the water after a tragic accident. While orange and grey splashes reflect the lichen and granite foundation of this mighty river.


For the artist, thanks to Terry sharing vivid recollections of the family spending summer days on the Saint Lawrence River, the memory wasn’t just a scenic backdrop but an emergence of a vision to create a painting that would become a vibrant dance of light and shadow. Terry hand-selected color swatches to match his recollection of the colors found in that special place.


“Persistent Memories” is a heartfelt tribute to a family’s enduring love for, pained memories of, and sheer joy found in a place they consider paradise.

Gallery WRAP

Most galleries require the canvas to be gallery-wrapped. This means there are NO staples or other impediments on the four sides (top, bottom, left, right) of the canvas. Because of this, the artist can paint their image on all four sides to create a professional appearance.

Inspiration of the St. Lawrence River Area


At dawn, the river awakens cloaked in a mist that shimmers with the first blush of the sun. The sky, a canvas of muted rose and lavender, bleeds into the water, creating a symphony of soft pastels. As the sun ascends, the mist evaporates, revealing the river's true colors - a deep, rich turquoise that dances with emerald green shadows cast by the towering pines lining the banks. The water becomes a mirror, reflecting the sky's vibrant palette, a spectacle that leaves the beholder breathless.


Midday brings a blaze of light. The sun, a fiery orb perched high above, bathes the landscape in its golden embrace. The river glistens, a shimmering path of liquid gold. Whitecaps, like playful brushstrokes, dance on the surface, contrasting the serene turquoise depths. On the horizon, the blue sky deepens, its vastness a counterpoint to the intricate tapestry woven by the trees and water.


As twilight descends, the sun dips below the horizon, igniting the sky in a fiery display of color. Crimson bleeds into orange, then into fiery yellows, painting the clouds with strokes of unimaginable vibrancy. The water, once a mirror, becomes a canvas of molten gold, reflecting the fiery spectacle above. This breathtaking display reminds us of the ephemeral nature of beauty, a fleeting moment to be cherished before the darkness engulfs it.


But the darkness is not without its own beauty. Under the cloak of night, the river transforms into a canvas dotted with twinkling stars, their light reflected in the water like scattered diamonds. The moon, a luminous pearl in the inky black sky, casts an ethereal glow on the water, creating a sense of serenity and peace. The silence is broken only by the lapping of waves against the shore, a gentle rhythm that lulls the soul into a state of tranquility.



This interplay of light and dark, color and contrast, is echoed in the captivating art of Cheryl Johnson. Her secret forests, awash in vibrant hues, transport the viewer to hidden sanctuaries where nature reigns supreme. The intricate details and bold brushstrokes evoke a sense of mystery and wonder, inviting the viewer to explore the depths of the forest and discover its hidden secrets.


Similarly, her abstract paintings are a symphony of color and texture, where contrasting elements create a sense of dynamic energy. Bold colors burst onto the canvas, juxtaposed with soft, muted tones. The rough texture of the paintwork contrasts with smooth, flowing lines, creating a visual dialogue that engages the viewer's senses.


Like the St. Lawrence River, Johnson's art celebrates the beauty of imperfection. The interplay of light and dark, the juxtaposition of vibrant colors, and the contrast between smooth and rough textures all contribute to the overall beauty and energy of her work. Just as the river is shaped by the interplay of natural forces, her art is shaped by her own personal experiences and emotions, offering a glimpse into the artist's soul.


Both the St. Lawrence River and the art of Cheryl Johnson are testament to the power of observation and appreciation. They remind us to slow down, to savor the beauty that surrounds us, and to find inspiration in the everyday world. In the ever-changing dance of light and dark, color and contrast, we find a reflection of our own lives, a reminder that the truest beauty lies not in perfection, but in the embrace of our unique stories and the vibrant tapestry of our experiences.


Cheryl Johnson, an artist known for her captivating portrayals of secret forests and abstract landscapes, finds inspiration in the enchanting allure of the St. Lawrence River area. With her keen eye for detail and mastery of color, Johnson beautifully captures the mesmerizing beauty that surrounds this picturesque region.


As the sun sets over the tranquil waters of the St. Lawrence River, a symphony of colors dances across the horizon, painting the sky with hues of crimson, gold, and indigo. Johnson skillfully translates this breathtaking spectacle onto her canvas, expertly blending vibrant pigments to recreate the ethereal glow of the setting sun. Through bold brushstrokes and subtle nuances of light and shadow, she brings to life the dynamic interplay between light and darkness, infusing her paintings with a sense of depth and movement.

The St. Lawrence River area serves as a sanctuary for Johnson, a place where she finds solace and inspiration amidst the tranquil beauty of nature. Here, amidst the rustling leaves and gentle whispers of the wind, she discovers hidden treasures waiting to be unveiled. Through her art, Johnson invites viewers to embark on a journey of discovery, inviting them to immerse themselves in the enchanting world she creates.

In Johnson's paintings, secret forests emerge from the depths of her imagination, their lush foliage and towering trees shrouded in mystery and intrigue. With each brushstroke, she reveals the hidden wonders of these enchanted woodlands, capturing the essence of their untamed beauty with exquisite detail and precision. Through her unique artistic vision, Johnson invites viewers to explore the depths of these mystical realms, inviting them to discover the magic that lies within.

At the heart of Johnson's work lies a celebration of contrast and values, a testament to the power of light and darkness to shape our perceptions of the world around us. Through her masterful use of color and composition, she creates a sense of balance and harmony that transcends the boundaries of traditional landscape painting. In her hands, the play of light upon water becomes a symphony of movement and color, a reflection of the ever-changing nature of existence itself.

As viewers gaze upon Johnson's paintings, they are transported to a realm where reality and imagination converge, where the boundaries between the tangible and the intangible blur and dissolve. In this wondrous world, the St. Lawrence River area serves as both muse and medium, a source of endless inspiration for the artist and a canvas upon which her dreams are brought to life.


Through her art, Cheryl Johnson invites us to embrace the beauty of the natural world, to revel in its majesty and wonder, and to cherish the delicate balance that sustains all life. In her secret forests and abstract landscapes, she reminds us of the power of art to transcend the ordinary and transport us to realms beyond imagination. As we gaze upon her paintings, we are reminded of the boundless potential of the human spirit, and the infinite possibilities that lie within us all.

Certificate of Authenticity

Persistent Memory Certificate of Authenticity